- Shawn Gerbers
2 Corinthians 5:11-21 - Ambassadors of Reconciliation
You're not just a citizen of the Kingdom of God, you've been given a title: Ambassador
Read / Listen
Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 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, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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 people’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.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 38
Q. Why did he suffer
“under Pontius Pilate” as judge?
A. So that he,
might be condemned by a civil judge,
and so free us from the severe judgment of God
that was to fall on us.
The focus of 2 Corinthians 5 is reconciliation. Our sin has separated us from God, but those who confess their sins are reconciled to God, they are forgiven in Jesus Christ.
Once reconciled, we become ambassadors for Jesus, that is, we represent Jesus in this world that we live in as exiles. We tell the world that we were once dead in our sin, but Jesus has set us free. Jesus died on the cross so that we could live.
This passage is a beautiful invitation to live into the freedom we have in Jesus. Our freedom is not for our own personal gain, but for Christ, our redeemer! After all,
And Christ died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again (v15).
The passage ends this way a few verses later in v21:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Yesterday we looked intently at Jesus’ innocence. Today we turn to our own guilt.
Jesus was innocent, so He is the one person who has ever lived who did not deserve to die. So why was He crucified? Jesus was crucified due to our sin. God’s plan for salvation required satisfaction, and you cannot pay the price for your sin. No offering you sacrifice can atone for your sin. Just as your sin separates you from God, it condemns you to eternal punishment.
Jesus took your sin on himself so that God’s wrath could be satisfied. He was the perfect sacrifice, offered once on the cross, for your sins and salvation. Through this amazing act of love, Jesus, who was unjustly condemned, became sin so that you might become the righteousness of God.
This is why you are implored to be an ambassador for Christ. You should have been punished by God, but in Jesus, you've been given new life. This gift is available to all who call on the name of the Lord. It is your duty, as a child of God, to make him known to a sin filled world.
You were condemned. In Jesus, you are given freedom. Let the world know what Christ has done!
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and then gave us the ministry of reconciliation
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength, desire and opportunities to be the ambassador of reconciliation that you've been called to be.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Matthew 6