2 Corinthians 5
1. Confident in faith 6 – 10
So we are always confident, because we know that while we are living in the body, we are away from our home with the Lord. 7 We live by faith and not by sight. 8 We are confident, and we would prefer to leave the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 So our goal is to be acceptable to him, whether we are at home or away from home. 10 We all must appear before Christ in court so that each person can be paid back for the things that were done while in the body, whether they were good or bad. [CEB]
a. Faith not sight.
1.) True vs apparently true.
2.) PROBLEM is “interpretation” of what we see/experience.
a.) Based on personal feelings, likes, etc…
b.) Effected by the “Fall” (sin, sinful nature)
c.) We are “bent” people…. Cooked sticks.
b. What world do we really belong too?
1.) The Christian lives in this world but does not belong to it.
2.) So… we should NOT be owned by the things off the world.
3.) We live as citizens of another country.
*** This confidence causes us to live in a way that is controlled by Christ’s love. ***
2. Controlled by love 13 – 15
If we are crazy, it’s for God’s sake. If we are rational, it’s for your sake. 14 The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: one died for the sake of all; therefore, all died. 15 He died for the sake of all so that those who are alive should live not for themselves but for the one who died for them and was raised.
a. Christ’s love toward us, on the cross.
1.) Greater love
John 15:34, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
2.) God’s love
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
3.) God’s love expressed through us
1 John 3:16 – 18, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
b. This conclusion means that we live for Jesus, not ourselves or the world.
2 Corinthians 5:15, “and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
*** This confidence comes from the fact that we are a new creation. Not belonging to this world. ***
3. Created new in Christ 17, 21
17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!
21 God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God.
a. Salvation is an act of creation.
1.) [v 15] “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
a.) “Passed away” is an image of something that is left behind, neglected.
1 Corinthians 11:13, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
b.) The idea is this happens naturally, almost without notice.
2.) The idea of “new” is something we have NOW!
a.) It is an expression of what and how we were created to be.
b.) It is an expression of eternity.
b. This happens because of an exchange:
[v 21] “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
1.) God made Jesus “to be sin” BECAUSE we are not righteous.
a.) Nothing righteous about us.
b.) We do NOT even know what righteousness is in reality.
2.) God gives us the POSSIBILITY (“might”) of becoming “the righteousness of God”
a.) This exchange must be transacted… like a check.
b.) Do we actually take accept this transaction or leave it dormant?
3.) Here’s the deal:
a. It is “imputed” to us. (“to attribute or ascribe” dictionary.com)
b. But it must be “implanted” in us. (“to put or fix firmly” dictionary)
c. Just because something has been given to us, does NOT necessarily mean it makes a difference or is used.
*** This confidence gives us direction of our lives. ***
4. Commissioned to call 18 – 20
All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with this message of reconciliation.
20 So we are ambassadors who represent Christ. God is negotiating with you through us. We beg you as Christ’s representatives, “Be reconciled to God!”
a. BECAUSE we were reconciled we are given the ministry of reconciliation.
1.) You can’t talk about what you do not know.
2.) You can’t talk about someone you do not know.
3.) We who know God and know this reconciliation CAN talk.
b. This commission is a royal appointment to represent Christ. (lit. “sent with authority)
1.) “Negotiate” (KJV “beseech”) – discussion for the purposes of achieving a settlement.
(ill.) “Did the judge ever beseech a condemned criminal to accept of pardon? Does the creditor ever beseech a ruined debtor to receive an acquittance in full?” [Wesley]
a.) What God is doing through us is giving the reason(s) and terms for the settlement (reconciliation).
b.) Why would God trust us? Trust you?
2.) “Beg” (KJV “pray”)
a.) Literally “beg”… gives the feeling of desperation.
b.) Why would we beg others to be reconciled to God?
1. If we are confident in our faith, do we live like it? (Or does or lives betray a lack of faith?)
2. If we are controlled by the love of Christ, does it compel us to behave differently
3. If we are part of a new creation, have we left the old behind?
4. If we are sent with authority, to speak and act on God’s behalf, what difference are
we making in the world?