Focal passage: 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2
I have been hard at work trying to refurbish a 14-foot fiberglass boat that I got from a friend.
It was broken down and in need of repair. I have been doing work on the hull, sanding, shaping and so on. The reality is, however, when I get done, I am going to have my same old “Jon boat,” with a little bit of plywood, fiberglass and epoxy added to it.
Many people act like becoming a Christian is simply God doing a little spiritual sanding and shaping on them.
Their idea is, “I wasn’t too bad, but needed a little work. God is taking off my rough edges.”
That is not what the Bible says.
The scripture says I was dead in my trespasses and sin, and that my sin separated me from God.
Here Paul argues that those who come to Jesus by faith – those who are “in Christ” – are reconciled to God.
That means the breach that existed between God and us has been removed through Christ.
Further, we are not just our old selves with a little spiritual filler and paint added. Paul says we have become new creations – the old is gone and the new has come.
It is amazing that God would reconcile us to Himself in that way. But, there is something more amazing still.
He now desires to use us in His mission.
Paul says God has given us the message of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation. God is not only at work in us, but also desires to accomplish His reconciling work through us as we live as new creations, ambassadors of Christ.
We aren’t just patched up; we are new in Christ. Our lives should look different than they once did. We have been given a new mission and ministry – the ministry of reconciliation.
We are God’s mouthpiece to a deaf and dying world. As Paul says, it is as though God is pleading with men through us to be reconciled to Him.
By the power of His Spirit, may we live out this new lifestyle and new ministry for His glory.