Summary: When we become a christian we have new identity in Christ, and our view toward each other in the church must reflect that fact.
Here is the text from our Bible today:
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.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is good to be able to meet you again today.
The reading of the Word of God today is about the ministry of reconciliation which our Lord Jesus Christ has given us.
Notice on verse 15 that the reconciliation was taken place because Jesus was dying and being risen again for us, members of the body of Christ in a local Church.
What a great price Jesus has paid for us. And what a great love He has bestowed upon us. Therefore we ought not live for ourselves but for Christ.
Let’s see verse 16 if you would. When a person has been redeemed by the blood of Christ and being forgiven from his sin, a supernatural transformation takes place. He or she is given a new identity in Christ and therefore we called him or her a Christian.
Our point of view regarding that person must also be changed. Because now, according to verse 16, we should no longer regards our brothers and sisters in Christ from a worldly point of view.
They are new creatures in Christ and all of them, including "us" have joined ourselves to Christ. Our lives being transformed and now the source of our life is God. This is what we called the family of God or the body of Christ.
However ugly the person was when they first receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit has began a transformation project in the heart of that person. So, sometimes we meet with a person that is unbearable to our thinking. Remember my friend, they are your brother and sister too. And remember this verse 16 from 2 Corinthians 5.
Let us read together verse 17 again: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
For some people, brothers and sisters, the transformation in his heart can be seen suddenly appearing on his face or attitude. Someone who is argumentative, suddenly become so quiet and began to listen to people. Someone who is tough to deal with, now become gentle in her approach. But for others, bothers and sisters, it takes time.
It takes time for a baby to grow into a young man. It takes take for a young man to grow into an adult. And it takes times for adult to grow into a mature believer.
I for example, didn’t know why when my pastor addresses each person in the church as "brothers and sisters." In this case, my background, my upbringing was very different, so that the revelation of that greetings has to slowly come into my life.
So the next time you see your fellow members in the church, use your spiritual eyes and ears to see and listen to them and do not look to them from mere earthly view anymore.
For example: Do not measure how they dress and how they look into account, but rather examine their friendliness and love of Christ in their heart. Look at the way they express their new identity in Christ to their surrounding. Maybe they are a good encourager, or a good servant in a ministry. Take note of that.
For your own benefit, you can thank God our Father who has brought you into the body of Christ where He put you. Just it has been stated in verse 18-19. And don’t forget to share the good news of Jesus, the gift of transformation into a new life in Christ to others outside the church. Remember we have a great message to share to them.
Let’s close with prayer:
Father God, thank you for sending Jesus so we can become one family in Him. Teach us to regards no one according to the flesh no more and to live according to your word for today. Amen.