29 June 2018

2 Corinthians 5

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.

2 Corinthians 5:20

Have you ever felt so desperate for someone to come to faith in Christ that you wanted to get on your knees and beg them to accept God’s gift of salvation? At the end of an evangelism course for teenagers, I remember very clearly wanting to shake the students out of their apathy. After weeks of sharing the gospel message with them and looking at Mark’s account of the life of Jesus, most of the group still seemed disinterested. It was disheartening and almost devastating to see that they would ignore God’s outstretched hand of reconciliation.

I felt a bit like Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:20. Having shared with the Corinthian believers that the physical body and this life are not the end for us, but that we await something far greater in Heaven, Paul now exhorts them to be ministers of reconciliation. As Paul Barnett points out in his commentary, Paul uses emotional language here: words like ‘appeal’, ‘compel’, and ‘be reconciled’. The price paid for this reconciliation was so great that Paul wants the Corinthian believers to see their privileged responsibility – to not bask in their status before God, but to take the message of reconciliation to others. Through no merit of their own, Christ became sin and took the fullness of their debt to God on Himself. How much more then should they (and we) take that good news to others! We are no longer objects of God’s wrath. We are the righteousness of God to a world whose sins are still counted against them (verse 19). We are fully redeemed, fully forgiven, and fully righteous in Christ. This news is too great to keep to ourselves!

Dear Lord,
Forgive us for our apathy when it comes to sharing the Good News of Jesus with others. Help us to not see others from a worldly point of view (vs.16), but to see them as You do: destined for Hell because their sins are still counted against them. Help us be faithful ambassadors of the message of reconciliation with You through Jesus Christ.