Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 5-8
Today’s Reflection: 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
In my preferred Bible translation, the English Standard Version (ESV), the section of 2 Corinthians chapter 5 from verse 11 to 21 is titled “The Ministry of Reconciliation”. This concept is essentially the heart of the Gospel, rescuing man from sin’s penalty of death and restoring to him eternal life.
Sin broke the connection between man and God.
Isaiah 59:2 – but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
And God is the source of man’s life.
Acts 17:28 – for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
But because of Jesus life, death and resurrection, those who accept Him as Lord and Saviour are reconciled to God the Father.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
This reconciliation isn’t just a repair of the breach caused by sin, but as today’s reflection text makes clear our reconciliation to God actually transforms us into something new. Something that didn’t exist before. This is why the symbolic ritual of our reconciliation to God through Christ, baptism, is also referred to as being ‘born again’.
Once reborn, we no longer operate under the same rules and principles as the sinful and condemned beings we once were. We are now citizens of the kingdom of God and operate under the principles of this domain. So promises like these apply to us:
John 14:12 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”
Matthew 17:20 – “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
John 14:13-14 – 13) Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14) If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Romans 8:1-2 – 1)There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2) For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Lastly, once becoming reconciled new creatures and citizens of God’s Kingdom, our chief task is to share the ministry of reconciliation with others so they too can repent, be reconciled, be transformed and enter into the eternal Kingdom of God.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 – 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) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore 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.