Some Amazing Truths
Sometimes, when I listen to a sermon, it’s like God reaches out and impresses something that is said onto my heart that keeps resurfacing for the rest of the week. Most recently it was a comment Ted Brush made in his sermon last Sunday when he quoted from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (have a read!). I’ve long been familiar with this Scripture but his quoting of it last week stirred me to revisit it again – to meditate on its glorious truths. It’s a brilliant passage! Let me share some encouragements that God has put on my heart since reflecting on it.
In Christ, we are new Creations (5:17)
Sometimes we can hear something so many times that the effect it should have on us, sadly wears off. But this is an incredible truth which Paul declares to be true of every believer. We are New Creations! The language of creation draws the mind back to Genesis when God started his Creation work – forming, filling, and fashioning all He had made. And now Paul says, for all of those who are in Christ, God has done it again by the work of His Spirit within us! The Christian life is a fresh start that comes with a new identity, new desires, and a new hope that what God has started in us, He will carry to completion on the Day of Christ.
In Christ, God doesn’t count our sins against us (5:19)
I’ll be honest, it was this part that struck me the most last weekend. Hearing once again the wonderous truth of being freed from sin is just marvellous, isn’t it? Our God knows and sees all things. Even those shameful sins of our past, which we have kept hidden and try to forget ourselves, haven’t escaped God’s glance. And yet in Christ, God cancels our debt, forgives our sins, and washes us clean. This is how we can enjoy the reality of being reconciled with God, such that we can call him our Father. And Vs 21 tells us this was not because we made ourselves right but because “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us”. It was Jesus’ precious blood that has secured our righteous status with God.
In Christ, God has given us a ministry of reconciliation (5:19-20)
We are not only forgiven by God, not only reconciled with God, but we have been granted the privilege of speaking and acting on behalf of God. In a very real way, Christians can say to anyone they meet “God wants you to be reconciled with Him”. Or, as Paul puts it, “Be reconciled to God!”. How incredible to consider oneself a conduit of God’s light and truth to this dark world! How astonishing that He’d use men and women, broken vessels, like us to be His “ambassadors” through whom He’d declares his glorious good news! Evangelism, then, isn’t just our obligation as servants of Christ, it is our privilege! It is an immense privilege to be part of God’s work of reconciliation!
May God ever renew our joy in what He has done for us, and strengthen us to declare his promise of reconciliation through Christ our Lord!
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2Cor 5:17-21
Your brother in Christ Craig Stalder