2 Corinthians 5-14-21 NLT
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.
In the book of 2nd Corinthians, Paul is sharing with new believers the true benefits and rewards of having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He is refuting the false teachings that the Corinthians were accustomed to being taught, and how in their new belief they were to live their lives. Correcting false teachings about God is not new it was around during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. As Jesus traveled from village to village his central message was the message of “repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). This is one of the central themes of the Lenten message. A message of preparation through fasting, repentance, self-denial, and Spiritual discipline. Verses 17, 18, 19 provide excellent examples of “Spiritual discipline,” and is another clear example of the Lenten message that God is more interested in drawing us close to himself, than he is in us being estranged from him. He is more interested in us walking in our new life, making the mistakes that we will be prone to make and stumbling along the path, than for us to remain in our old sinful lives.
As a result of Jesus’ Spiritual discipline and obedience to his Father’s plan we now have the gift of a new life in Christ. The gift in of new life in Christ affords us, as believers:
- Eternal Salvation
- Guidance, power, and protection throughout our life from the Holy Spirit
- Total access to God through prayer
- New community of brothers and sisters who believe in God and are growing with us in Christ.
- And more…
While we have new life in Christ, we still have to deal with life’s issues and problems. We will have troubles in this life, but now we need to evaluate them through the lenses of our new lives in Christ Jesus. We see people and life’s situations through our new lives in Christ.
In this post COVID-19 life, as we are living with high inflation, sickness, death, grief, violence in our streets, wars, and natural disasters. Instead of focusing on these things and complaining about them, and all the other things that aren’t right and just, consider the 40-day observance of Lent as an opportunity for self-renewal, sacrifice, recommitment, and fresh revelation from God. Consider spending time in reflecting on what Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection means in your new life. Lastly, as members of the body of Christ, we must be his ambassadors, telling the world of the gifts that come with new life in Christ and how this life in Christ is helping us deal with life here on earth.
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to teach us the truth about you and to refute false teachings. We are so thankful for how Jesus loved us so much that he died on a cross for our sins, so we may all have access to this new life in Christ. Thank you, God for all the gifts that come with this new life, and now we are going to better use my gifts to make life better for someone else. During this Lenten season, I am going to be your ambassador, telling people about the gifts you freely give when we accept Jesus and receive new life in him. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Call to Action
Re-examine how you will utilize the gifts that came with this new life by creating a list of the gifts you have in Christ. Put the list on your refrigerator and everyday ask yourself, “How will I use my gifts to make this world a better place.