2 Corinthians 5:16-21
5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.
5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;
5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.
5:20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
When I was in elementary school, each of us had an assigned task to help keep the classroom tidy and clean. One of my tasks was cleaning off the desks every day and making sure the tops were shiny and new for the next day. There were some days when it was not so bad and other days depending on who had what for lunch that it got to be a somewhat messy and smelly job. One day, I was faced with the fate of having to clean up another students vomit that had been a result of food poisoning. The desk itself was stained, smelly and just plain gross. I thought to myself that getting it cleaned up was going to be an impossible task. However with the help of Mr. Cleans stain remover and lemon scented spray, I had it all cleaned and smelling nice again. Once the desk was clean it looked good as new.
What an amazing promise to know that at the time of conversion we are made new! Our sin is no more and our past is forgotten. In the eyes of a loving God our sin has been erased and we are free to star off fresh and are declared righteous.All this was done through the working power of Jesus Christ. He died for our sin so that we did not have to. He was completely without any sin and was made the example of what punishment for sin looks like. It was a brutal and painful death and we were the ones who deserved it. This was done out of God’s unfailing love for each and every one of us. Our hearts are wiped clean and we are given a chance to live a new life. This is does not mean that we are suddenly free of the capability to sin, however it does mean that we now have a God who can strengthen and guide us to choose not to sin in times of temptation.
In keeping with yesterday’s theme of forgiveness and reconciliation, our passage today is explaining another facet of this reconciliation with God. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 Paul says,
So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Cor 5:20)
This gift of new life we receive is not just for our own selves. When we become part of the body of Christ we must realize that we are now part of something bigger than our own existence. We are carrying the flag for God and His grace to the world. We have become a conduit for the gospel.
Therefore, we must “regard no one from a human point of view” as Paul says. We are a new creature in Christ we must do away with out old selves.
[Featured image from mybible.com]