Summary: Christ has reconciled us to God in such an amazing way - not so that we can sit & feel good but so that we might be ambassadors of Christ
‘We’re Christ’s representatives, God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their defences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now.’
Today I want us to follow Paul’s line of thought in this passage, to allow God’s Spirit to speak to us and bless our hearts and challenge us afresh with our mission in His name.
Paul uses some wonderful language for us and our task, great emotive language of reconciliation and ambassadorial roles. I long to see us fired by the same dream for the communities God has called us to serve so lets get stuck into the scripture - follow if you wish.
2 Corinthians 5: 17
For Paul here the foundation to our status as Christian is that we are new people on the inside because of the work God has done and the commitment we have offered Jesus. For Paul this is about being new creations; John called it being born again. If that miracle has happened to us, whether over period of time a sort of seamless progression, or as a stark conversion experience, we are now new on the inside. If that has never happened to you then you can allow it to take place simply by asking Jesus to come and live within you and committing yourself to follow Him. Share that you have done this with me or a member of the Church family you trust and you are in the family! We all need to be born again, and a chance for you to do that is before you now.
You, we are not reformed or rehabilitated or re-educated. God has worked afresh, He has recreated. Being a new creation is not about us deciding to turn over a new leaf but about us allowing God to plant new life within us, and our co-operation with him in this work of grace.
I wonder have ever allowed God make that change in you, or have been like those who have forever been on a journey of turning over fresh leaves? This message will only apply to you and me once we have accepted Jesus as Lord and begun our journey with Him. So if you have done that lets move.
Paul sees this new birth as 100% work of God who reconciled us to himself through Christ. Our sins have been blotted out by Christ’s life, death, and resurrection – this is all about God, all about grace. And because of this we are no longer enemies or strangers but sons and daughters of the living God. Alleluia! We could stop there couldn’t we, countless Christians have so why not us?
The reason it is a scandal to stop there is that this is only half the story, the rest of this message is about our task, our responsibility in this Kingdom of grace. God calls us all to be ’committed to us this message of reconciliation’. Our calling is to be God’s hands, feet and mouth on the earth. To bring to those we are called to serve the same grace and love and peace we have found in Christ. In short to be ambassadors - v 20. I can’t help thinking of that awful advert for Ferro Roche!
But seriously an ambassador is an official representative of one country to another, and that is our role. A role we are well placed to fulfill since we are not only members of the Kingdom of God, we used to be members of the Kingdom of this world.