2 Corinthians 5:11-21
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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 people’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[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
“Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come!”
It’s one of those pivotal verses. God’s first act of creation was extraordinary. Now the break between my old separated self and my new reconciled self is so profound that I’m now a whole new work of creation.
But it’s not a new me that is just like the old me. The new me is no longer separated from God, I’m reconciled with him. The new me lives for Christ (not myself). The new me has been entrusted with the good news and a part to play in bringing back people who are still separated.
I love how it describes it as the “task of reconciling people to him” in the NLT (“ministry of reconciliation” in NIV). It’s “bring people back” (here in the NIRV), but with the aspect of healing the relationship, healing what’s broken, healing what hurts.
I think of when I was small and I was always keen for my mum to “put a band aid on it” if I hurt myself. Then it would be safe from being poked (ouch) to get the dirt out; safe from the antiseptic (ouch again). I understand that people who are separated from God may not want that injured relationship touched, but that infected wound to their lives will only be whole if Jesus is allowed to touch it.
Father, I can barely express how grateful I am to you for remaking me in right relationship with you. But please give me words, and insights, and courage, and sensitivity to express it to those who are still separated.
Written by David Cornell