2 Corinthians 5:16-17 King James Version
“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
I particularly like this passage from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. It is a very clear declaration that beyond outward appearance, beyond race, gender, age, ability or disability, beyond all outward labels– we are spiritual beings. We all have souls and as spiritual beings, we are better regarded by our characters and convictions and moral actions rather than our outward appearances.
And when we are in spiritual union with Christ, we become new beings. When we turn our hearts to Christ and strive to be moral, spiritually minded beings, we give up old nasty habits and old beliefs and take on a new sense of unity with Jesus and our fellow humanity. It is the soul that we each have that is the unifying thread– we all have a soul. We all live to be better people. We all have the capacity to be better people regardless of outward labels and appearances. The beauty that is inside us is primary to whatever beauty there may be outside of us. And it is the inner beauty that we each have that can unify us.
Further, in verses 18-19…
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
Jesus redeemed us and we are redeemed before God. The path has been made clear and ready for us to make peace with God over our sins. God forgives and God is willing to forgive. God holds no grudges with those that seek to reconcile with Him and we see a God that is now fully willing to reconcile and make peace with us where perhaps that wasn’t entirely so under the provisions of the old Mosaic Law where only by the strict adherence of the Law and through numerous sacrifices and rituals of repentance could we ever hope to be right with God. Yet as we know in Scripture, perfect righteousness does not exist among Mankind. We have all fallen short… but God is reconciling that fact with us now– now that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for us and God sacrificed a part of Himself to atone for His own anger and wrath towards us in the past and present.
The days of an angry, jealous, vengeful God that would smite anyone who slighted even the smallest infraction of the Mosaic Law will no longer be condemned– but given a new lease on eternal life through the powers of reconciliation. The old Law was rendered obsolete! Jesus fulfilled the Law. Love becomes the new Law and the power of universal forgiveness is the means to achieve that love. And it is by the grace of God that we are saved– not by the adherence of the old Old Testament Leviticus and Deuteronomy culture. God’s grace is love and forgiveness. And love and forgiveness sees past the outward and focuses on the inward!