By Chuck Griffin
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NLT)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Just prior to these words in 2 Corinthians, Paul has been laying out what is sometimes called his “doctrine of reconciliation,” where he says that Christ’s selfless sacrifice on the cross for all people transmits a powerful kind of love.
This love is so powerful that believers find themselves transformed, made into people they could not have been otherwise. I see it as an early stage of resurrection, a beginning of the transformation we are to receive in full one day.
With the transformation comes a shift in perspective. Thanks to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we see the big picture of what God is doing. Jesus came for all the world! It should astonish each of us individually that God cares enough to draw us into his plan.
Our astonishment should be so great that we joyously take on the task of helping others understand what God is doing. “Come back to God!” we should cry to others, in whatever manner we believe to be most effective.
Are we at least thinking about how we lovingly make this offer to those around us? Once we’ve thought about this awhile, are we willing to act?
Do we trust that the new people we have become have a new kind of power—do we trust that we have nothing to fear?
The vitality of Christ’s kingdom around us depends on how we answer these questions.
Lord, renew our sense of wonder about what has been done for us, and may others see you in us. Amen.
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