(Part 61)


June 13, 2015

Today’s reading:  2 Corinthians 5:14-21

What a wonderful work God as given us, in allowing us to become witnesses to Jesus in task of evangelization. In this work we are to give our all. Why?

First, “the love of Christ impels us” (v. 5:14a). We love Jesus for who he is and for what he has done for us. If we love somebody, we want to please that person and do whatever we can for that person. Well, Jesus sends us forth to proclaim the gospel. If we love, we obey, and do so joyfully.

Second, because of what happens to people as they accept Christ. “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation” (v. 5:17a). People do not have to remain as their old sinful selves, living in the darkness of the world. They no longer need to be ruled by the flesh and the devil. Jesus brings freedom. In Christ “the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” (v. 5:17b).

Third, out of gratitude and obedience. “And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (v. 5:18). We too once were lost but now are found. We know the great joy of being reconciled with God. We know that only Jesus is the answer. We must want to share Christ with many others.

Fourth, due to the great privilege accorded us. God is “entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.” (v. 5:19c-20a). God is entrusting His divine work to us! That is utterly amazing. God is making Himself dependent upon us and upon our response. If we act, then many can be reconciled to God. If we do not, then many will continue to die in their sins. God wants all to be saved, but God appeals to them through us! We represent God! We speak on His behalf, as ambassadors!

What then constitutes our work?

First, to bring people to Christ. We help bring them to repentance and faith in Jesus. “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (v. 5:20b). People need to be brought, someway somehow, into a situation where they can meet Christ and begin to enter into a deep, intimate, personal relationship with him.

Second, to help provide the foundation by which they can live Christ, that is, a life of holiness and discipleship. The aim is “that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (v. 5:21b). We are to be holy as God is holy. The aim is “that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (v. 5:15b). We are to follow Jesus as our Master and Lord, and turn our lives over to his care and direction.

Thank you, Lord, for the great privilege. Let us then go forth and share Christ with many others.

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