Summary: God urges us to be reconciled through Jesus Christ! We can only be brought to peace with God through His Son Jesus. Let's commit our lives to Him and be brought to peace with God.
14 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
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.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Illustration/Intro: Seeking out Something New
All have died, speaking of spiritual death
-----1 John 3:4
We weren't created to live just for ourselves!
-----Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
----------We need God's help!
----------God created us to know and enjoy Him, His creation, and the life He has given us
Many live to enjoy experiences and to live for pleasure. Just look at the Facebook movement! Twitter? How many followers do you have? How many people spend every waking minute attending to what you are doing and thinking? The world tends toward hedonism, or 'living for the purpose of pleasure', and yet God has a much higher standard that leads to true fulfillment.
----------Miracle: Slaves to sin --> Servants of God
-----Jesus Died and was Raised
Why is the Resurrection important?
** Turn to 1 Corinthians 15 **
-----1 Corinthians 15:17
-----1 Corinthians 15:19
-----1 Corinthians 15:22
- Shows God's approval
- Shows Jesus has victory over death
- Shows that at Jesus' return, we will rise with Him if we have put our faith in Him
------ Jesus is the 'firstfruit' of those who rise
Paul is saying that they used to see Jesus purely as a man. Now the Holy Spirit has shown that He is also the Son of God and Savior of the world. With that perspective inspired by God, Paul sees that all in Christ are new creations.
----- Others may ridicule or persecute
----- Those with the Spirit of God know the true transformation that goes on through knowing Jesus personally
** Look back earlier in 2 Corinthians 5 **
Summary: Paul mentions that while we are still here on earth, our ultimate perspective is looking toward Heaven.
-----2 Corinthians 5:5 - Given the Holy Spirit as assurance of our inheritance in Heaven
----------- All who put their faith in Jesus are given the Holy Spirit by God
----------- Simply ask!
-----We are New Creations in Jesus
----------- Old: Gone
----------- New: Here
Through Jesus, we can be brought to peace with God
HOW ARE WE NEW?
** Turn to Romans 5 **
And remember that this hope is through Jesus alone!
Remember how people seek new things? The Lord declaring you 'New' is the only fully lasting form of 'New' that you will ever get.
----- His mercies are new every morning!
----- As we walk with Him, He constantly keeps us renewed!
----- In the end, we will have a Kingdom to look forward to in which God has made all things new! No suffering, no pain, and NO SIN!
Paul mentions this here -- we can be reconciled to, or brought to peace with, God!
Given "us" the ministry of reconciliation
----- If we have experienced hope in Jesus, it is our duty and privilege to tell others about Him!
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Reconciliation -- bringing us to peace with God
----- God forgives us through His Son
But again, the Gospel demands our response! We cannot reach up to God in our own strength!