2Corinthians 5:18-21

 

The verses following "...a new creation":    

        All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  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.  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.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2Corinthians 5:18-21   

All this is from God :  The complete change in us, the new creation of us, one of Spirit and not just of flesh, is the work of God.  No person can take credit for this.  All the glory goes to God alone!  He alone is worthy of our praise and our gratitude for choosing us as His children and for saving us from our own destruction.  

who reconciled us to Himself through Christ: God the Father sent His only Son to die on the cross for our own sins so that we could come close to Him.  You see, a Holy and Righteous God cannot tolerate sin.  Oh sure, He sees it and He knows of it, but He cannot be in the presence of sin.  So He needs us to be clean in our heart, mind, and spirit in order to enter into His presence.  And that is why only a Holy and Perfect Sacrifice could be good enough for us to be clean for His presence and relationship.  It is like this illustration:

        Imagine you and I living in a garbage dump.  God is in his hallowed and holy throne room.  Between us is a large abyss where no one can pass.  God acknowledges our existence, but he cannot accept us.  In enters Jesus Christ.  He is God's perfect Son.  Jesus takes all our garbage onto himself and walks away, to have the garbage never return.  Now suddenly the Holy King and God and totally Good Father that made us now smiles upon us!  Not only can He look at us, but He can grace us with His presence and shine His favor on us,... and He calls us His children!   

         That is how God reconciled us to himself...Jesus took our sins (garbage) on the Cross and died (gave up His spirit), for our sins to never return again!!  However... this is only for those who accept Jesus Christ's death on the cross for their own personal sins!  If we do not accept His free gift salvation, we do not get into a right relationship with God Almighty.

I want to ask God for His gift.  Bring me to Prayer.

and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  reconciliation means "coming together in peace.  Reaching an understanding in love.    re means again, con means with and cile means in unity.  Thus we are in unity again.  Ministry means "serving".  Thus we, who have accepted and received Jesus' free gift of salvation, are in deep intimate and friendship with the Almighty God.  Consequently, we are to serve by passing this peace and friendship with God onto others.  There are three ways we are to do this:

  1. Continue in our friendship with God through reading His Word, the Bible. (Proverbs 3:5 and Psalm 119:11and105) Praying continuously. (1Thessalonians 5:17)  Approaching Him in prayer to hold every thought captive and obedient to Him. (2Corinthians 2:16 and 10:5; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23; Philippians 2:5-11)  And praising Him for all things!  (Psalm 32:11; Romans 8:28 and Philippians 4:4)
  2. Grow in fellowship and worship with other believers in Jesus Christ.1John 1:3,7; Psalm 5:7; Psalm 122:1; 2Cor:3-5; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-13and 1Timothy 4:12.
  3. Be ministers of reconciliation to the un-saved.  While we cannot see inside the hearts (1Samuel 16:7) of people, we are to bring the love of Christ to all through example and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; and Luke 24:48-49)

that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ:  Here we know that God approaches us, in our sins, as we are. He brought us His Son Jesus Christ.  Each person in the entire world is invited to accept and receive Jesus Christ as the atonement for their own personal sins!!  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2Peter 3:9

not counting men's sins against them:    God the Father does not hold your sins against you if you accept His Son Jesus Christ's death on the cross for your own wrong doing.  Jesus took the punishment of the crucifixion as payment for the debt of sins in your own life. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23  Yes, Jesus knew that you would do wrong, and so Jesus Christ went ahead and made a way for your soul to be redeemed.  Jesus' death on the cross purchased your salvation.  The wage, or price for your sins was paid by Jesus Christ.

And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  God Himself has committed us to this message of reconciliation because He has filled us with Himself, the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit inspires us with God's Love to let others know that there is permanent hope and joy ahead for them if they know Jesus Christ, and accept a loving relationship with Him.  Because of our great love for what Jesus Christ has done for us personally, we are committed and promised to pass on this message of reconciliation to everyone we meet.  We may use words to tell others, pray for them, or show that Jesus is alive by our actions.  Jesus did not just die for me, but he died for you.  Jesus Christ did not just die on the cross for you, but also for your parents, your children, your spouse, all of your relatives, and friends and strangers!  What Joy there is in Heaven over one repentant sinner!! (Luke 15:7)  And how great will be our Joy when we celebrate the wedding feast of the Lamb with God in Heaven and with all of those we have loved here on earth!!

We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us: Just as He said before, we are Jesus Christ's spokespersons.  God is inviting all people to Himself through you and me, those of us who know and trust Jesus Christ with our hearts and lives.  The Holy Spirit enables us to do this out of His Love and Joy and Peace.

 We implore you on Christ's behalf:  Be reconciled to God:  You cannot invite others to have a peaceful relationship with God Almighty unless you have a relationship like that yourself.  So, be reconciled to God daily and moment by moment.  After you say the sinner's prayer, you will find that you make mistakes again and again.  After every time, come back to God.  He wants you to turn back to Him!!  Jesus Christ promises to forgive you every time. (Matthew 18:21-22)  If we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. 1John 1:9  If you never ask God to forgive you, it is your own choice to be far from Him and His help.  If you ask sincerely for forgiveness, Jesus will forgive you.  Then ask Him to help you to remain clean!  God will always help you!  (1Corinthians 10:12-13)

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us: God the Father had Jesus Christ carry all of the sins that you and I have ever committed, and will ever commit. Jesus Christ freely chose to carry all of our sins on His cross of punishment because He wants us to live in love with Him and to go to Heaven to be with Him after we die!  God the Father asked His Son to do this for us because God the Father Loves for You and Me!  

so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: If you and I accept God's plan for our life, we will become the righteousness of God.  We will grow Holy.  We will stop sinning. (1John 5:18) We will keep in fellowship with God who is Love.  The Holy Spirit will enable us, teach us, coach us and more! 2Corinthians 5:18-21

Prayer:        "Lord Jesus Christ, you love me. And I know that I have done many wrong things.  I am a sinner.  I believe that You died to take my sins away. Please forgive me of my sins. I am sorry for what I have done.  I give you all of my sins, and I make you Lord of my life, Jesus.  Thank you for making a way for me to have a relationship with God and to go to heaven!  I trust You, Jesus.  Thank you for loving me and thank you for forgiving me!! Lord Jesus, come into my life and take control of my life.  Please give me Your Holy Spirit to live in me and teach me. Please open my mind and heart to Your words in your Bible.  I love you!  Amen."

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