for if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. [2 corinthians 5:13]
God tells us that he’s given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. (2 peter 1:3) this means that through faith in Jesus Christ, we can have full satisfaction and joy in God’s glory. we have this knowledge through the gift of God’s word, and the Holy Spirit who reveals his word to us, allowing us to call him Father. (romans 8:15) our salvation isn’t based on a spiritual experience, a level of emotion, or any vision or revelation outside of the gospel as presented in God’s Word. paul is saying that to boast in any such gifts, or being “beside ourselves”, would be a distraction from the gospel, and not beneficial to the corinthian church.
we know the gospel is simple. so simple that even a child, provided with new life by the Holy Spirit, can understand it. the good news that God’s glory is all satisfying, and he is most glorified when man is satisfied in him. his glory satisfies. our satisfaction glorifies. but so many people are looking for more. a song to move them to dance. a sermon to move them to tears. a prophetic word from the Lord, or a miraculous healing. but we are not all called to these specific expressions or gifts. in fact, the Lord says if we all had these same gifts, the needs of the church wouldn’t be met, because it takes all kinds of people, not one kind of person, to build up the church. we are to be of one mind in Christ Jesus, and of diversity in personality and gifts. (1 corinthians 12) we cannot require them of others, and certainly cannot present them as required for salvation.
paul received many visions and experiences that greatly encouraged him in the Lord. (2 cor 12) but he doesn’t boast in them. the most beneficial thing for the church is a man redeemed, of sound mind, giving them the truth. his boast is in the work of the Spirit through the gospel of Jesus Christ. to a church who is struggling to believe the gospel in its simplicity, he’s keeping the main thing, the main thing.
so what about you? are you looking to a spiritual experience for your salvation? or are you seeking satisfaction in God through the grace of his Son, Jesus? is Jesus enough, or are you adding to his gospel?
Jesus said to the pharisees in john 5:39-40 that they couldn’t receive eternal life because they refused to come to Jesus. they were looking for life through the law and the scriptures, their religious experiences and practices, but couldn’t see that these were pointing to Jesus, who is the only way to life. so we have to ask ourselves if we’re doing the same thing. are we seeking life in “spirituality” without coming to Jesus?
if so, come to Jesus. he is the giver of life. he is the way to being satisfied in the glory of God. the only way. Lord Jesus, where else can we go? for you have the words of eternal life. thank you for the truth of the gospel. thank you for being the only way.