The Technique of Thinking Divine Viewpoint, No. 3
We now begin the third segment of the technique of the Christian life that we've been referring to as the technique of thinking divine
viewpoint. All of the techniques of the Christian life have to do with progress in spiritual maturity. They have to do with taking us
from babyhood on into the adult realm as believers. The technique that we've been studying, this one--thinking divine viewpoint, has to
do with the thought life of the individual believer. All Christians, we might as well face it, in one way or another have trouble with
their thought life. We won't ask for any personal testimonies here to confirm that. We'll let you do that for yourself. However, each of
us knows that every normal believer, no matter how dedicated he is to the Word of God, has problems in the areas of thought life on some
occasion. A person may actually appear outwardly quite proper in his actions and in his speech, but inwardly be shot through with a
perverted thought life. If you could look through the eyeballs and into the brain of most people, you would find that the mentality residing
in that brain is crawling with the worms of human viewpoint corruption. Therefore, everybody in one way or another is prone to having problems
with his thought life.
Techniques of the Christian Life
That's what this technique is all about. This technique is seeking to alert us that God has a plan and a method for controlling our thinking
in order to make it compatible with His thinking. It isn't what you do outwardly which is the most important thing with God. I know that this
is what most churches tell you to do--to be concerned with what you do outwardly. But it so happens that God knows better than that. What God
is interested in is what we are inwardly; that is, what we are in our thought life. What we are outwardly is only going to stem from that.
Therefore, perverted thinking in a Christian may run actually from indulgence in obscene or immoral thoughts all the way to mental attitude
sins: sins of hatred; sins of envy; sins of jealousy; sins of competition; sins of guilt; sins of revenge; and, sins of an unforgiving spirit.
All of these represent a problem in the thought life of the individual believer.
This mental outlook that we have been referring to may be summed up in the terms human viewpoint and divine viewpoint. Human viewpoint is the
frame of reference in a mind whose value systems are based upon the old sin nature. Divine viewpoint is a mental frame of reference whose value
system is based on the thinking of God the Holy Spirit through Bible doctrine.
Christians are called by their heavenly father to gradually bring the thought life into captivity to the mind of Christ. The unbeliever has
a great buildup of human viewpoint in the brain. He's born with this. All of his life he is having this built up within him. When he
comes to the point of salvation, he comes into the Christian life with a mentality that is just permeated with human viewpoint values and concepts.
As a convert to Christianity, his job now is to restructure his thinking into his divine viewpoint through the learning of doctrine. Christians
can have many mental disorders; delusions; obsessions; distractibility; or, inertia, all of which divine viewpoint knowledge can correct. A
Christian undergoes a constant inner challenge from God the Holy Spirit to switch to divine viewpoint thinking as he is constantly obsessed by
Satan to hang in there with his human viewpoint concepts.
One of the best examples of human and divine viewpoint and the call for the changeover which is upon us as believers is to be found in 2
Corinthians 10. This is a chapter that describes for us the battle between these two viewpoints that we've been studying. In the first two
verses, the Apostle Paul expresses an appeal: "Now I, Paul, myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence
am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you." Paul appeals to the Christians in the church at Corinth. I remind you again that the
church at Corinth was an extremely carnal church. They were a group of believers who were giving him a great deal of opposition and a great
deal of personal slander and abuse. The Apostle Paul appeals to these Corinthian Christians as an apostle of Jesus Christ. He appeals to them
to seek divine viewpoint. That's what he is beseeching them to do. The basis of his appeal is the character of the Lord Jesus Christ to which
these Corinthians have been joined by salvation.
First of all, he describes the Lord Jesus in the term "meekness." Immediately when we think
of meekness, several ideas come to mind. The Greek word is "prautes." "Prautes" means meekness. This is a word which the ancient Greeks used to
describe not overt actions. When we say meekness, right away we think of how a person acts. However, the ancient Greeks, when they used this word
"prautes," meant an attitude of mind. It is a word which denotes a certain mental attitude. Thus it is very fitting for what Paul is going to
speak to these Christians to do in switching from human viewpoint to divine viewpoint. The Greek word itself does not mean weakness or cowardice,
or if you want to use the big word pusillanimous. That's one of the words that theologians like to use. Pusillanimous sounds disgusting or
revolting. It means cowardice. It is a word that we associate with meekness. It is a quality we associate with meekness. When we say meek, we
think of someone who is rather weak and cowardly, but instead it is something totally different.
The Greek word "prautes" (meekness)
connotes somebody who is not demanding his rights. It doesn't mean he's a weak person it doesn't mean he's meek because he can't help himself.
It simply means someone who is on grace orientation in his mind, produced there by the Holy Spirit, and therefore he is not demanding his rights.
He exercises this meekness toward God by accepting whatever dealings God has with him. Whatever lot his life may be in the light, as the result
of what God brings upon him, he accepts it as being good. He does not dispute and act with disrespect toward God. He does not become angry and
hateful toward God. He does not rebuke God for the circumstances in which he finds himself. Very frequently those circumstances have been brought
upon ourselves by our own negative volition.
So the person who is meek, of which Jesus Christ was the epitome, is a person who toward God accepts the Lord's dealings, the Father's dealings,
in his life. This is exercised toward people in the spirit which is ready to forgive our offenders. "Ready," I said, to forgive our offenders. I
didn't say ready to forgive when the person comes to you and says. "I just told one of my family that you were a fink. Will you forgive me?"
Whether the person confesses to you and asks for your forgiveness has nothing to do with it. It is a spirit of meekness that enables us to
immediately not hold things against people. We do not respond to insults and injury.
If you want to check out just how meek a person you are, just wait till the next time somebody starts slamming into you with abuse, verbal abuse,
and insults. Then you will see whether you have developed the quality of meekness such that you do not respond to that kind of treatment. You simply
look at this person, and you have developed the spiritual quality of the little Irishman who, when he was kicked by a jackass, simply said he
considered the source and let it go at that. When that kind strikes you, you consider the old sin nature source and you let it go at that. That
is spiritual development. That is human viewpoint converted into divine outlook. Human viewpoint thinks that the thing to do when you are
abused is to give an answer. It's to show this person just how wrong he is. The Bible tells you that if you teach a fool, he will turn on you and
Therefore, don't be throwing your pearls before swine. Don't be trying to teach people who are not inviting your instruction. When you think you
have to answer verbal abuse and slander and attacks upon you, it is because you are operating on a human viewpoint. It is because you want the
vengeance to lay it in there. It is because you think this person needs to be told off. You look upon yourself as God's avenging angel. You
look up to heaven and say, "Lord I thank you that I and Joan of Arc have been called to carry your banner and to tell this person where to go."
To be a meek person is not weakness, but that's what human viewpoint thinks. It's because a person has developed spiritually and he possesses
divine outlook that he is able to respond in meekness, which means he forgives; he considers the source; and, he does not strike back. This is
grace orientation in our souls finding expression. We find that we are nothing and Jesus Christ is everything.
So, give people the benefit of the doubt. A meek person is usually quite capable of making a grease spot out of someone who has attacked him.
That's not the point. The point is to treat them as God has treated us which is in grace, the way we didn't deserve to be treated. That's what
a meek person does. The Lord Jesus Christ was a meek person. The Apostle Paul appeals to the Corinthians on this quality, this forgiving and
non-grudge-holding characteristic of the Lord.
He also appeals to them with another word, and that is the gentleness of Jesus Christ: "epeikeia." This word denotes a fairness and a moderation
in our action. It is overt. Here's the way it goes: Meekness is inward. Gentleness here is outward. Meekness describes an inward quality about
the Lord Jesus Christ which we are to seek to emulate, and which is produced by divine viewpoint. Gentleness refers to an outward expression of
conduct which was seen in the Lord Jesus Christ, and which divine viewpoint will reproduce in us. We may call it a "sweet reasonableness" in
dealing with people in such a way that we ourselves are free of mental attitudes sins. We are not bitter. We are not vindictive, and so on. Actions
are not motivated by remembering the injuries people have done to us.
Sometimes people will give you advice, and you can spot it as human
viewpoint advice. They'll tell you to remember what somebody has done to you. Somebody will do something and they'll say, "Now you want to
remember that. You want to remember that." What are they saying? They want you to hold a grudge.
You know that you're dealing with a human viewpoint mentality. A human viewpoint mentality is a brain crawling with worms of deceit and
corruption and self-deception. It is the hardest thing in the world to get over it until you have recognized that that's the condition of
your own mind. You want a sweet reasonableness. The Lord Jesus Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit so he had a mental attitude of grace
orientation and of grace application. He had orientation to grace in meekness, and He had application of grace in gentleness.
The apostle Paul, in this first verse, is actually being sarcastic. In seminary they tell you never to be sarcastic with people. The Apostle
Paul, because he never attended seminary, made this "mistake" here in this first verse. What these people were doing here in Corinth was telling
Paul, "Oh you're a real biggie, Paul, when you write us letters. You really lay it on us." Indeed, he wrote 1 Corinthians, and boy, he skinned them
alive. He just nailed them to the wall because of the sin, the conduct, and the carnality that was going on in that church in Corinth. There were
people in that church who were saying. "Oh yeah he's a big man with words, but when he's with us he's nothing but a little mouse. He's really
mousy. He doesn't look very good." We seem to have indicated in Scripture that Paul was not much to look. Furthermore, he apparently was not much
of a speaker either. Both these things seem to be suggested in various places about him. Therefore, he would seem to hardly have the qualities
which people would expect in a public speaker.
Nevertheless, Paul is sarcastic, and that's what he's referring to. He says, "Now, I, Paul, myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness
of Christ." I'm appealing to you on the basis of qualities in the Lord that you cannot deny. Then he refers to himself: who. With the word "who,"
he's referring to himself again: "who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you." He was saying, "Do you remember me
fellows? I'm Paul, the guy you called a mouse when I'm there among you. But a bold lion when I'm away and I can write letters to you." He's being
sarcastic, and they get the point. It is a cutting remark. What they had done is accused Paul of walking in the old sin nature--accused him of
walking in the flesh. Verse 2 says, "But I beseech you, that I may not be bold with you when I am present with that confidence, with which I
think to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh." Some of these people were saying the apostle Paul was
just walking according to the old sin nature. The reason he talks to us so roughly is because he is operating in the flesh. He is just an arrogant
character, and they had all kinds of slanderous things to say about him.
Paul says, "I do hope that when I do come among you, I won't have to show you just how tough I can really be in my presence, as well as I was in
my letters to you." But he says, "I'll make one thing clear to you that you can count on. I am going to be bold against some. I'm going to deal
with the trouble makers." Paul, because he was operating as a spiritual leader on divine viewpoint, was accused of being dogmatic in his teaching.
Because he was so dogmatic, because he declared what God thought, without any apologies and without loopholes, they told him that he was arrogant.
However, believers who know Bible doctrine and who apply it to experience have a confidence and a stability, and they are not swayed by talk like
that about a spiritual leader who is opening up God's insights to them in a way that they can confront themselves. A lot of preaching today is
preaching that never permits people to see themselves as God sees them. Thus, we keep kidding one another and we keep treating each other as
members of a mutual admiration society deceiving ourselves into thinking that we are something far different than what we really are.
So, Paul has given a warning here. He is appealing to them not on the basis of himself. They have called him two-faced and a hypocrite, but the
truth of the matter is that Paul was operating on divine viewpoint. He had this meekness that Christ had in his inward attitude. He had this
gentleness that Christ had in his outward conduct. But the Corinthians, when they saw it, called it groveling, slavish, and weak. Paul says, "When
I come, you will find that I am not groveling; I am not slavish; nor, am I weak. In verses 3 and 4, we have the technique of Paul's battles. Paul
says in verse 3, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh." He's explaining to them how he's going to deal with them when
he does arrive on the scene. Paul is standing up to the opponents of divine viewpoint in the Corinthian church. The fact that he does this, he
points out, is not carnality. He says, "When I call you down for your wrongdoing, I'm not being carnal. I'm not trying to pretend I'm good
and that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm not trying to suggest that I don't need the same doctrine for my soul that I teach you for your soul."
Paul lives in a flesh body, he says. But his weapons in the angelic conflict are not the carnal weapons of the old nature. It's a mental attitude
battle. You don't fight it the way you fight human battles. So, what happens? Well, you don't get two people together and start insulting one
another. You don't get two Christians together and start screaming at each other. You don't go into hysterics. You don't go into accusation and
counter accusation. You don't start talking behind people's back in order to besmirch their character, or to somehow gain a following for your cause
and your viewpoint. All of that is human viewpoint operation. That is carnality. That is the flesh.
Paul says, "I live in a human body. I am on
planet earth. However, I do not deal in spiritual matters according to the way a human being, without the knowledge of God in his human viewpoint,
functions. Paul is so right in what he has said that he has the carnal crowd in Corinth just seething with anger. They're just raging in their human
viewpoint against him. What are they resenting? They're resenting his divine viewpoint. Paul's critics are attacking him and suggesting that he is
acting in a carnal way. They themselves are the ones who were using the techniques of the demon angels. Every one of those people
in the church at Corinth that was criticizing and attacking Paul felt he was serving the Lord. He felt that he was expressing what the Lord wanted
him to do. He felt that he was expressing God's point of view. Remember that. The time that you are very confident that you have arrived at what
God thinks about something, and the time that you think God has called you with great insight to start criticizing some element of leadership in
your local church, you want to think it over again and be sure that you are exactly on the beam with divine viewpoint, and that a big fat piece
of human viewpoint has not clogged up your thinking.
Christians do not fight the world, the old sin nature, and the devil with human devices. You don't fight it with your talents. You don't fight
it with your ingenuity or with your personality. God by grace has given us weapons to destroy spiritual strongholds.
Verse 3 says. "For though we walk in a human body, we do not do spiritual warfare in the angelic conflict after the principles of the old nature.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." Now the word "strongholds" is the Greek
word "ochuroma." This word means "a fortress." It's a very descriptive word that God the Holy Spirit used here. It is the fortress of human
viewpoint that we're speaking of in this context. Bible doctrine is the sword of the Spirit. That is the weapon that we have with which to destroy
spiritual strongholds, or a fortress--to pull it down, to demolish it stone by stone. Christians fight with attitudes which reflect the divine
viewpoint in their minds.
The greatest weapon that you and I have in life is what we think. A pattern of human viewpoint is subject to Satan's manipulation and to spiritual
defeat. A Christian with a knowledge of doctrine who applies that doctrine in his experience has divine viewpoint, and that person will not be
defeated. That Christian will enjoy victories. He will be mighty through God. That promise is fantastic--that God can make you mighty to be able to
pull down what the demon angels are building up. God is telling you that he will enable you to tear down what the demon angels are able to build
up within your life and the lives of other people that you are able to influence.
However, here's one thing you must remember: People that you may seek to bring divine viewpoint to will not always receive that viewpoint. I find
that it is generally for this reason: People who have a deep loyalty to an ideology will not be changed by doctrine. Very frequently people say,
"How can the communists keep going on in that dream world that they live in when it is so evident, for example, that communism (or the step to
communism--socialism) cannot feed people. There is not a communist system of government in the world today which can produce enough food to feed
its people. As a matter of fact, starvation is inherent in socialism. Famine is always part of socialism, and there is no way that you can get
around it. That's for the simple reason that socialism destroys personal private initiative. Private initiative is a God-given quality, and when
it is destroyed, then people do not put themselves out to produce food. Therefore communist countries, socialist countries, are forever coming
over here to the free enterprise system of the capitalist nations to get food, and we're dumb enough to sell it to them. We're dumb enough to take
the pressure off of communist countries by selling them food.
Now, you would say, "Why don't the communists wake up to the fact that their system does not work?" Well, because they are dedicated to the ideology
of socialism, to the ideology of communism. Therefore, your facts are not going to change their mind. You will discover when you speak to people
who have become enmeshed in cults that they are loyal to the ideology of that cult. You can go ahead and waste your time, and you could go ahead
and exhaust yourself in trying to bring enlightenment to this person who is enmeshed in that cult and its ideologies. However, I'll tell you that
you better expect that in almost every case, you make exactly zero progress no matter how great and how effective and how irrefutable a case you
have built against that ideology. Your doctrine will not change that person's viewpoint.
So the greatest weapon that a Christian has is what he thinks. However, what you think is also the greatest disaster that you possess. If you
have sold yourself to a false concept, to the human viewpoint outlook, that is the worst thing that has happened to you. But if you have sold
yourself in loyalty to God's viewpoint, then that is the greatest thing that has happened to you. What a person thinks is more important than
what he does.
In verses 5 and 6, we have the objective of Paul's battles. He is going to deal with these people with divine viewpoint methods. He's not going
to approach them with the human viewpoint techniques that they have directed against him. He points out that God has enabled the believer to
have something which will tear down the human viewpoint fortress--pulling it down and demolishing it. The objective is stated in verse 5: "Casting
down imaginations." The word casting down in the Greek looks like this: "kathaireo." "Kathaireo" means to pull something down by force--literally,
to charge it, to storm it, and to tear it down. However, it is not by the force of human capacities, as we have seen in verse 4, but by God's
capacities that he provides in the form of divine viewpoint. It is in the present tense which means that we are able constantly to cast this
down. It is active, meaning that the believer chooses to do this. It is a participle which means that it is stating here a principle. And, what
we cast down is called a "logismos." "Logismos" means imaginations. The word refers to contemplation of an action as the results of your frame
of reference. This word is what you sit and you think in your mind, and as you think, you contemplate an action. The action that you are
contemplating is called a "logismos." You haven't moved into action yet. From your frame of reference, you come to a viewpoint. A viewpoint has
been formed, and you're going to take an action. This refers, at this point, to a human viewpoint which resists divine guidance. The "logismos"
here is human viewpoint outlook.
The natural human mind is a pathetic mass of smug arrogant misconceptions. These are imaginations which are
unrelated to reality. The problems in life are approached by most people with human viewpoint directed responses. Human viewpoint is, in effect,
daydreaming. It's the lack of reality. It results in constant defeats when you come up against temptations. Why are you defeated in temptation?
Because you've met it with human viewpoint. Why are you defeated in business? Because you've met it with human viewpoint. Why are you defeated
in your marriage--subhuman conduct in your marriage? Because you're approaching it with human viewpoint outlook. Why are you having conflicts
within the home in the guidance of your children--rebellion, rather than subjection to authority? Because you approached it with human viewpoint
outlooks. In social areas of your life, the defeats that you have are human viewpoint outlooks. Every one of these is a destructive force. Every
one of these will destroy areas of your life. Human viewpoint is daydreaming. It is out of touch with reality.
Our government today operates on
daydreams. Our government is going to have a conference here the end of this month. Out of that conference, they're going to evolve a plan to
stop inflation. Daydreams. They come up with human viewpoint solutions. You just watch what beautiful human viewpoint solutions are going to come
out of the conference of the best economic brains in this country as they gather together. The solutions they provide to the problems of society
only make the problem get worse. Human viewpoint leads a person to think that a solution to a problem is a change. How many times has somebody come
up to you and said, "You know, I think I know how to meet your problem. You need a change." You're not getting along at work, are you? The boss
hates you. You hate the secretary. The secretary hates the delivery boy. Everybody hates everybody else. What you need is a change. Get another
job. So, you get another job. The first day you meet the boss, you loathe him. What did you improve? Nothing.
You have trouble in your marriage. Here's a man who doesn't have the capacity to fulfill his role in marriage. Here's a woman that doesn't
have the capacity to respond in subjection to her role in marriage. It gets pretty tiresome, the society of weirdos that we have, of people
getting married who don't know the first thing about it. Pathetic creatures who tie themselves to one another within the four walls of a house
who don't know the first thing about what they're entering into. So, they get into a marriage situation. They're acting as subhuman. What's
the solution? Get a divorce. What you need is a change. What you need is a separation. What you need is to find somebody else. Then your problem
will be solved. That's human viewpoint. Do you know what the Bible says about divorce? God, in his words, says, "I hate divorce." Period--in so
many words. But human viewpoint comes along and says, "That's the solution. You'll be happier once you have made a change."
Or, you can't get along where you live, so you get yourself another neighborhood. A change. It goes on and on. This is human viewpoint solution.
You don't like the church you're going to. Change to another church. Oh, that'll get you right on the beam with the Lord, just like that. Just
make a change. These are human viewpoint responses. If your life is an experience of hysterics; if your life is an experience of abusing people;
if your life is an experience of using muscle on people; if your life is an experience of crying about yourself and pitying yourself; if your life
is a matter of snarling over your material bones that are so dear to you; if your life is being moody--being an up and down character; if you
operate on threatening people; or, if you operate on hostility to people, these are all the result of thinking human viewpoint.
And don't forget that hostility comes in two kinds. Hostility is getting out there and giving somebody a verbal tearing up, or even a physical
chopping down. Or, it can be hostility in its worst kind, where you give them the silent treatment. You convey to the individual that you are
apathetic toward them. If you're operating in fear (and this is an age conducive to fear), if you want to go along in your worries, just keep
operating on human viewpoint because this is what human viewpoint produces. It is the most gross horrifying unbelievable thing that people will
tolerate and most people don't know where all this stuff is coming from in their lives. Nobody has ever alerted them to the fact that God can
transform your thinking. As Romans 12:2 says, it's "by an internal change."
So, in this verse Paul says, "I'm going to cast down, I'm going to tear down imaginations, these fortresses, stone by stone. I'm going to tear
down these strongholds and I'm going to cast down these imaginations--these human viewpoints solutions and outlook. I'm going to tear down every
high thing--this which refers here to reasonings, lifted up in antagonistic exultation against divine viewpoint--every high thing that exalts
itself against the knowledge of God." This world "exalt" means to lift itself up in pride. Human viewpoint is always an arrogant expression
against divine viewpoint, and he identifies what it is that human viewpoint strikes against. It strikes against, he says, the knowledge of God.
There's our old word "gnosis". It strikes against doctrine. It is the gnosis which forms the divine viewpoint in the mentality of a Christian
that human viewpoint is striking against. It's a spiritual knowledge which finds expression in our experience. It is the gnosis of God. It is
that which has come to us from the Word of God.
Now, you can see why Satan badmouths and belittles the teaching of doctrine--why he tells churches that they must be engaged in all kinds of
things except the primary thing of running classes in Bible for its people. That's what God has called us to do. This is because when we have
done this for people; when we have taken in God's viewpoint; and, when we have learned the Word of God and gone and positive to it and stored it in our
human spirit so that it's gnosis, then we have the capacity "to bring into captivity." The word is "aichmalotizo." "Aichmalotizo" means to make
a prisoner. It simply means to bring into subjection. In the angelic warfare, the only thing about you and me as believers that should be
captured is our minds being captured by divine viewpoint. When our minds are in captivity to divine viewpoint, we will be able to bring in
subjection the human viewpoint of the world that's directed against us.
The idea here is to subjugate our thinking to Christ and to lead our thoughts captive to him. This is present tense. It's a constant subjection
to divine viewpoint. It is active voice which means that you as a believer decide to do it or not to do it. It's participial, meaning a statement of
spiritual life, so that every fact is brought into captivity. Then it says "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ," and the
word "thought" is "noema," and that means purpose. Every purpose of your thinking is brought into captivity to Christ, "to the obedience of Christ."
And the word "obedience" is the Greek word "hupakoe." "Hupakoe" comes from "hupo" which means under, and from "akouo" which means "to hear." So,
it means to hear under, that is, to obey, what God has said; to obey what the Lord Jesus Christ has said; and, to obey what is the mind of Christ.
There is no other way to neutralize human viewpoint disorientation except to replace it with this divine viewpoint outlook.
A Christian is going to meet the frustrations of life with either human or divine viewpoint. His frustrations are caused because of human
viewpoint to begin with. We respond to every bitter situation in life with a dream world reaction, or we respond with reality of divine
viewpoint. The battle, we are told, in the Christian life is the Lord's (1 Samuel 17:47, Exodus 14:13-14). But that battle is the Lord's as we
function on divine viewpoint, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. All mental attitudes should be in subjection to
him. That requires the mind to be saturated with Bible doctrine so that you can apply it to everyday situations. If you resort to a dream world
to solve your problem, after all is said and done, you're still going to be in the dream world. You can create years of misery by applying human
viewpoint solutions to your circumstances; to your relationships with people; and, to the details of your life.
The next time somebody hurts you, take care which viewpoint you respond with. The next time you don't have something you want, take care which
viewpoint you respond with. The next time you discover that nobody loves you, which for most of us should be quite understandable, take care with
what viewpoint you respond to that revelation.
There's one more verse. Verse 6 says, "And having a readiness to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled." Paul says that when
your obedience is fulfilled (that is, toward him--he's talking to the Corinthians again), he says, "I'm going to have a readiness to punish all
disobedience until your subjection to my authority as a minister of God is fulfilled. This is not because Paul was something, but because what
Paul stood for was divine viewpoint. There is no substitute for obedience to divine viewpoint when your obedience is fulfilled. People who
want to operate on divine viewpoint have a stability. When you develop that stability, one of the things people will say about you is that you
have a thick hide. What they mean is that you've got such a strong divine viewpoint outlook that you're not able to be collapsed by human
viewpoint attacks. People are no problem to us if we have a divine viewpoint mentality. We are constantly being threatened by people in one way
or another that divine viewpoint is able to take in stride. The stronger our mental attitude divine viewpoint, the more attentive we will be to
the teaching of the Word of God. We want to know what God thinks because that's the place of happiness. It develops a winsome inner quality. It
shows in a stable life. It creates confidence on the part of people in us. It makes us usable in evangelism. It makes us prayer warriors. There
is no one who can learn too much divine viewpoint.
Christians should be ready to counter, as Paul says in verse 6 that he is ready to counter, the sloppy human viewpoint thinking that is all
about us. Here's the principle summarized of which we've been speaking: The Christian way of life is not a group of outward activities or
behavior patterns, but rather what we think first of all. If our thinking reflects divine viewpoint, our actions will glorify God. The
following of human viewpoint will destroy all fellowship with God and will prevent the production of divine good for eternal rewards.
You and I have a great deal at stake now in happiness; now in blessing upon ourselves, our family, our wives or husbands, and our children; and,
now in blessing as a church. We have eternal rewards at stake in eternity all riding on whether we function on divine viewpoint or human viewpoint.
It is the will of God that we should be permeated with His outlook in all facets of our lives, and that we apply it to experience. That's our
calling. May that be our performance.
We thank God for the instruction that He has given us throughout the Word. We have realized that it is not what we do that counts primarily,
but it is what we think. When we find that we really loathe ourselves for what we are, for what we think, and for what we do, we recognize
that that's the result of human viewpoint outlook that we have tolerated. We know that there is always a way back. Therefore, we ask of the
Father to meet the needs that only each of us in the depths of our own minds know about ourselves right now. May divine viewpoint become the
pattern of our lives.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1973
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