Hi everyone, Rob here. In 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 Paul writes some radical words:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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 people’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.
There’s a big message in here about how we partner with God in the work of his kingdom. Here are a few observations:
1. It starts with identity. In Christ we have become new creations; that is our hearts have been made new. We are no longer identified as sinners but as children of God and intimate allies of the King.
2. It is God who initiated and carried out the reconciliation between us and him through Christ. By sending his Son, God was saying a big and hearty YES to humanity and his creation, including you and me.
3. Like any good Father he passes on his heart for reconciliation to his kids. He invites us to take on board what was done for us through Christ, releasing us from the chains of sin, and bringing us home to him and then invite others to take it on board too.
4. Not only are we children we are ambassadors. We are representatives of Christ our king. We convey his message of reconciliation to the world and we are given every means to do so. We are given the Holy Spirit, Scripture, a church family, and new hearts that are forgiven and free.
5. The message isn’t always received with gladness, nor do we always communicate it with clarity and grace. We are not exempt from suffering just as Christ himself wasn’t. But that doesn’t change who we are or who we represent. It doesn’t change the radical free gift being offered by the Father; that our sins are not counted against us, there is no barrier anymore to us coming home. It’s just a case of whether we want to.
God gives us enormous responsibility. Just as children were meant to take over the running of the estate our final destiny is that we are given the kingdom and we will reign forever and ever as Revelation 22:5 tells us. But it starts with accepting and believing that we are now children of God, loved by the Father, rescued by the Son, filled with the Spirit so that we may represent our King and our Kingdom well.