2 Corinthians 5:16–17 (NIV)
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
This is Paul’s appeal:
When a new world is born, a new way of living goes with it. (NT Wright)
Do I believe that… or do I not? The question is really: Do I live this, or do I not? If the true reconciling work of Christ is happening in this world, and his Kingdom is truly coming, am I locking into the new way of thinking the Kingdom brings?
Or, am I still the same with my “this world” thinking? Full of anger, anxiety, bitterness, thoughts of revenge, bent on violence, etc?
A new world has come about, through the death of Jesus in the ‘flesh’ in that sense, and the resurrection of Jesus in a new body, gloriously physical but not corruptible. The challenge of the gospel is to live cheerfully in that new world. (NT Wright)
Dallas Willard would often say (in a paraphrase): You are safe in the Gospel.
The world may not seem safe, but that is exactly what Paul is communicating. The world we see is full of anxiety, fear, etc., but the Kingdom of God… the unseen… is a life of love and power and a new way of seeing people. Paul wanted his readers to see the unseen. What drove him was this vision of what reality truly was in the Kingdom of God. It was magnificent.
It is a vision I seriously lack in the current chaos of our time.