(2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
Reconciliation is an interesting word and process. It is used in many different senses, but in all cases it means the same things.
Reconciled to God
Reconciliation is a process of coming together to bring two (or more) things into alignment and into balance. In business we see accountants who reconcile accounts to ensure the finances of the business balance. In the home we see people reconcile their checking accounts to make sure their home finances balance. In relationships they go out of balance, the process of reconciliation is necessary to restore the broken relationship.
And what we see here in the Bible is where God is bringing balance and alignment back between himself and mankind to restore the relationship that has been broken through sin. It is the active working of God’s grace that enables man to be reconciled to God and God has given us this ministry so that we can come to the place where we stand before Him righteous.
“18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
“ 17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”
A New Creation
One of the most fundamental teachings of Christianity is that in Christ we are born again as a new creation in Him.
Christianity is about a journey. It’s about finding the way to God through Jesus Christ. And every journey starts with a beginning; a first step.
In Jesus Christ we start that journey through repenting and seeking Jesus Christ as our Saviour. As we then walk with Him we go through the processes that re-create us out of the image of mankind, bound under sin, and into the image of Jesus Christ who is the image of perfection; the image of God. It is in that process of re-creation that we are born again as a new creation. So let us look at this new creation and the process of being made a new creation in Jesus Christ.
(2 Corinthians 5:16)
Point of view is a powerful thing. Every person on earth assembles their knowledge of what is happening around them according to a unique and individual point of view.
What is Your Point of View?
Our unique points of view are being molded from the day we are born, and often take a long time to become fully established in our own minds. In some cases, they are very quickly determined, especially where harm may occur. Most people quickly learn and develop a point of view that if you touch something hot (fire, boiling water, etc.) that you will get burned. And since it is an unpleasant experience, our point of view very quickly becomes one where we avoid touching those things that will harm us.
But when it comes to more abstract matters, we may take a lot longer to develop a point of view. Our thoughts on matters of politics, good versus evil, morality, prejudice, artistic endeavor, and so on will take time to solidify in our thinking minds. It is easy to go along with the crowd, but there will come a time when we have to make a stand in our own mind and decide for ourselves; where we have to have a decided and thought out point of view.
Nowhere is this more evident in our point of view regarding religious belief, and especially as it pertains to the person and nature of Jesus Christ.
(2 Corinthians 5:13-15)
The concept of these couple scriptures saying that the love of Christ controls us is both fascinating and powerful.
The Love of Christ Controls Us
One of the basic desires people have is the desire to be in control. You hear it in everyday conversations as well as in the media. People talk about things getting out of control, wanting to get things under control and so on. Media commentators, and in particular the political opposition parties speak about how the government is out of control, politicians out of control, situations spiraling out of control and so on.
Having control and being in control is a big thing for people, which is why this particular scripture is so fascinating because it points to the need for us to relinquish control and to be controlled by someone else. Specifically, to be under the control of the love of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 5:11-12)
In this world, position means everything. Position is power and people seek the power of positions to further their own goals, whether that is to gain money, credibility, authority or to help others.
It’s not about position
In this world it is all about position. But in Christ, it’s not about position, as Paul spoke of in these few verses. He said,
“11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men; but what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to be proud of us, so that you may be able to answer those who pride themselves on a man’s position and not on his heart.”
(2 Corinthians 5:8-10)
It goes without saying that our desire as Christians is to please Christ. It is Christ that we serve and the work of a servant is to please the one who he or she serves.
These few verses show us the importance of pleasing Christ. It is important not only just for this life, but for the eternity we all seek with Christ Jesus.
It is by living IN Christ and walking with Him that we will receive the promise of eternity. So the question that immediately comes to mind is, “How do we please Christ?”
(2 Corinthians 5:6-7)
There is a blindness on the people of this world that causes them not to see the truth of God. They demand proof that can be seen and measured scientifically before they will accept the truth of any matter. They say that “Seeing is believing.” But in Christ we learn the opposite is true, as Paul wrote in these verses, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
We walk by faith, not by sight
The truth of God and His ways cannot be approached from a physical point of view. God is spirit and so we must approach Him and His kingdom through the spirit. You cannot see or measure the things of the spirit because they are not physical. So physical measures do not work.
“Seeing is believing” will not work for the things of the spirit. And even though there are many things that can be seen, the blindness of the people of the world who are unbelievers refuse to see and accept that these things are from God. They reject the spirit because they reject anything they do not and cannot understand.
(2 Corinthians 5:1-5)
In my last post I wrote about why Christians get sick. The key to understanding that is knowing that this Christian walk is not about the flesh but about the spirit. The work that is going on in us is a spiritual work. The flesh is of no avail.
The Spirit as Guarantee
In this section of scripture today, Paul extends this understanding and shows that God helps us in our walk by giving us the Spirit as guarantee of His help in our salvation.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit in us to transform us into the image of God. This is why God gave us the Holy Spirit. But let us consider the words Paul has written here and how the spirit as guarantee helps us.
(2 Corinthians 4:13-18)
We talk a lot about sickness and healing in church as Christians. And the bible shows HEAPS of examples where the Lord and the apostles walked amongst the people healing the sick. So it raises the question today, why do Christians get sick?
Why do Christians get sick?
I see churches who run healing meetings at and I must say I sometimes have a bit of a laugh about it. A sign out the front of the church that says, “Come and Be Healed…7:00 – 9:00 AM Tuesday’s” or something like that. It always sounds to me like, if you don’t turn up then, you won’t get your healing.
But it does raise a good question when we look at all those healings in the bible and yet we don’t seem to see them today. Well, this scripture today should give us some comfort and help explain why this is the way it is, and we will look at what the Lord has provided for those who do get ill.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-12)
Anyone who has faith will never doubt the power of God to protect and save. The examples in the bible are numerous where God has exercised His power to prevent calamity and death among His people. Paul recognized this power and shows us how the people of God are unbreakable in God's power.
Jars of clay - Unbreakable in God's Power
These few verses are testimony to the depth of the power of God and how it works within us to protect and save. We are shown that even in the fragility of the human condition, and the weakness of our flesh, we become unbreakable.
This is testimony also to how we are being watched by God. It does not mean we will not go through troubles, trials and tribulations. Rather, He oversees all aspects of our lives so that we are not taken beyond our abilities to handle any crisis that may arise.