S (Scripture): 2 Corinthians 5:17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come! 5:18 And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 5:19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. 5:20 Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us.
O (Observation): Paul makes a very powerful move here: God has been reconciling with all believers, in Christ, EVEN WHILE THEY WERE STEEPED IN SIN!!!! That’s God’s way of forgiveness. And all people can be recipients of this forgiveness.
And Paul reminds them that they carry on that same type of forgiveness into the rest of the world, as ambassadors for Christ.
In a sense, God is continually wiping the slate clean, so that all believers can then pass on that forgiveness with others.
A (Application): If John 3:16 is the Gospel in miniature, I’d have to say that 2 Cor 5:17 is a close 2nd.
These words of Paul’s sit at the core of my understanding of what it means to be a Christian in the world. I’m forgiven and I’m called to go and forgive others. Did I deserve that forgiveness? Do others deserve forgiveness? He** no! Do I receive it? You betcha! Do others receive it? I hope so.
In the Covenant side of things, a Relationship is established/restored. On the Kingdom side, we are to go and bring reconciliation into the world. That’s our Responsibility.
These verses remind us that reconciliation is at the core of our being as Christians in the world. That impacts how we interact with non-believers or those who believe differently.
Some think this is pure weakness, to forgive others unconditionally. That it can somehow cheapen God’s grace. Well…perhaps they’ve never needed forgiveness. But I know I need forgiveness…and daily, at that.
What has life been like for you to know that God has been reconciling with you, even while you are steeped in sin? How have you carried forth the ministry of reconciliation in your life? Have you been called to mend any broken relationships in the past?
P (Prayer): Lord, you amaze me. The grace I receive from you fuels me to go and live freely, with no burden. Help me to find ways to bring about new and renewed relationships wherever I am called. Amen.