5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent
which is our house is torn down, we TODAY IN THE WORD
have a building from God, a house Yevgeny Meshchersky is a Russian prince
not made with hands, eternal in the living on his family’s estate 35 miles south of
heavens. Moscow. The problem is that there isn’t
Now we know that if the earthly much left of the once-stately property. Mr.
tent we live in is destroyed, we Meshchersky’s family lost the estate after
have a building from God, an the revolution of 1917. Worse yet,
eternal house in heaven, not built Communists demolished the palace--built in
by human hands. 1775--to make rubble for building a nearby
For we know that if our earthly road. In 1996, Mr. Meshchersky and his
house of this tabernacle were family moved back onto the 64-acre property
dissolved, we have a building of as squatters. Today they are living in the
God, an house not made with rundown gate house next to the palace’s
hands, eternal in the heavens. remains, trying to get the Russian
government to recognize their ancestral
5:1-10 Paul contrasts our earthly bodies claim to the estate.
(“earthly tent”) and our future resurrection
bodies (“a building from God, an eternal In many ways, the Meshchersky family’s
house in heaven, not built by human plight is one that all of us share. We’re also
hands”). Paul clearly states that our present living in a rundown building as “squatters.”
bodies make us groan, but when we die we The estate we’re talking about is our human
will not be spirits without bodies (“be found body, which Paul likens to a worn-out tent
naked”). We will have new bodies that will that will be taken down and put away at
be perfect for our everlasting life. death.
Paul wrote as he did because the church at But that’s where the similarity ends between
Corinth was in the heart of Greek culture, today’s illustration and our text. While Mr.
and many believers had difficulty with the Meshchersky’s estate will probably never be
concept of bodily resurrection. Greeks did restored to its former glory, as Christians we
not believe in a bodily resurrection. Most are going to be part of a glorious “urban
saw the afterlife as something that renewal” project someday. God is going to
happened only to the soul, with the real clear away the decayed rubble of our earthly
person imprisoned in a physical body. They bodies and give us a brand new one, what
believed that at death the soul is released— Paul calls our “eternal house in heaven.”
there is no immortality for the body, and the
soul enters an eternal state. But the Bible This wonderful transformation will occur
teaches that the body and soul are not when Christ returns and calls us to Himself
permanently separated. (1 Thess. 4:13-18). That’s a hope worth
looking forward to, even longing for.
Paul describes our resurrected bodies in
more detail in 1 Cor. 15:46-58. We will still Paul’s longing for his new body was
have personalities and recognizable obvious. He groaned under the pain and
characteristics in our resurrected bodies, but limitations of life in the “tent” of his human
through Christ’s work, our bodies will be body which had been battered by years of
better than we can imagine. The Bible does suffering and strained by the intensity of his
not tell us everything about our resurrected ministry. We learned last week that Paul
bodies, but we know they will be perfect, was willing to stay and minister to those who
without sickness, disease, or pain (see Phil. needed him (see May 3), but his clear
3:21; Rev. 21:4). preference was to be at home with Christ in
heaven (v. 8).
How do I know about this conversation?
C. H. Spurgeon Mandy shared this story with me and my
Is not this grand courage on the part of the wife shortly after we lost our precious 17-
apostle? With all the world against him, and year-old daughter in a car accident in 2002.
himself “alway delivered unto death for We have been comforted by this story,
Jesus’ sake,” he looks at the new body, the because it reminds us that Melissa knew
new house that God is making for him, and she was saved, and she was confident that
he reckons that, to shuffle off this mortal coil she would spend eternity with her Savior.
will be no loss to him, since, when he loses We just never expected that she would be
the tent in which he lives here, he will go to "with God all the time" so suddenly and so
“a building of God, a house not made with early in her life.
hands, eternal in the heavens.”
Do you have the assurance that Melissa
In this poor body it is our lot often to groan, had, that if you were to die you would be in
but the groan is a hopeful one, for it is a God's presence forever? (2 Corinthians 5:6-
birth-pang, and it will bring joy in due time: 8). Make sure of your salvation today. Then
“For in this we groan,” you won't need to be afraid to die.
Doctrine of the Last Things: If you make room for Jesus in your heart,
Intermediate state He will make room for you in heaven.
Resurrection of the body
Israel’s future 5:2 For indeed in this house we groan,
Judgment and rewards longing to be clothed with our
Great white throne dwelling from heaven;
Heaven Meanwhile we groan, longing to
Hell be clothed with our heavenly
With God All The Time For in this we groan, earnestly
If our earthly house . . . is destroyed, we desiring to be clothed upon with our
have a building from God, . . . eternal in the house which is from heaven:
heavens. —2 Corinthians 5:1
C. H. Spurgeon
It was the summer between Melissa's That is a blessed experience, “always
sophomore and junior years of high school. confident.” There are some Christians who
She and her friend Mandy were in Spain on are never confident, and some who are
a trip with their Spanish class, and they afraid of being confident. I know some who,
stayed up one night in their hotel room for a if they see this holy confidence in other
serious discussion. They had just seen a Christians, begin to tremble for their eternal
report on the BBC about some teens who safety. Never mind about them, brother, if
had died in an accident, and they started God gives you a holy confidence in him,
talking about death. hold fast to it, and do not let it go whatever
anyone may say.
Melissa told Mandy that she could not figure
out why Christians were afraid to die. After A Better Likeness Soon
all, she told her, when a Christian dies, he or C. H. Spurgeon received one day a copy of
she gets to be "with God all the time." What Andrew Bonar’s Commentary on Leviticus. It
could be better than that? Melissa so blessed him that he returned it, saying,
wondered. “Dr. Bonar, please place herein your
autograph and your photograph.” The book
was returned to him with the following note we would be unclothed, but clothed
from Dr. Bonar: upon, that mortality might be
swallowed up of life.
“Dear Spurgeon, here is the book with my
autograph and with my photograph. If you C. H. Spurgeon
had been willing to wait a short season, you Note the ground of the apostle’s confidence.
could have had a better likeness, for I shall He is quite sure that, inasmuch as Christ
be like Him; I shall see Him as He is (1 John rose from the dead, so all his followers must;
3:2).” and though they die in the Lord’s service,
yet shall they not be losers thereby, but they
5:3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall the more speedily ascend to their
shall not be found naked. reward. “We are always confident,
because when we are clothed, we
will not be found naked. “At The Last Trump”
If so be that being clothed we shall Roman armies are summoned to march by
not be found naked. three trumpet blasts. The first blast means
“be prepared,” and soldiers would quickly
Afterlife in Christianity pull up tents, hitch the horses and get ready.
Fundamental Christians believe in a literal The second blast means “formation,” and
Heaven and Hell. True believers in Christ soldiers would immediately fall into line. At
are admitted into Heaven, and unbelievers the third or final blast, the Roman army
are consigned into Hell. Both places are starts marching. When heaven’s last blast
eternal and its inhabitants are non- sounds, Christian will start going up. (1 Cor.
Heaven is a place of eternal bliss, with the 5:5 Now He who prepared us for this
Triune God, the angels, and the saints of all very purpose is God, who gave to
ages. Hell is a place of eternal torment, us the Spirit as a pledge.
“where their worm dieth not, and the fire is Now it is God who has made us
not quenched” (Mark 9:48). for this very purpose and has
given us the Spirit as a deposit,
Liberal Christians, interpreting the Bible guaranteeing what is to come.
more symbolically, believe in life after death Now he that hath wrought us for the
but are unclear about an actual, literal place selfsame thing is God, who also
in the hereafter. hath given unto us the earnest of
5:4 For indeed while we are in this tent,
we groan, being burdened, because 5:5 The Holy Spirit within us is our
we do not want to be unclothed, but guarantee that God will give us everlasting
to be clothed, in order that what is bodies at the resurrection (2 Cor. 1:22). We
mortal may be swallowed up by life. have eternity in us now! This truth should
For while we are in this tent, we give us great courage and patience to
groan and are burdened, because endure anything we might experience.
we do not wish to be unclothed
but to be clothed with our
PLEDGE Something given as down
heavenly dwelling, so that what is
payment on a debt. The Old Testament
mortal may be swallowed up by
regulated this practice. An outer garment
given in pledge was to be returned before
For we that are in this tabernacle do
night since it was the only protection the
groan, being burdened: not for that
poor had from the cold (Exodus 22:26; Deut. Spiritually they belong to God.
24:12-13). One was not permitted to take as Physically they belong to spouse.
a pledge what was required for someone to What our resurrection bodies will be
earn a living (Deut. 24:6). Creditors were like.
prohibited from entering a house to seize a
pledge (Deut. 24:10). Job denounced C. H. Spurgeon
abuses in the taking of pledges from family That is our main business; whether we live
(Job 22:6), from orphans and widows (Job or whether we die is of no consequence at
24:3), as well as the practice of taking all, but to be accepted of Christ, so to live is
children as pledges (Job 24:9). Ezekial to be well pleasing to God. Be this our
warned repeatedly against failing to restore heavenly ambition, and may the Holy Spirit
pledges. Amos rebuked those who coupled graciously enable us to attain to it!
idolatry with holding garments in pledge
(Amos 2:8). 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight--
We live by faith, not by sight.
5:6 Therefore, being always of good (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
courage, and knowing that while we
are at home in the body we are Exercising Faith
absent from the Lord-- Thomas Manton said that while all things are
Therefore we are always quiet and comfortable, we live by sense
confident and know that as long rather than faith. But the worth of a soldier is
as we are at home in the body we never known in times of peace. It is always a
are away from the Lord. challenge to stay focused properly through a
Therefore we are always confident, difficult trial. Even with the promise of
knowing that, whilst we are at home lessons learned and rewards realized, the
in the body, we are absent from the certainty of these benefits can seem more
Lord: theoretical than real. But we can have a
much greater confidence in the reality of all
5:6-8 Paul was not afraid to die, because he these things if we simply remember the
was confident of spending eternity with words of today’s verse.
Christ. Of course, facing the unknown may
cause us anxiety, and leaving loved ones One of God’s purposes in trials is to give us
hurts deeply, but if we believe in Jesus greater strength. As you go through one
Christ, we can share Paul’s hope and trial, your spiritual muscles (faith) are
confidence of eternal life with Christ. exercised and strengthened for the next
one. That means you can face greater foes
C. H. Spurgeon and endure greater obstacles, thus
To be well-pleasing to God everywhere, in becoming more useful to the Lord. And the
everything that we do, should be the one more useful you are, the more you will
aim of a Christian, whether he is in the body accomplish His will in the power of His Spirit
or out of the body. for His glory.
BODY, BODIES C.H. Spurgeon
Those who walk by sight walk alone.
How we pollute ours. Walking by sight is just this: “I believe in
Jesus came to save our bodies too. myself,” whereas walking by faith is, “I
Jesus’ resurrection body. believe in God.”
Illustrates unity among believers.
Body and soul inseparably related. Eyes Of Faith
We walk by faith, not by sight. --2 Today’s verse refers to the walk of
Corinthians 5:7 becoming more like Christ. It takes place
when we live by faith. When we judge
God sometimes answers our prayers in everything by what we see, however, we will
marvelous ways, but He does not want us to have difficulty growing.
become preoccupied with the miraculous.
That's why Jesus gently rebuked the Remember the twelve spies Israel sent into
nobleman who begged Him to come and Canaan (Num. 13)? Ten came back and
heal his son (John 4:48). But in response to said they felt like grasshoppers in a land of
the father's repeated appeal He said, "Go giants. Those ten walked by sight. But
your way, your son lives" (v.50). The father Joshua and Caleb had faith, knowing that
came to "believe" on the basis of Jesus' God was on their side. Ten didn’t think God
word alone. The reality of his faith is seen in could handle the circumstances, but two
the fact that he obeyed Christ's simple knew He is bigger than any situation.
command and "he went his way."
Do you live by faith? If you want to grow
Upon returning home, the nobleman spiritually, believe God’s Word and trust Him
discovered that his son had been healed "at in every situation.
the seventh hour" on the previous day. From Seven Traits of Faith:
his servants he learned exactly what had Basis
taken place and when. His son was made Life
well at the same instant that Jesus said, Protection
"Your son lives" (vv.50-53). Business
At times we are amazed by God's perfect
timing and miraculous intervention when He
answers our prayers. We must be careful, Prayer
though, not to become so preoccupied with
the miracle that we forget the One who By Faith Not Sight
performed it. We need to remain focused on Sometimes I’m sad, I know not why
Christ, whether a miracle takes place or not. My heart is sore distressed;
Sooner or later we will be called upon to It seems the burdens of this world
trust God as we endure sickness, grief, or Have settled on my heart.
disappointment. That's when "we walk by And yet I know... I know that God
faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). Who doeth all things right
Will lead me thus to understand
Believing is seeing To walk by FAITH...not SIGHT.
what our eyes cannot see
And though I may not see the way
Lame to Walk: He’s planned for me to go,
Walk in newness of life The way seems dark to me just
But oh, I’m sure He knows!
Walk by faith
Walk in the Spirit Today He guides my feeble step
Walk in love Tomorrow’s in His right...
Walk in wisdom He has asked me to never fear...
Walk in the truth But walk by FAITH...not SIGHT.
Walk after His commands Some day the mists will roll away,
The sun will shine again.
John MacArthur Jr. I’ll see the beauty in the flowers,
I’ll hear the bird’s refrain, things to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17).
And then I’ll know my Father’s hand
Yet, we would be wise to balance our love
Has led the way to light
for life with the truth reflected in the words of
Because I placed my hand in His
an old song: "This world is not my home."
And walked by FAITH...not SIGHT.
And indeed it isn't. We are aliens, pilgrims,
and sojourners for a few fleeting years.
5:8 we are of good courage, I say, and
prefer rather to be absent from the
So, whether death seems far away or close
body and to be at home with the
at hand, we can be confident that if our faith
is in the risen Christ we will leave this world
We are confident, I say, and
to enter heaven's glory (2 Corinthians 5:8).
would prefer to be away from the
One glad day we will be heading home.
body and at home with the Lord.
We are confident, I say, and willing
Nothing on earth can compare
rather to be absent from the body,
to being with Christ in heaven.
and to be present with the Lord.
Absent from Body, Present with the Lord
5:8 For those who believe in Christ, death is
When a believer leaves this world, he goes
only a prelude to eternal life with God. We
immediately to be in the presence of Christ.
will continue to live. Let this hope give you
There is no “soul sleep” or intermediate
confidence and inspire you to faithful
waiting place, nor does the Bible teach that
there is any place called purgatory. Notice
the apostle Paul’s desire was “to depart and
be with Christ” (Phil. 1:23, emphasis added).
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to
be absent from the body and to be present
Today’s verse indicates that when we are
with the Lord. —2 Corinthians 5:8
absent from the body, which sleeps until the
resurrection, our spirits are present with the
It is possible for us to anticipate death with
Lord. Paul also told the Thessalonians that
the gladness of school children when a
Christ “died for us, that whether we wake or
day's classes are over. An unknown poet
sleep, we should live together with Him” (1
Thess. 5:10). Paul’s point is that whether we
are physically awake (alive) or physically
Someday the bell will sound,
asleep (dead), as believers we are with
Someday my heart will bound
Christ. We are in His presence in a spiritual
As with a shout, that school is out,
sense now and in a literal sense when our
And, lessons done, I homeward run.
bodies are dead.
It's a rare believer, though, who joyfully
welcomes death. No doubt we may long to
You can rejoice in the fact that there is no
die if we are painfully and incurably sick, or if
time in your life as a believer when you will
we are old, alone, and unable to enjoy the
ever be out of the conscious presence of
simple pleasures of life. Otherwise, though,
we cling to life with a God-given instinct of
We are . . . well pleased rather to be absent
The Bible tells us that Jesus came to give us
from the body and to be present with the
an abundant life here and now, as well as
Lord.—2 Corinthians 5:8
hereafter (John 10:10,28). And we can
gladly recognize that God "gives us richly all
Joseph Parker (1830-1902) was a beloved
English preacher. When his wife died, he stood with bowed heads, waiting for the
didn't have the customary wording inscribed funeral march to begin. But to their surprise
on her gravestone. Instead of the word died they heard the triumphant notes of the
followed by the date of her death, he chose 'Hallelujah Chorus.' What music could have
the word ascended. been more appropriate! A faithful soldier of
the cross had been ushered into the
Parker found great comfort in being presence of his King."
reminded that though his wife's body had
been placed in the grave, the "real" Mrs. Many people are terrified by the thought of
Parker had been transported to heaven and dying. It is looked upon as the most tragic of
into the presence of her Savior. When all our human experiences. To be sure,
Parker himself died, his friends made sure there's pain in being separated from those
that his gravestone read: who are dear to us. The physical discomfort
that sometimes accompanies dying is not
ASCENDED NOVEMBER 28, 1902 pleasant to endure. At times our faith may
When a believing loved one dies, or when falter as we lose sight of the glory that
we ourselves face the process of dying, awaits us. That's why we must never forget
there's great comfort in the fact that death for the Christian is but the
that "to be absent from the body" is "to be doorway to heaven!
present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8)
When a Christian dies, earth's story ends
Death for us is not a dark journey into the and heaven's glory begins.
unknown. It is not a lonely walk into a 5:9 Therefore also we have as our
strange and friendless place. Rather, it is a ambition, whether at home or
glorious transition from the trials of earth into absent, to be pleasing to Him.
the joys of heaven, where we will be So we make it our goal to please
reunited with our loved ones in Christ who him, whether we are at home in
have gone before. Best of all, we will enjoy the body or away from it.
the presence of our Lord forever. Wherefore we labour, that, whether
present or absent, we may be
Yes, when a believer dies, the body is accepted of him.
buried but not the soul. It has ascended!
5:9-10 While eternal life is a free gift given
For the Christian, on the basis of God’s grace (Ephes. 2:8-9),
death is the doorway to Glory. each of us will still be judged by Christ. This
judgment will reward us for how we have
Our Daily Bread lived. God’s gracious gift of salvation does
In his book God Cares for You, Walter B. not free us from the requirement for faithful
Knight gives this account of the memorial obedience. All Christians must give account
service in 1929 for the widely known Bible for how they have lived (see Matthew 16:27;
teacher and author F. B. Meyer: Romans 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:10-15).
"London has seldom witnessed a funeral An Accountable Life
such as was held for him. There was not a It is unthinkable to believe that you can live
single note of grief or tragedy heard. The a faithful, fruitful Christian life merely on
Scriptures all spoke of the Christian's hope good intentions and warm feelings. The
of immortality; and Easter hymns were sung. Christian life is an accountable life, based on
As the organ began to play at the conclusion specific principles and standards. It is
of the service, the vast audience rose and founded on divinely revealed values and
beliefs to which God holds each of us. For we must all appear before the
judgment seat of Christ, that each
A young man once asked me, “How can you one may receive what is due him
know if you are truly a Christian? How can for the things done while in the
you know if your decision for Christ wasn’t body, whether good or bad.
just an emotional experience?” I replied, For we must all appear before the
“The only way to know if we have judgment seat of Christ; that every
experienced justification, if we have been one may receive the things done in
made right with Him and brought into His his body, according to that he hath
family, is by looking at our hearts and our done, whether it be good or bad.
lives. If Christ is our Savior and Lord, the
deepest desire of our hearts will be to serve C. H. Spurgeon
and to please Him, and that desire will be And men said that these apostles had gone
expressed in a longing for holiness and a out of their minds. Festus said to Paul, “thou
pattern of righteous living.” art beside thyself, much learning doth make
thee mad;” so Paul says, “Whether we be
C. H. Spurgeon beside ourselves,”
The outside world did not understand the
preachers of the gospel; they thought them Standing Before God
dreamy enthusiasts, earnest about nothing We must all appear before the judgment
at all. But Paul says that God understood seat of Christ. —2 Corinthians 5:10
him, and he hoped, too, that the
consciences of those to whom he was During preparation for jury duty, I watched a
writing had also understood him. The truly videotape that said: "All across the state,
faithful minister of Jesus Christ may know jury panels are being assembled to sit in
that there are two approvals that he will be judgment of others, just as one day people
sure to get, — the approval of his Master, may assemble to sit in judgment of us."
and the approval of men’s consciences.
Their prejudice may condemn him, his mode Being judged by a jury of my peers is
of oratory may not suit their fancy, but their possible, but standing before Almighty God
conscience must give quite a different is certain. Our works will be evaluated and
verdict; it must approve the faithful our reward determined by the Lord.
preaching of the gospel.
All of us will be morally and spiritually
Doctrine of the Last Things: audited. The Lord will review every entry in
Intermediate state the ledger of our lives. Not only what we did
Resurrection of the body on earth but also the reasons why we did it
Israel’s future will be known and judged.
Judgment and rewards
Great white throne As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the
Heaven assurance that when we die we will be
Hell "present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).
With that in mind, Paul wrote, "We make it
5:10 For we must all appear before the our aim . . . to be well pleasing to Him. For
judgment seat of Christ, that each we must all appear before the judgment seat
one may be recompensed for his of Christ, that each one may receive the
deeds in the body, according to things done in the body . . . whether good or
what he has done, whether good or bad" (vv.9-10).
Instead of cringing with fear, we can live with
joy as we seek to please God and look 03. To what kind of tent did Paul refer?
forward to our heavenly reward. Let's strive Why? (5:1)
to make sure our actions and motives will be ___________________________________
found worthy, not worthless, on the day we ___________________________________
stand before God. ___________________________________
Our salvation depends on ___________________________________
what Christ did for us; our reward ___________________________________
depends on how we live for Him.
04. To what can Christians look forward?
JUDGMENT SEAT In Matthew 27:19, the
raised platform or bench occupied by
Pontius Pilate while he was deliberating the
accusations made against Jesus and the
sentence he would pronounce in connection
with Jesus’ case. According to Acts 18:12,
Paul the apostle was brought before the
judgment seat in Corinth. In these two
05. How could Paul feel confident in the
instances the judgment seat is to be
face of ill health and death? (5:1-10)
understood in its ordinary literal sense. In
Romans 14:10 and 2 Cor. 5:10, the
judgment seat of Christ is a theological
concept. Those verses stress that
individuals are accountable to the Lord for
their lives and must one day face Him in
06. Why did Paul long for heaven? (5:2-3)
Open It ___________________________________
01. What do you imagine heaven will be
07. For what purpose has God made us?
02. What common clichés do you ___________________________________
frequently hear when people talk ___________________________________
08. How does the Spirit guarantee what is
___________________________________ to come? (5:5)
Explore It ___________________________________
09. What is true as long as we are alive ___________________________________
on this earth? (5:6) ___________________________________
___________________________________ 15. What will people receive at the
___________________________________ judgment seat of Christ? (5:10)
10. How is the Christian life lived? (5:7) ___________________________________
___________________________________ 16. What’s wrong with highly valuing
___________________________________ beauty and youth?
11. What future realities motivated Paul to ___________________________________
please the Lord in all he said and did? ___________________________________
___________________________________ 17. How can Christ be glorified through
___________________________________ the weaknesses of men and women?
12. What should be the believer’s goal? ___________________________________
___________________________________ 18. What does it mean to live by faith and
___________________________________ not by sight?
13. Who will be judged by Christ? (5:10) ___________________________________
___________________________________ 19. How often do you long for the
___________________________________ heavenly body promised to believers
at the resurrection?
14. Why must we all appear before the ___________________________________
judgment seat of Christ? (5:10) ___________________________________
___________________________________ 5:11 Therefore knowing the fear of the
Lord, we persuade men, but we are
20. What comfort or satisfaction can we made manifest to God; and I hope
derive from knowing that the Holy that we are made manifest also in
Spirit guarantees our future in your consciences.
heaven? Since, then, we know what it is to
___________________________________ fear the Lord, we try to persuade
___________________________________ men. What we are is plain to God,
___________________________________ and I hope it is also plain to your
___________________________________ Knowing therefore the terror of the
___________________________________ Lord, we persuade men; but we are
made manifest unto God; and I trust
21. How does this passage give us hope also are made manifest in your
for believers who have passed away? consciences.
___________________________________ C.S. Lewis
___________________________________ How God thinks of us is infinitely more
___________________________________ important than how we think of God. Indeed,
___________________________________ how we think of Him is only of importance in
___________________________________ so far as it is related to how He thinks of us.
In the end that Face which is the delight or
22. How should we regard death? the terror of the universe must be turned
___________________________________ upon each of us either with one expression
___________________________________ or the other, either conferring glory
___________________________________ inexpressible or inflicting shame that can
___________________________________ never be cured or disguised. It is written that
___________________________________ we shall stand before Him, shall appear,
___________________________________ shall be inspected. The promise of glory is
the promise, only possible by the work of
Christ, that some of us shall find approval
with God. To please God, to be a real
23. In what small way can you detach ingredient in the divine happiness, to be
yourself from worldly things? loved by God, not merely pitied, but
___________________________________ delighted in as an artist delights in his work
___________________________________ or a father in his son, it seems impossible, a
___________________________________ weight or burden of glory which our thoughts
___________________________________ can hardly sustain. But so it is.
___________________________________ Our Daily Bread
I read a fable about a dog who loved to
24. How can you prepare yourself today chase other animals. He bragged about his
to face the judgment seat of Christ? great running skill and said he could catch
___________________________________ anything. Well, it wasn't long until his
___________________________________ boastful claims were put to the test by a
___________________________________ rabbit. With ease the little creature outran
___________________________________ his barking pursuer. The other animals,
watching with glee, began to laugh. The dog false preachers (see 2 Cor. 2:17) who were
excused himself, however, by saying, "You concerned only about getting ahead in this
forget, folks, that I was only running for fun. world. They were preaching the gospel for
He was running for his life!" money and popularity, while Paul and his
companions were preaching out of concern
Motivation makes a difference in almost for eternity. You can identify false preachers
everything we do. In fact, it determines the by finding out what really motivates them. If
way believers serve the Lord. Some people they are more concerned about themselves
serve Him halfheartedly because they feel than about Christ, avoid them and their
obligated. But there are others who serve message.
with urgency and zeal because they
recognize the terrible plight of people lost in C. H. Spurgeon
sin. They are deeply grateful for God's Happy Paul who, as a preacher of the
saving grace in their lives, so they go all out gospel, could write, “If you say that we are
for the Lord. beside ourselves, that we are really mad
upon religious matters, well, it is to God that
That's the kind of zealous motivation the we are so. It is not every madman who can
apostle Paul had. He wrote, "Knowing, say that.
therefore, the terror of the Lord, we
persuade men" (2 Cor. 5:11). He then “Or if you tell us that we are too serious and
concluded, "We implore you on Christ's sober, it is your case, your cause, that
behalf, be reconciled to God" (v.20). Paul makes us so.” Well may we be sober and
meant business. There was much at stake. solemn when we think of the danger in
which men’s souls continually are.
May we too be zealous in serving the Lord!
Christians on fire for God 5:13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is
will attract sinners to the light. for God; if we are of sound mind, it
is for you.
5:12 We are not again commending If we are out of our mind, it is for
ourselves to you but are giving you the sake of God; if we are in our
an occasion to be proud of us, that right mind, it is for you.
you may have an answer for those For whether we be beside
who take pride in appearance, and ourselves, it is to God: or whether
not in heart. we be sober, it is for your cause.
We are not trying to commend
ourselves to you again, but are 5:13-15 Everything that Paul and his
giving you an opportunity to take companions did was to honor God. Christ’s
pride in us, so that you can love controlled their lives. Because Christ
answer those who take pride in died for us, we also are dead to our old
what is seen rather than in what lives. Like Paul, we should no longer live to
is in the heart. please ourselves; we should spend our lives
For we commend not ourselves pleasing Christ, who died for us and rose
again unto you, but give you from the grave.
occasion to glory on our behalf, that
ye may have somewhat to answer C. H. Spurgeon
them which glory in appearance, “In either case, we have but one object, and
and not in heart. that is, to glorify God through your
5:12 Those who “take pride in what is seen
rather than in what is in the heart” are the 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us,
having concluded this, that one died How do we know that each person on earth
for all, therefore all died; has distinct and separate value? What proof
For Christ's love compels us, do we have that every individual man and
because we are convinced that woman and child should be treasured?
one died for all, and therefore all We know the value of each person--because
died. of Jesus.
For the love of Christ constraineth
us; because we thus judge, that if The following story appeared in the Church
one died for all, then were all dead: Herald: "Muretus, a Christian scholar of the
16th century, became ill while on a trip. The
C. H. Spurgeon doctors who were called in to treat him did
The life of the saved man must never be not know him. He looked so much like an
lived for himself; he is false to his profession ordinary individual that they said, 'Let's try
if it is so. He must henceforth live as an experiment on him, for he looks of no
earnestly for God as, aforetime in his importance.'" Muretus overheard this
unregeneracy, he lived for himself, for he remark, and he called to the doctors, "Call
now has a new life which is not his own, to not any man cheap for whom Christ died."
do with it as he pleases, but it belongs
entirely to him who purchased it with his own The apostle Paul, referring to Christ, said
most precious blood. that He "died for all" (2 Cor. 5:15). Jesus
said that it was because of God's love for
Saved From: the world that the Father sent His Son to die
Wrath to come on the cross (Jn. 3:16). Indeed, if Christ
Curse of broken Law gave His life so that each person could be
Servitude of sin forgiven through faith in Him--and He did--
Pollution of sin then each person is more valuable than we
Corruption of the world could ever imagine. When He died for all,
Selfishness of self He died for each. And that should show us
the value of one.
The value of one soul is measured
Relationship with God
by the price Jesus paid on the cross.
Newness of life Love:
Holiness of character Passion of Love
Pureness of heart Purity of Love
Love of Christ Power of Love
Righteousness of conduct Pre-eminence of Love
Sweetness of temper Persuasiveness of Love
Victory over Satan Protection of Love
Saving others Perfection of Love
The Value Of One Tetelestai! It Is Finished!
Christ . . . died for all, that those who live With a clear voice Jesus uttered one last
should live no longer for themselves. --2 word from the cross: "tetelestai." (John
Corinthians 5:14-15 19:30)
How much is one human life worth? It's a The papyri throw great light on this word. If a
question that's being debated on several promissory note were paid, the one holding
fronts, from abortion to euthanasia.
the note wrote "telelestai" across it. A deed Church Street, at Home Avenue. No special
to property was not in effect until it was notice is needed, but to get off at Calvary—
dated and signed. When this was done, the that means a choice and an expressed
clerk wrote "tetelestai" across it. desire.
Another example of its use was when a Atonement
father sent his son on a mission. The son Sin-cleanser
was not to return until he had performed the Sin-annuller
last act of the mission. When he did return Soul-sanctifier
from a successful mission, he used
tetelestai to report it.
In eternity, the Son gave the Father a
promissory note that He would pay the price Song-incentive
for humanity's redemption (see Hebrews
10:5-7). On Calvary the note was paid-in- Every Denomination Today
full. Tetelestai! The Son reported His Beginning with rationalism in Germany and
completed mission to the Father. Tetelestai! with Deism in England, Modernism now
permeates every major denomination.
Perhaps when the waiting hosts in heaven Though there are Bible-believing, God-
heard of the completed work of Jesus, fearing people in every church, the control of
heaven rang with it. TETELESTAI! And the every major denomination is in the hand of
Father smiled His approval. the liberals. So-called Christian leaders
boldly and blatantly deny the Virgin Birth of
Christ, the Inspiration of the Scriptures, and
Atoning of Christ, the Literal Resurrection of
Predicted He would die Christ, and of course they ridicule the
Manner of His death Second Coming of Christ.
Said He would die
Showed love in dying
Love of God:
Died for our sins
Destroyed the devil’s works
(in its flame of affection)
Died that we might live in Him
(in its flow of supply)
Anybody for Calvary?
The town in which I live has an elevated
railway. One of the stations is near a great (in its attention to service)
burying ground, Calvary Cemetery. For Indispensable
many years, because in that part of the town (in its sustenance of grace)
there were many more dead than living folk, Instant
the trains did not stop at the cemetery (in its readiness of help)
except on request. Just after leaving the Immutable
nearest station, the guard would open the (in its unchangeable character)
door and say, "Next station is Calvary. Train Inseparable
stops on signal only. Anybody for Calvary?" (in its strength of holding)
It is a parable of life's train. At all the other God First, Others Second, Self Last
stations every train stops. At Market Street, Maltbie D. Babcock said, "Our business in
at School Street, at University Avenue, at life is not to get ahead of other people but to
Main Street, at Vanity Fair, at Broadway, at get ahead of ourselves, to break our own
record, to outstrip yesterdays by todays and Vivifies by His life
to do our work with more force and a finer Inspires to love
finish than ever. This is the true idea—to get Obtains by His power
ahead of ourselves." Unifies by His Spirit
Receives by His return
E. A. Wiggam advises, "You will make more
friends in a week by getting yourself Open Season On Christianity
interested in people than you can in a year Angela Guidry, a straight-A-student at Sam
by trying to get people interested in you." Dr. Houston High School in Moss Bluff,
H.C. Moule says that the new grammar of Louisiana, was scheduled to give a
the Christian is first person, He (God): valedictory address at her graduation. But
second person, you (others): third person, I when a guidance counselor reviewed the
(Self last). speech, she told Guidry to eliminate
references to her Christian faith. Rather than
George Meredith in The Egoist says of change her address, Guidry did not speak.
Willoughby Patterne, "She beheld him in his Her case is now in federal court.
good qualities and his good were drenched
in his first person singular. Self is the only When Scott Klika mentioned his Christian
prison that can ever bind the soul; love is the faith to a group of adult patients at a private
only angel who can bid the gates unroll, and psychiatric hospital in Green Bay,
when he comes to call thee, arise and follow Wisconsin, his supervisors asked that he not
fast. His way may lie through darkness but it bring up the subject again. Three months
leads to light at last." later, though he had not spoken further
about his beliefs, he was fired. According to
Christ is All: Klika, his supervisors told him his faith was
Life not in keeping with the beliefs of the
(to the body of truth) hospital.
(to the realm of thought) After columnist Cal Thomas learned his
Energy appearance on ABC's "Good Morning
(to the machinery work) America" had been canceled, he called the
Music network to ask why. According to Thomas,
(to the notes of life) he was told that the producers feared he
Soul would quote Bible verses on the air.
(to the sphere of conduct)
Do these cases and scores of others like
them prove an anti-Christian bias in
(to the heart of affection) America? "Yes," says a growing collection of
Grace evangelical leaders. In government,
(to the beautifying of character) education, media, law, and business,
Christians remain the last group that can be
C. H. Spurgeon ridiculed and discriminated against with
The true-hearted Christian judges himself to impunity.
have died when Christ died, and,
henceforth, he feels that he must not live for
Christianity – What is it?
any object but the glory of Christ.
Glory of His Deity
Saviour: Glow of His love
Saves by His grace Reality of His humanity
Atones by His blood Sufficiency of His death
Indwelling of His Spirit (in Christian service)
Beauty of His character
Hope of His glory To Harm Christianity
The famous poet Goethe was once asked,
Tetelestai! It Is Finished! "What will destroy poetry?"
With a clear voice Jesus uttered one last
word from the cross: "tetelestai." (John He answered laconically, "Poets," and
19:30) added, "Poetry will flourish when there are
The papyri throw great light on this word. If a
promissory note were paid, the one holding So in Christianity, the cause of Christ will be
the note wrote "telelestai" across it. A deed damaged when people who call Christ Lord
to property was not in effect until it was do not do the things which He says.
dated and signed. When this was done, the
clerk wrote "tetelestai" across it. Lord’s Work:
Another example of its use was when a Powerful faith
father sent his son on a mission. The son Personal love
was not to return until he had performed the Persistent effort
last act of the mission. When he did return
from a successful mission, he used Oswald Chambers
tetelestai to report it.
Paul said that he was overpowered,
In eternity, the Son gave the Father a subdued, and held as in a vise by "the love
promissory note that He would pay the price of Christ." Very few of us really know what it
for humanity's redemption (see Hebrews means to be held in the grip of the love of
10:5-7). On Calvary the note was paid-in- God. We tend so often to be controlled
full. Tetelestai! The Son reported His simply by our own experience. The one
completed mission to the Father. Tetelestai! thing that gripped and held Paul, to the
exclusion of everything else, was the love of
Perhaps when the waiting hosts in heaven God. "The love of Christ compels us . . . ."
heard of the completed work of Jesus, When you hear that coming from the life of a
heaven rang with it. TETELESTAI! And the man or woman it is unmistakable. You will
Father smiled His approval. know that the Spirit of God is completely
unhindered in that person's life.
His Finished Work: When we are born again by the Spirit of
Panacea God, our testimony is based solely on what
(for the ill of sin) God has done for us, and rightly so. But that
Peace-maker will change and be removed forever once
(for our reconciliation with God) you "receive power when the Holy Spirit has
Price come upon you . . ." (Acts 1:8). Only then
(for our redemption from sin) will you begin to realize what Jesus meant
Power when He went on to say, ". . . you shall be
(to overcome Satan’s malice) witnesses to Me . . . ." Not witnesses to what
Potentiality Jesus can do -- that is basic and understood
(to live for God) -- but "witnesses to Me . . . ." We will accept
Pattern everything that happens as if it were
(for our dying to self) happening to Him, whether we receive
Propeller praise or blame, persecution or reward. No
one is able to take this stand for Jesus
Christ who is not totally compelled by the Devotional
majesty of His power. It is the only thing that For God to be our source, we need to see
matters, and yet it is strange that it's the last that God is not going to improve us. He is
thing we as Christian workers realize. Paul not going to mend us or even upgrade us.
said that he was gripped by the love of God We may upgrade our computer software, but
and that is why he acted as he did. People when it comes to improving the self, there
could perceive him as mad or sane-he did are no upgrades in God's arrangement of
not care. There was only one thing he lived things. God is not going to improve me, nor
for -- to persuade people of the coming is He going to render some help to me, as if
judgment of God and to tell them of "the love I was the source of my life. Christ becomes
of Christ." This total surrender to "the love of our righteousness in order that we might be
Christ" is the only thing that will bear fruit in torn away from ourselves and catapulted
your life. And it will always leave the mark of into Another life and source. God does
God's holiness and His power, never things in absolutes. He crucifies the self and
drawing attention to your personal holiness. terminates it. He does not even give it a
Seven Greatest Things: chance to try to work out its own
righteousness. The fact that we "all died" in
Love of Christ force
His death deals with the matter of source. A
Faith of Christ faith
dead person can no longer live to himself.
Gentleness of Christ fruit Christ comes to replace us. He comes to be
Power of Christ factor the very source of our being. He comes to
Word of Christ fulcrum exchange our life for His life. He does this by
Mind of Christ fabricator joining Himself to our spirit, so that we
Afflictions of Christ fellowship become one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17).
Moral Character Of The Prophet God's goal is to come into my spirit to
False prophets were characterized by their become my source. The way He does this is
low morality and unethical conduct. They by first taking me completely out of the
were drunkards (Isaiah 28:7), adulterous realm of my self by crucifying me outright.
(Jeremiah 23:14), treacherous (Zeph. 3:4), This co-crucifixion with Christ quickly ends
liars (Micah 2:11), and opportunists (Micah my religious history. God terminates me in
3:11). one realm that He might resurrect me in
another. The experiential effect of this co-
In contrast, true prophets were morally resurrection, where Christ Himself is now my
uncompromising and above reproach. Christ righteousness, is that I become completely
refers to this test: "Every good tree bringeth reoriented. It is truly no longer I, but Christ in
forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth me, who is living to God. Because Christ is
forth evil fruit...By their fruits ye shall know my life, God is now my source.
them" (Matthew 7:17-20).
Love’s Character: Basis of faith
Divine in its nature Spring of love
Definite in its giving Window of hope
Decisive in its assurance Joy of reconciliation
Deliberate in its service Motive of affection
Dominating in its power Soul of praise
Durable in its affection Theme of Gospel
Dedicating in its influence
C.H. Spurgeon brings them nose to nose. But then comes
The gospel to the Christian is a thing of the surprise. The snake with the widest bite
power. What is it that makes the young man will keep right on going and actually swallow
devote himself as a missionary to the cause the other!
of God, to leave father and mother and go
into distant lands? It is a thing of power that Christians have been known to "consume
does it: the gospel. What is it that constrains one another" too. We may say something
the minister in the midst of cholera to climb unkind to a fellow Christian, who then
up that creaking staircase and stand by the becomes defensive, and an argument
bed of some dying creature who has that develops. We know we would be better off if
dire disease? It must be a thing of power we held our tongue and trusted the Lord for
which leads him to venture his life. It is love the outcome, but we just keep going.
of the cross of Christ which beds him to do
it. It's easy to assume that we're too mature to
let things go too far. But the apostle Paul
With some people, when they give Christ reminded us in Galatians 5:15 that words
anything or do anything for him, it is and emotions can get out of hand--even
dreadfully forced work. They say, “The love among Christians. When this happens,
of Christ ought to constrain us.” I do not feelings get hurt, friendships are destroyed,
know that there is any such text in the Bible. the church becomes divided, and the body
I do remember one that runs thus: “The love of Christ suffers.
of Christ constraineth us.” If it does not
constrain us, it is because it is not in us. It is It is crucial that we ask the Lord daily to help
not merely a thing which ought to be; it must us to "be kind to one another,
be. tenderhearted, forgiving one another" (Eph.
4:32). Only as we rely on Him will the love of
5:15 and He died for all, that they who Christ in our hearts replace the man-eating
live should no longer live for impulses of a sharp tongue and a bitter
themselves, but for Him who died spirit.
and rose again on their behalf.
And he died for all, that those It's better to bite your tongue
who live should no longer live for than to make a biting remark.
themselves but for him who died
for them and was raised again. A Good Question
And that he died for all, that they The pastor of a fashionable congregation
which live should not henceforth live startled his members one Sunday morning
unto themselves, but unto him which by flinging this question at them: "What have
died for them, and rose again. you done today that nobody but a Christian
If you bite and devour one another, beware Ask this question of yourself. What would be
lest you be consumed by one another. -- your answer?
Life in Christ:
Have you ever heard of one snake eating God imparted life
another snake? According to zookeepers, Christ associated life
two of these reptiles will sometimes grab Christ sustained life
different ends of the same piece of food. Spirit inscribed life
Sooner or later their struggle for that last bite Self displacing life
Christ indwelt life as our source. This denying of self is not the
Brethren considered life practice of asceticism; rather, it issues from
Missionary expressed life our enjoyment of Christ as the Spirit in our
spirit. By the Spirit we are putting to death all
Life Produces Belief the practices of the body (Rom. 8:13). In this
A friend once said to Pascal: "I wish I had way we are operating out of a new base.
your belief, so I might live your life." However, the less we allow the Lord to deal
with our self, the more we will crowd Christ
To which Pascal was swift to reply: "If you out, not allowing Him to be our source and
lived my life you would soon have my center from which we handle everything. If
belief." the self is not denied, we are just little
"gods," doing our own thing and operating
Christ’s Death: our own lives. Our base of operation and
understanding is just the self. Thus, we can
Predicted He would die
see that the goal of dealing with the self is to
Manner of His death
effect a subjective transfer of source, giving
Said He would die us a new base of operation.
Showed love in dying
Died for our sins His Finished Work:
Destroyed the devil’s works Panacea
Died that we might live in Him (for the ill of sin)
Devotional (for our reconciliation with God)
One of the main reasons that Christ died on Price
the cross was to give us a new base of (for our redemption from sin)
operation in our spirit, that we would no Power
longer live to ourselves. Thus, the practical (to overcome Satan’s malice)
issue of the cross in our lives is that we no Potentiality
longer live to ourselves but to Him. This (to live for God)
means we have a new center, a new point of
reference, a new base from which we
(for our dying to self)
operate, a new source from which we draw
our resources. In Galatians 2:20 our new
(in Christian service)
base of operation is described: "It is no
longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." Our
base of operation is no longer our self. The
It is wonderful to discover that once we have
cross has freed us from ever again having to
received Christ, He becomes our
take the self as the source from which we
relationship to ourselves. Paul makes this
live. Now we can deal with everything from
clear in the above verses. When he says,
the Lord, in the Lord, and with the Lord.
"One died for all," according to our
understanding, we probably would continue
We have to worship the Lord for coming to
the sentence by saying, "then all are
us by His mighty hand in our environment,
forgiven." Of course, this truth is found in
through the members of the Body, and
other passages of Scripture - when Christ
through the supply from the Word - all of
died for all, He died to forgive all. But here in
which are to deal with our self to effect a
these verses Paul is stressing another
transfer of source. This transfer to a new
aspect of Christ's death. The statement "If
base of operation means that we no longer
One died for all, then all died" reveals a
operate out of the self. When the self is
crucial fact about our relationship to
denied, we are a person enjoying the Lord
ourselves. In verse 15 Paul opens up what are saying right now, in how you are
the issue should be of our having died in carrying on? Is He happy with your habits of
Christ's death - "that those who live should life? Are you to Him? Are you willing to
live no longer to themselves, but to Him." In gather up your whole life and prove what is
other words, our relating to ourselves has well pleasing to Him? Do you dare take
ceased. Christ is now our true relationship to every part of your life and live to Him? What
ourselves. We do not live to ourselves any about your relationship with others in the
longer. We live to Him world? Can you prove that it is well pleasing
to Him? What about your dress? How do
The death of Christ is not only for our you clothe yourself? Do you live somewhat
forgiveness; it is also for our termination. naked? Can you prove yourself to be well
The terminating of the self is very positive pleasing in what you wear? Do you have a
because it has one goal in view - the release consciousness of what pleases Him in your
of Christ living in us. When we no longer live dress? First Corinthians 10:31 says,
to ourselves, we are no longer our point of "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you
reference in our daily life and affairs. Our do, do all to the glory of God." Eating and
point of reference is no longer the self, but drinking is to be done out of the source of
God. I am to eat to God. I am to drink to
Christ. To live for Him is to live to Him.
God. I am to dress to God. I am to talk to
God. I am to Him. He is my source. This is
the life that springs from within
Sin's wage is death
All have sinned Life:
Death upon all men From Christ
One died for all In Christ
All die for him With Christ
Here Paul is opening up another aspect of
our inward posture in the Christian life. We For Christ
are to the Lord. We are toward Him. That is In the Believer
our inward posture. Let me give an
illustration. This life is like going to a boys' Devotional
ranch, where you report to the director, and No longer living to ourselves is experiential.
the director checks you in. Then he tells you, The cross is a fact that transfers the source
"You are going to be here for some time, of our lives. Now we are joined to Christ
and I am not going to give you a list of do's through regeneration. What is the issue of
and don'ts. I want you to stay with me this? What is the purpose of it all? It is that
instead. I want you to be with me wherever I we no longer live to ourselves, that we no
go. Every moment of the day, I will tell you longer take ourselves as the point of
what to do. You will not have a relationship reference for anything! We no longer consult
with a schedule or a written program. You with ourselves or debate with ourselves. To
will have a relationship with me." live no longer to ourselves, but to Him
means that we have a new center, a new
The Lord has come into us, not to be source, a new base of operation. From this
cheated by our religious living, but to be our new source, we live to Him who died for us
source. He wants us to live moment by and has been raised.
moment to Him. That means your eyes are
looking at His eyes. You are looking at His Based upon this transfer and its experiential
face. Is He smiling? Is He happy in what you effect of no longer living to ourselves, verse
16 begins, "Therefore, from now on . . ." where Christ is presented in an enlarged
Notice the words "from now on." In verse 15 way by Paul. He no longer considers Christ
it is "no longer," and in verse 16 it is "from merely alone, by Himself. He says, "If
now on, we know no one according to the anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."
flesh." This means we do not interpret Here Christ is not just an individual man, but
people or relate to one another in the way a corporate man. Other persons are "in
we did in the past. "From now on" is the Him." So the new knowing of Christ is
outcome of "no longer" living to ourselves. knowing Him as the church (Eph. 5:29-30). It
Because we have a new base of operation, is the knowing of Him according to 1
our whole attitude about one another and Corinthians 12:12, where both the one Body
how we relate to one another is changed. and the many members form one whole
We no longer know each other according to Christ! It is also the same knowing of Him
the flesh. This even includes the way we are found in Paul's prayer for the believers in
related to the Lord, to Christ. Paul testifies, Ephesians 1:17-23. There, the full
"Even though we have known Christ knowledge of God is to know Christ as the
according to the flesh, yet now we know Him Head of His Body, the church, which is
thus no longer" (v. 16). We do not remain in described as being "the fullness of the One
our human concepts, ideas, views, and who fills all in all."
imaginations about Christ. But now we are
firmly, solidly established in spirit - our new It is the church as Christ which is the new
base, our new source, our new center. kind of knowing of Christ in 2 Corinthians
5:16. The church described as "the new
5:16 Therefore from now on we man" in Colossians 3:10-11 is also the new
recognize no man according to the kind of knowing of Christ. The church as the
flesh; even though we have known new man of the new creation is the realm
Christ according to the flesh, yet where Christ is all and in all. It is also the
now we know Him thus no longer. realm where old things have passed away
So from now on we regard no one and all things have become new! In this
from a worldly point of view. realm we know each other as members of
Though we once regarded Christ Christ. We no longer regard or know each
in this way, we do so no longer. other according to the differences and
Wherefore henceforth know we no distinctions of the old creation (Gal. 3:27-
man after the flesh: yea, though we 28). In the new creation we always prefer
have known Christ after the flesh, Christ in one another.
yet now henceforth know we him no
more. C. H. Spurgeon
He is gone back to glory, so our object is not
C. H. Spurgeon to win a kingdom for him anywhere upon
We do not see Christ with our natural eyes, earth. Our aim now is spiritual, the
we do not hear his voice with our natural proclamation of his truth, the winning of a
ears, he is to us now a spiritual Personage, kingdom for him in the hearts of men.
who communicates with our spirits through
his own ever-blessed Spirit. 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he
is a new creature; the old things
Devotional passed away; behold, new things
The deep significance that Paul opens up have come.
here is a new kind of knowing of Christ in Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
contrast to his old knowing of Christ. What is he is a new creation; the old has
this new kind of knowing of Christ? The gone, the new has come!
obvious answer is in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature: old things are our souls, we cannot do it ourselves. Only
passed away; behold, all things are Jesus Christ can. Call on Him today for
become new. expert restoration.
5:17 Christians are brand-new people on the Only God can transform a sin-stained
inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, soul into a masterpiece of grace.
and they are not the same anymore. We are
not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated— A Change of Nature
we are re-created (new creations), living in When you receive Jesus Christ, are born
vital union with Christ (Col. 2:6-7). At again, and enter into God’s kingdom, you
conversion we are not merely turning over a become a totally different individual. The
new leaf; we are beginning a new life under change that occurs when you’re saved is
a new Master. more dramatic than the change that will
occur when you die because then you
Expert Restoration already have a new nature and are a citizen
If anyone is in Christ, . . . old things have of God’s kingdom. Death simply ushers you
passed away; behold, all things have into God’s presence.
become new. --2 Corinthians 5:17
In his epistles, the apostle Paul says that
A woman who restores valuable paintings when God transformed us, He gave us a
says many works of art that seem new will, mind, heart, power, knowledge,
hopelessly damaged can be saved by an wisdom, life, inheritance, relationship,
expert. Rebecca McLain has brought color righteousness, love, desire, and citizenship.
and life back to dulled oil paintings by He called it “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
carefully removing dirt and discolored Some teach that when a person becomes a
varnish. But she has also seen the damage Christian, God gives him something new in
done when people attempt to clean their addition to his old sin nature. But according
own soiled art with oven cleaner or abrasive to the Word of God, we don’t receive
powders. Her advice? If you value the art, something new—we ourselves become new!
take it to an expert in restoration.
The same need exists in lives soiled by sin. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
Our efforts at ridding ourselves of the guilt old things have passed away; behold, all
and defilement of sinful actions and attitudes things have become new. —2 Corinthians
often end in frustration and despair. In our 5:17
attempts to get rid of guilt, we sometimes
blame others. Or we simply give up, thinking The beat-up old car sits on the used-car lot,
that we cannot be any different. rusty and forsaken. Years of abuse and hard
driving have taken their toll on the formerly
But Jesus our redeemer is the expert who shiny automobile.
can restore the most damaged, defiled, and
discouraged person. Christ died so that A man walks onto the lot and is attracted to
anyone who by faith receives Him can be this rust bucket. He plunks down cash and
completely forgiven and restored. With His the salesperson hands over the keys while
own blood He will cleanse us (1 John 1:7) saying, "I'm selling you this car 'as is.'" The
and make us a new creation, God's own new owner just smiles; he knows his cars,
"workmanship" (2 Corinthians 5:17; and he's about to restore this castoff to its
Ephesians 2:10). former beauty.
When it comes to cleansing the canvas of Across town, a troubled woman sits in
forlorn sadness, contemplating where she obey God and was swallowed by a big fish.
went wrong. Years of abuse and hard living He hears about Judas, who betrayed Jesus
have taken their toll on what was once a for 30 silver coins.
vibrant young girl. She's been mistreated by
others so many times that she feels she has The Bible is painfully realistic in its portrayal
little value anymore. And after making her of people. It is no whitewashed version of
own mistakes and living with her own bad the history of God's people. In its honest
choices, she's sure she will be left on life's presentation of its characters, the Bible
junk heap forever. proves that we all need to be forgiven of our
sins. The "bad" people of the Bible remind
But then someone tells her about Jesus. us that "all have sinned and fall short of the
Someone mentions that Jesus specializes in glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
castoffs, that He is waiting to transform
anyone who trusts Him—even her. But there's great news. God did provide a
Someone tells her that Jesus will take her way to "start over." He sent Jesus, who died
"as is." She believes. She trusts. And Jesus so that we could become new creations (2
begins to restore another lost person to the Corinthians 5:17). Trust Jesus and be saved
abundant life He has promised. from your sin. Then you will be able to "start
Salvation is not turning over a new leaf,
but receiving a new life. For a new start, ask God for a new heart.
C. H. Spurgeon New Creation:
There could not be a greater change than New Aim
that which is wrought by regeneration, it is a (to please the Lord)
new creation, the passing away of the old, New Association
and the making of all things new. (oneness with the Lord)
Starting Over (to live unto Him)
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; New Activity
old things have passed away; behold, all (to walk by faith)
things have become new. —2 Corinthians New Attachment
(by the love of Christ)
The little boy looked up at his mother and
asked, "Mama, do you know why God made (message of reconciliation)
us?" New Assurance
(about the future)
Knowing that her son had his own
explanation, she asked, "Well, Justin, do 'I Smile'
you know why?" If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold, all
"Oh, that's easy. Because the people in the things have become new. —2 Corinthians
Bible were so bad, He wanted to start over." 5:17
When you think about it, it's easy to see how
this first-grader could come up with such a A few years ago, singer Russ Lee came out
conclusion. When he listens to the Bible with a song titled "I Smile." When you
stories in Sunday school, he hears about discover how his life was changed by Jesus
Adam and Eve, who messed things up for all Christ, you'll know why he sings a song that
of us. He hears about Jonah, who wouldn't says, "I smile when I think about the way
You turned my life around. I smile when I anything we bring to Him. There is only one
think about the happiness in You I've found." thing God wants of us, and that is our
When Russ was 17, his days were wasted unconditional surrender.
on drugs, alcohol, boredom, and pain. His
life was full of self-inflicted trouble and When we are born again, the Holy Spirit
hopelessness. One day, while listening to an begins to work His new creation in us, and
old rock song called "I Can't Get No there will come a time when there is nothing
Satisfaction," he realized that this described remaining of the old life. Our old gloomy
his life. Two days later, a friend invited him outlook disappears, as does our old attitude
to church. There Russ heard that real toward things, and "all things are of God"
satisfaction comes from knowing Jesus (5:18). How are we going to get a life that
Christ, so he reached out in faith to Him. has no lust, no self-interest, and is not
sensitive to the ridicule of others? How will
So, what was the first thing Russ did after we have the type of love that "is kind . . . is
trusting Christ? According to the book not provoked, [and] thinks no evil"? (1
Touched By The Savior by Mike Yorkey, Corinthians 13:4-5). The only way is by
Russ said, "I walked back out to my car. In allowing nothing of the old life to remain, and
the trunk was a garbage bag filled with by having only simple, perfect trust in God --
drugs I had been selling. such a trust that we no longer want God's
blessings, but only want God Himself. Have
I won't be needing these again, I thought, we come to the point where God can
and I was right. I threw the bag away. From withdraw His blessings from us without our
that day forward, God transformed my life trust in Him being affected? Once we truly
from the inside out. I became a new see God at work, we will never be
creation." concerned again about the things that
happen, because we are actually trusting in
No wonder Russ Lee can sing with our Father in heaven, whom the world
exuberance, "I smile." Can you? cannot see
A song in the heart What does the divine sufferer demand from
puts a smile on the face.
us? Only our faith, our love, our grateful
praise, our consecrated hearts and lives. Is
that too much to ask?
Our Lord never tolerates our prejudices --
He is directly opposed to them and puts New:
them to death. We tend to think that God Judgments intelligence
has some special interest in our particular Purposes usefulness
prejudices, and are very sure that He will Desires aspiring
never deal with us as He has to deal with Conversations sociability
others. We even say to ourselves, "God has Actions conduct
to deal with other people in a very strict way,
but of course He knows that my prejudices
are all right." But we must learn that God
accepts nothing of the old life! Instead of What understanding do you have of the
being on the side of our prejudices, He is salvation of your soul? The work of salvation
deliberately removing them from us. It is part means that in your real life things are
of our moral education to see our prejudices dramatically changed. You no longer look at
put to death by His providence, and to watch things in the same way. Your desires are
how He does it. God pays no respect to new and the old things have lost their power
to attract you. One of the tests for the tidings of the wondrous work by which
determining if the work of salvation in your God is reconciled, so that, without any
life is genuine is -- has God changed the violation of his justice, he can have mercy
things that really matter to you? If you still upon those who have offended against him.
yearn for the old things, it is absurd to talk
about being born from above -- you are Devotional
deceiving yourself. If you are born again, the
In the new creation, "old things have passed
Spirit of God makes the change very evident
away." This means that my old existence,
in your real life and thought. And when a
which was apart from God as my source,
crisis comes, you are the most amazed
has passed away. "All things have become
person on earth at the wonderful difference
new" means that now "all things are out of
there is in you. There is no possibility of
God." He is now my source. When God
imagining that you did it. It is this complete
reconciled us to Himself through Jesus
and amazing change that is the very
Christ, He produced a relationship that
evidence that you are saved.
makes Him, not ourselves, the source of our
What difference has my salvation and lives. He has the rightful place because He
sanctification made? For instance, can I has imparted His Son into us. Now, the
stand in the light of 1 Corinthians 13, or do I source of everything in our lives is the Spirit
squirm and evade the issue? True salvation, of His Son sent into our hearts crying,
worked out in me by the Holy Spirit, frees "Abba, Father!"
me completely. And as long as I "walk in the
To be "in Christ" in the new creation is to be
light as He is in the light" (1 John 1:7), God
in the source where all things are out of
sees nothing to rebuke because His life is
God. His Son lived a human life on this earth
working itself into every detailed part of my
for 33 1/2 years. In all His living, He did
being, not on the conscious level, but even
nothing apart from the Father. Whatever He
deeper than my consciousness.
spoke and whatever He did, He did out of
C. S. Lewis the Father as His source. He was wholly
The perfect surrender and humiliation were dependent upon the Father's life as the
undergone by Christ: perfect because He source for His daily life. We must see that
was God, surrender and humiliation the Son's life lived out in the Gospels is now
because He was man. In Christ a new kind in us. As the Spirit, He is operating to
of man appeared: and the new kind of life produce His dependent life in us, and to
which began in Him is to be put into us. eliminate our independent living - a life of
living to ourselves. Our life in the old
Sermon Note creation has been an independent life, in
New views intentions which we have lived out of our self as the
New feelings emphasis source. We have made our own decisions,
New loves virtues done our own things, lived out of our own
New joys reveler feelings and thoughts. In brief, we have
New language tongue been the source of our life. Thus, the Lord
New aspirations intentions works in our lives to actually make Himself
New principles focus our source. Why are we passing through all
kinds of experiences and various
New pursuits motion
environments? They are designed by God to
bring us into Himself as our source. What
C. H. Spurgeon
we are going through right now is another
The work of reconciliation he committed to
step toward the goal of working a realization
his Son; the word of reconciliation he has
into our consciousness that our life is out of
committed to us. It is our high privilege to tell
God Himself. The depths and intimacy of Christ as our
John MacQuarrie relationship with one another can be seen in
Paul's relationship with the Philippians. In
Some events stand out as events of God’s
acting, for these events have the power to Philippians 1:8 we read, "For God is my
address men at the deepest level of their witness, how greatly I long for you all with
the inward parts of Jesus Christ." Here Paul
existence, to seize them, as it were, and
so identifies his feelings with the Lord's that
bring them into the attitude of faith. The
he is not merely saying, "I am burdened for
event of Jesus Christ is, for Christians, the
you" or "I am thinking of you." The Lord
supreme miracle, the high tide of God’s
providential activity. Himself with His inward parts became Paul's
relationship with the Philippians. Paul was a
Sermon Note man who embodied the Lord's own feelings
and intimate care for the saints. This
Live through Christ
demonstrates the extent to which Christ
Live with Christ
becomes our relationship with one another.
Live for Christ My relationship with you and your
relationship with me is Christ. How precious
John V. Taylor this is. The more there is an increase of
Then, as now, it was the truth of Jesus, and Christ in us, the more there will be an
not the truth about Jesus, which convinced increase of Christ in our relationships.
and converted. No words can add to the
Word. God’s Divine:
Origin source, matter
Operation treatment, deed
To say "old things have passed away" and
"all things have become new" means that
old relationships have passed away and all Office life of duty
things in our relationships with each other Opportunity offer, reason
have become new. We have all been newly Offering payment, grant
created together in Christ as one new man, Obtainment gain
and have all been reconciled in one Body to
God by the cross (Eph. 2:15-16). Andrew Murray (1828-1917)
The believer who studies this life of Christ as
Christ as our relationship with each other is the pattern and the promise of what his may
what the church is. In other words, the be, learns to understand how the “Without
church is just Christ between us. If Christ is me ye can do nothing” is but the forerunner
not our mutual fellowship, then the reality of of “I can do all things through Christ who
the church is lost. So to know the church is strengtheneth me.”
to know Christ as our relationship with each
other. It is not a matter of knowing each Our Daily Bread
other in a natural way, according to race or God our Maker faced a situation something
background. Neither is it formally joining a like that of the artist, except that the problem
church to become a member. No. We are was immeasurably greater. Adam was
joined to the Lord in one Body, and His God's supreme creation, but he had ruined
relationship with all His members becomes himself by sin. With his original perfection
our relationship with every member. So we stained and disfigured, he was fit only to be
freely receive one another the way Christ eternally discarded. But by the amazing
received us (Rom. 15:7). This is what the strategy of the cross, our gracious God, the
church is. Supreme Artist, took ruined sinners and
recreated them to reflect the beauty of
Christ's holiness. also Ephes. 2:13-18) and making us
righteous. We are no longer God’s enemies,
When we put our faith in the crucified or strangers or foreigners to him, when we
Savior, we are not only completely forgiven, trust in Christ. Because we have been
but God's Holy Spirit transforms us, making reconciled to God, we have the privilege of
us into the Creator's prized possession. As encouraging others to do the same, and
the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the thus we are those who have the “ministry of
Ephesians, we will be displaying throughout reconciliation.”
eternity "the exceeding riches of His grace in
His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" Make Peace
(2:7).. God . . . has given us the ministry of
reconciliation. —2 Corinthians 5:18
Only God can transform a sin-stained
soul into a masterpiece of grace. It was a dramatic story of forgiveness. In
December of 2000, on the Battleship
C.H. Spurgeon Missouri Memorial, a dozen American
The new creation is as much and entirely survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor
the work of God as the old creation. embraced three of the Japanese pilots who
had flown attacking planes. The
One of the early saints, I think it was reconciliation ceremony had been arranged
Augustine, had indulged in great sins in his by the American-Japan Friendship
younger days. After his conversion he met a Committee.
woman who had been the sharer of his
wicked follies. She approached him That moving scene is only a dim reflection of
winningly and said to him, “Augustine,” but what God's grace does for us. Although we
he ran away from her with all speed. She are sinful, we can be brought into a
called after him and said, “Augustine, it is I.” relationship with God through simple faith in
He turned around and said, “But it is not I. Jesus. Because He died on the cross in our
The old Augustine is dead, and I am a new place, God blots out the record of our sins
creature in Christ Jesus.” and makes us right with Him.
We are saved, not by evolution, The Lord in His amazing love has not only
but by creation. forgiven us but has also given to us "the
ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians
5:18 Now all these things are from God, 5:18). We have the honor of sharing the
who reconciled us to Himself good news with others so that they too can
through Christ, and gave us the be at peace with God. And when we are
ministry of reconciliation, right with God, we are also to do what we
All this is from God, who can to live at peace with everyone (Romans
reconciled us to himself through 12:18).
Christ and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation: Have you accepted God's offer of
And all things are of God, who hath forgiveness in Christ? Are you telling others
reconciled us to himself by Jesus about His love? And are you an agent of
God's grace in your relationships? Start
Christ, and hath given to us the
ministry of reconciliation;
When we experience peace with God,
5:18-19 God brings us back to himself
we can share His peace with others.
(reconciles us) by blotting out our sins (see
All things: ministry of peacemaking.
All things are of God
All things are yours Family Stories
All things work together for good God . . . has given us the ministry of
Head over all things reconciliation. —2 Corinthians 5:18
Teaches you of all things
All things whatsoever you ask Everybody loves a family story, and today’s
Bible reading contains one of the most well-
All things are possible
known stories in all of Scripture—the
Prove all things
Parable of the Lost Son.
Giving thanks for all things
End of all things Author Henri Nouwen, in his book The
Inherit all things Return Of The Prodigal Son, suggests that
all Christians, at some point in their walk of
Today faith, are represented by each of the three
It seems increasingly rare that two people main characters. At times we are the
who are different from each other can live wayward child in need of repentance and
together. Jew and Palestinian want separate forgiveness. At other times we are the big
homelands. Serb and Croat cannot live brother who wants to hold on to resentment
together. The Klu Klux Klan and skinheads and withhold forgiveness. But as we mature,
build walls between black and white. we become like the father, whose highest
desire is to have all his children reconciled.
Differences between people are not new. In
the beginning God created male and female. Nouwen ends the book with these words:
God never intended for this difference to be “As I look at my own aging hands, I know
a source of irritation or a cause for divorce. that they have been given to me to stretch
Bringing the man and the woman together to out to all who suffer, to rest upon the
bless each other, God said, "A man will shoulders of all who come, and to offer the
leave his father and mother and be united to blessing that emerges from the immensity of
his wife, and they will become one."
What role are you playing in your family
It was only when sin entered the picture that
story? Do you need the courage to repent
differences became walls. Husband and wife and seek forgiveness? Or do you need the
pointed at each other, saying, "It's your compassion to extend forgiveness?
God has given His children the “ministry of
Then brother killed brother. Before long, reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Now
people were saying, "If God intended all of would be a good time to start.
us to live together, he would have made us
the same." A right attitude with your family begins
with a right attitude toward God.
God reveals his intentions in Jesus Christ.
God intends that we become reconciled to Devotional
him. In Christ, the barrier of our sin is The preposition "out of" (ek) used in this
removed. But God also intends that we verse reveals that our starting place is in
become reconciled to others, no longer God, and that everything proceeds out of
regarding anyone "from a worldly point of God. Romans 11:36 also uses ek to show
view." In fact, God even calls those who us that God is our source: "For out of Him
have been reconciled to him in Christ to the and through Him and to Him are all things."
God is the starting point for all things. For Committee.
example, this morning when I woke up, I had
a spontaneous feeling within me. It was as if That moving scene is only a dim reflection of
the Lord was saying, "Don't move, don't what God's grace does for us. Although we
think, don't allow yourself to do anything. are sinful, we can be brought into a
Just sink into Me." We do not have a right to relationship with God through simple faith in
live. We are not the initiators in our lives. Jesus. Because He died on the cross in our
God is our starting place, because place, God blots out the record of our sins
everything is out of Him. He has the first and makes us right with Him.
place in all things.
The Lord in His amazing love has not only
One of the clearest verses showing that the forgiven us but has also given to us "the
Lord Jesus lived from the Father as His ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians
source is John 5:30: "I can from Myself do 5:18). We have the honor of sharing the
nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment good news with others so that they too can
is righteous, because I do not seek My own be at peace with God. And when we are
will but the will of the Father who sent Me." right with God, we are also to do what we
The preposition "from" indicates that, in His can to live at peace with everyone (Romans
humanity, the Lord was not the source of his 12:18).
actions and words. Although He could have
legitimately taken His own sinless soul as Have you accepted God's offer of
the base and source of His living, He lived forgiveness in Christ? Are you telling others
exclusively from the Father. about His love? And are you an agent of
God's grace in your relationships? Start
First John 2:27 is a key verse in the New today—make peace.
Testament that reveals how God is our
source: "But the anointing which you have When we experience peace with God, we
received from Him abides in you, and you do can share His peace with others.
not need that anyone teach you; but as the
same anointing teaches you concerning all 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ
things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just reconciling the world to Himself, not
as it has taught you, you will abide in Him." counting their trespasses against
God becomes our source experientially them, and He has committed to us
when we follow the movement of the the word of reconciliation.
anointing within us from Him. This indicates that God was reconciling the
that the practical matters in our lives world to himself in Christ, not
originate from Him as our source. counting men's sins against
them. And he has committed to
Make Peace us the message of reconciliation.
God . . . has given us the ministry of To wit, that God was in Christ,
reconciliation. —2 Corinthians 5:18 reconciling the world unto himself,
not imputing their trespasses unto
It was a dramatic story of forgiveness. In them; and hath committed unto us
December of 2000, on the Battleship the word of reconciliation.
Missouri Memorial, a dozen American
survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor Our Mission
embraced three of the Japanese pilots who God loved a lost world and sought to win
had flown attacking planes. The sinners to Himself for His own glory. Christ
reconciliation ceremony had been arranged came into the world out of love and sought
by the American-Japan Friendship to win sinners for the Father’s glory. As
believers we also are to go to the world in Trinity.
love and to seek to reach the lost for the
glory of God. Thus our mission is the same Consider the love an earthly father has for
as God’s. his son. In Genesis 22, we read that God
asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.
We are an extension of the ministry of God We can only imagine the agony in his heart
the Father and Son in receiving glory by the as he and the boy climbed the mountain.
salvation of lost sinners. Jesus said, “As Surely Abraham must have wished he could
thou hast sent me into the world, even so take Isaac's place.
have I also sent them into the world” (John
17:18). “As” conveys intention. As the Father As a father and grandfather myself, I would
sent the Son into the unredeemed world, so choose to die in place of my offspring, if
the Son has sent believers. Wonder of given the choice.
wonders, we have the privilege of
participating in Jesus Christ’s mission to a Our love as earthly fathers is but a faint
lost world! reflection of our heavenly Father's love for
His Son and for us. Because of the close
John MacArthur Jr relationship between the Father and the
Son, Jesus could say, "I and My Father are
God loved a lost world and sought to win
one" (John 10:30). And the Bible tells us that
sinners to Himself for His own glory. Christ
came into the world out of love and sought "God was in Christ reconciling the world to
to win sinners for the Father’s glory. As Himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Without a
doubt, therefore, the Father did share His
believers we also are to go to the world in
Son's pain at Calvary.
love and to seek to reach the lost for the
glory of God. Thus our mission is the same
How wonderful to know that we have a
loving Father in heaven! Because Jesus
We are an extension of the ministry of God died for us, we can be forgiven and
the Father and Son in receiving glory by the personally experience the Father's love.
salvation of lost sinners. Jesus said, “As
thou hast sent me into the world, even so The Father's love knows no limit.
have I also sent them into the world” (John
17:18). “As” conveys intention. As the Father Word of God;
sent the Son into the unredeemed world, so To reveal
the Son has sent believers. Wonder of To command
wonders, we have the privilege of To inspire
participating in Jesus Christ’s mission to a To gladden
lost world! To deliver
The Father's Love To preach
God was in Christ reconciling the world to To build up
Himself. --2 Corinthians 5:19 To assure
In his autobiography, a well-known TV To feed
personality describes the time when he To attract
asked, "If God the Father is so all-loving, To exclusiveness
why didn't He come down and go to To instruct
Calvary?" That comment reveals how little To save
he understood the love of a good earthly To enlighten
father and the depth of love revealed in the
RECONCILIATION (Re cahn cih lee ay’ ambassadors, as though God
tion) The establishment of friendly relations were making his appeal through
between parties who are at variance with us. We implore you on Christ's
each other, making peace after an behalf: Be reconciled to God.
engagement in war, or readmission to the Now then we are ambassadors for
presence and favor of a person after Christ, as though God did beseech
rebellion against the person. In 1525 William you by us: we pray you in Christ's
Tyndale, in his translation of the New stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Testament from the Greek text, attempted to
discover an English word that would express 5:20 An ambassador is an official
the true meaning of the Greek katallage as representative on behalf of one country to
well as the Latin reconciliation. Unable to another. As believers, we are Christ’s
find the word, he coined one. The word he ambassadors, sent with his message of
coined was atonement (at-one-ment), and reconciliation to the world. An ambassador
he used it in Romans 5:11. The King James of reconciliation has an important
Version committee followed Tyndale and responsibility. We dare not take this
used atonement. More recent versions and responsibility lightly. How well are you
translations have returned to “reconciliation,” fulfilling your commission as Christ’s
largely because the word atonement has ambassador?
been encumbered with various theories of
atonement. C.H. Spurgeon
As I came along this morning I felt as if I
could bury my head in my hands and weep
as I thought of God beseeching anybody. He
speaks, and it is done. Myriads of angels
count themselves happy to fly at his
command. And yet man has so become
God’s enemy that he will not be reconciled
to him. God would make him his friend, and
Ultimate goal spends the blood of his dear Son to cement
that friendship, but man will not have it. See
Church Of Reconciliation Splits
how the great God turns to beseeching his
In a northern section of Berlin lies a
obstinate creature! In this I feel a reverent
Protestant church whose front yard now
straddles the Communist wall. Its ironic compassion for God. Must he beseech a
name: the Church of the Reconciliation. rebel to be forgiven? Angels, do you hear it?
He who is the King of kings ceils his
The Church of the Reconciliation appears to sovereignty and stoops to beseeching his
have been abandoned. The building itself, creature to be reconciled to him!
with a statue of Christ at the entrance, is in
East Berlin, while the front sidewalk in the Truth And Reconciliation
West. A 10-foot brick wall stood between. We implore you on Christ's behalf, be
reconciled to God. --2 Corinthians 5:20
5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for
Christ, as though God were To help heal the wounds left by racial
entreating through us; we beg you injustices in South Africa, the government
on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to extended amnesty to any citizens who would
God. come forward with the truth about crimes
We are therefore Christ's they had committed.
I was allowed in. When I glanced at the
Many atrocities were detailed and piece of paper, I laughed. In the space
confessed. Some families learned for the provided to indicate who I was representing,
first time the "who, what, when, where, and the guard had written "God."
how" of their loved one's "extermination."
Many cloaked their confession in "I was just Later, as I drove home, I thought about that
following orders." For some victim's families, permission slip more seriously. The guard
the truth brought a degree of closure. may have had a sense of humor, but she
was right! Even though I was representing a
As I watched segments of the proceedings prison ministry, I was really representing
on TV, I longed to see expressions of God. I am glad the guard made that
heartfelt repentance and forgiveness. No connection.
doubt some genuine healing took place, but
it wasn't obvious from what I saw. Then it Paul said to the Corinthians, "We are
occurred to me that truth alone doesn't bring ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians
about reconciliation. That comes only when 5:20). As such, we have a responsibility to
truth is accompanied by grace. But what is "walk properly toward those who are
the source of such grace? John said that outside" the faith (1 Thessalonians 4:12). As
Jesus was "full of grace and truth" (Jn. followers of Jesus Christ, we represent God
1:14). And Paul said that when Jesus died wherever we are, and in whatever we do.
on the cross, "God was in Christ reconciling On the job, in the neighborhood, on the
the world to Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19). softball team, or on the highway, we are His
As Christians, we experience God's grace
and forgiveness in a deeply personal way. Lord, help us to represent You faithfully in
Because we are reconciled to Him, we are every area of our lives. Amen.
enabled to extend grace to others.
Christ sends us out to bring others in.
Those who know God's grace
will show God's grace. C. H. Spurgeon
As if Christ himself stood here, and pleaded
Sermon Note with you, he bids his ministers plead on his
Strangers from another world behalf. In the name of God, he bids us
Pilgrims seeking Jesus beseech you to be reconciled to God.
Ambassadors to another country Ambassadors do not generally beseech
Not observers like a camera men; they stand on their dignity, they make
demands for the honor of their sovereign;
Representing God but Christ’s ambassadors know of no dignity
We are ambassadors for Christ, as though which should keep them from pleading with
God were pleading through us. --2 men.
5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to
When I stepped up to the checkpoint so I be sin on our behalf, that we might
could enter the prison, I was told that my become the righteousness of God in
identification card had been misplaced. The Him.
guard had to fill out a temporary permission God made him who had no sin to
slip so I could get in and teach Bible classes be sin for us, so that in him we
to some of the inmates. After I showed her might become the righteousness
my driver's license, she filled out the slip and of God.
For he hath made him to be sin for
us, who knew no sin; that we might their futile self-torture is only a tiny fraction
be made the righteousness of God of the Lord's physical pain--and nothing of
in him. His deep spiritual agony.
5:21 When we trust in Christ, we make an After a night of humiliating abuse and
exchange—our sin for his righteousness. vicious scourging, which was enough to kill
Our sin was poured into Christ at his some people, Jesus was wracked with
crucifixion. His righteousness is poured into horrendous pain during His 6 hours on the
us at our conversion. This is what Christians cross. But far worse was the agony in His
mean by Christ’s atonement for sin. In the soul. During the 3 hours of darkness, He
world, bartering works only when two people endured the God-forsakenness of hell.
exchange goods of relatively equal value.
But God offers to trade his righteousness for The prophet Isaiah declared the suffering
our sin—something of immeasurable worth Servant to be absolutely without fault, but
for something completely worthless. How said, "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" and
grateful we should be for his kindness to us. to "make His soul an offering for sin" (Isa.
53:10). The apostle Paul said that God
Doctrine of Sin: made the sinless One "to be sin for us" (2
Author of sin Cor. 5:21). Not until Jesus knew He had
Course of sin endured the full measure of God's judgment
against our sins did He say, "It is finished!"
Nature of sin
(Mt. 27:50; Jn. 19:30).
Wages of sin
Sin of sins We can only faintly comprehend the mystery
Judgment of sin of what our Savior endured. But we trust
Sacrifice for sin Him and rejoice in the assurance that He
paid the full penalty for all our sins. Christ's
Three Main Questions deepest pain opened the door to our
The German philosopher, Kant, tells us that greatest joy.
there are three questions which mankind
has always been asking: "What can I Christ endured the agony of the cross so
know?" "What shall I do?" and "For what we could enjoy the glory of heaven.
may I hope?"
Regeneration new start, revival
For whom did Christ die?
Representation reflection, sign
For what did He die?
Why did Christ come into world?
Our Daily Bread
Did God put His Son to death?
Did Christ die willingly? Throughout history, royal families have
What did He do with our sins? received special treatment. Often they were
Where did He bear our sins? exempt from keeping the law or receiving
Is it necessary to repeat? punishment or even discipline. But the royal
children still needed to know that when they
misbehaved they deserved to be punished.
Our Daily Bread
When a prince or princess disobeyed or did
Every year I hear about people who have poorly in schoolwork, the punishment was
their hands and feet nailed to a cross for a given to a "whipping boy" instead. There
brief time to imitate the crucifixion of Christ. was no doubt who was really at fault, but it
These misguided souls may mean well, but was simply unthinkable for a servant to
spank a person of royalty. Following this comes the stage of
bargaining. Dr. Ross explained here the
The cross of Calvary gives a completely patient bargains to stave off the inevitable by
different view of dealing with wrongdoing. promising to "live for God," go to church,
Although the servant is at fault, royalty give his body to medical science, or some
receives the punishment. Jesus Christ, the other futile means. Yet, the bargaining is
Prince of Glory, took our place when He little more than a temporary respite in the
died on the cross. He voluntarily became our progress toward dying.
"whipping boy" and paid the penalty for our
sins. The fourth and most difficult stage is that of
increasing depression. The patient finally
How much we owe to Jesus Christ! How realizes what is happening to him and enters
could we ever forget that we have been a time when he is actually grieving for his
bought with a price! That's what kept Paul own demise. It is a trying time for both
going when lesser men might have quit. He patient and loved ones.
was confident that because we have a
substitute, God is not angry with us. His However, Dr. Ross says, this is followed by
Majesty's justice has been satisfied. We are the fifth and final stage, and that is
free to live and love as we never have acceptance. Then, even though the smallest
before. glimmer of hope will remain, he is ready to
May that motivate us to tell others the good
news! An interesting note of this study was that if
Christ became a curse for us the patient is interrupted in any phase of this
to remove the curse from us. circle of suffering, he merely prolongs his
agony. Therefore, Dr. Ross suggests
5 Stages In Facing Death ministers and doctors should understand
Several years ago a profound and dramatic these basic cycles; and rather than merely
research project began in Chicago's Billings trying to cheer up the terminally ill, minister
Hospital. It was a seminar on death, in which to their particular needs at that particular
psychiatists, chaplains, nurses, and medical time.
doctors studied the ultimate human crisis of
facing death. His Death:
Think of the suffering
Basic findings is that the very ill proceed Muse upon the reality
through five emotional stages on their way Ponder the necessity
to death— Meditate upon the love
Call to mind the character
The first stage is denial. Here the patient is
Remember the benefits
unwilling to accept his fate and the nature of
his predicament. Don’t forget the purpose
Expiation And Propitiation
When physical indications make denial no
The difference between propitiation and
longer possible the patient moves into the
expiation is not always easy to understand,
second stage, that of anger. He becomes
even though we all experience it.
angry for no apparent reason with his
doctor, his friends, his family, and the
nurses. Consider the case of a certain factory
worker who was seriously injured on the job.
After the doctors had done all they could, he
was still left partially paralyzed. An deliberate and determined independence
investigation revealed that the company was from God. The Christian faith bases
at fault because it did not provide a safe everything on the extreme, self-confident
workplace or the proper safety equipment nature of sin. Other faiths deal with sins --
for its employees. the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing
Jesus Christ confronted in people was the
Thus, it was liable for the dangerous heredity of sin, and it is because we have
conditions that resulted in this man's injury ignored this in our presentation of the gospel
and permanent paralysis. And the court will that the message of the gospel has lost its
probably award the injured man a great sum sting and its explosive power.
of money for his pain, suffering, and
permanent injury. The revealed truth of the Bible is not that
Jesus Christ took on Himself our fleshly
But once the company pays the judgment sins, but that He took on Himself the
against it, it has expiated its wrongdoings. heredity of sin that no man can even touch.
The demands of justice have been satisfied. God made His own Son "to be sin" that He
The company no longer has any might make the sinner into a saint. It is
responsibility toward the injured man. That is revealed throughout the Bible that our Lord
expiation. took on Himself the sin of the world through
identification with us, not through sympathy
But we have not dealt with how the injured for us. He deliberately took on His own
man feels toward the company. He may be shoulders, and endured in His own body, the
filled with resentment, bitterness, even complete, cumulative sin of the human race.
hatred. He may spend the rest of his life "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for
abhorring the name of that company, even us . . ." and by so doing He placed salvation
though it has been directed to give him all for the entire human race solely on the basis
the money he could possibly use. of redemption. Jesus Christ reconciled the
human race, putting it back to where God
The debt that the wrong incurred has been designed it to be. And now anyone can
expiated or paid for, but the wrath that the experience that reconciliation, being brought
wrong incurred has not been propitiated. into oneness with God, on the basis of what
our Lord has done on the cross.
Christ died, he not only paid the debt for our
sins but reconciled us to God by satisfying A man cannot redeem himself -- redemption
the Father's wrath. He was both an expiation is the work of God, and is absolutely finished
and a propitiation for our sins. and complete. And its application to
individual people is a matter of their own
individual action or response to it. A
Christ was made:
distinction must always be made between
the revealed truth of redemption and the
Genealogy family tree
actual conscious experience of salvation in a
Identity singularity person's life.
Ignominy humbling Christ’s Faultlessness:
Responsibility sense of duty He did no sin
Substitutionary exchange In Him was no sin
He knew no sin
Oswald Chambers He was holy
Sin is a fundamental relationship -- it is not Oswald Chambers
wrong doing, but wrong being -- it is
The modern view of the death of Jesus is The agony of Gethsemane
that He died for our sins out of sympathy for The suffering of Gabbatha
us. Yet the New Testament view is that He The forsaking of God
took our sin on Himself not because of The piercing of the Cross
sympathy, but because of His identification The sin He was to be made
with us. He was "made . . . to be sin . . . ." The curse of broken law
Our sins are removed because of the death The judgment He would bear
of Jesus, and the only explanation for His
The wrath He must pass
death is His obedience to His Father, not His
The life He would lose
sympathy for us. We are acceptable to God
not because we have obeyed, nor because The shame He would suffer
we have promised to give up things, but The death He would die
because of the death of Christ, and for no
other reason. We say that Jesus Christ Devotional
came to reveal the fatherhood and the loving Notice the phrase "in Him." This means that
kindness of God, but the New Testament our becoming the righteousness of God is in
says that He came to take "away the sin of a sphere - in Him. To be in Him is to be in an
the world!" (John 1:29). And the revealing of organic union with Him. By virtue of this
the fatherhood of God is only to those to organic union, we have become (Gk. aorist
whom Jesus has been introduced as Savior. tense) the righteousness of God. In this
verse we can see our new, organic "I,"
In speaking to the world, Jesus Christ never joined to the Person of Christ. He is now our
referred to Himself as One who revealed the person, our righteousness, our standing, our
Father, but He spoke instead of being a foundation, our supply, our reactions, our
stumbling block (see ). John 14:9, where thought-life, our feelings, our choices. Christ
Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen is our life! I can participate constantly in all
the Father," was spoken to His disciples. that belongs to this One because I am in an
organic union with Him. I am joined to Him.
That Christ died for me, and therefore I am And there is a great fact in this union - He
completely free from penalty, is never taught was made sin once and for all on the cross
in the New Testament. What is taught in the for us. Second Corinthians 5:21 reveals that
New Testament is that "He died for all" (2 He did not know sin, but that He was made
Corinthians 5:15) -- not, "He died my death" sin on our behalf. So the total sin problem,
-- and that through identification with His including my sinful acts in the plural and
death I can be freed from sin, and have His indwelling sin in the singular, was borne by
very righteousness imparted as a gift to me. Him on the cross. He bore the penalty and
the judgment for it once and for all. Sin and
The substitution which is taught in the New sins all fell on Him (Isa. 53:4-6). Now, for
Testament is twofold -- "For He made Him every man, the cross of Christ and the blood
who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we of Christ solve the entire realm of the sin
might become the righteousness of God in problem. He bore the sin, He was made sin,
Him." The teaching is not Christ for me and consequently He has all the sin.
unless I am determined to have Christ
formed in me (see ). The fact that He was made sin (aorist tense)
is part of the double transfer in 2 Corinthians
His Steadfastness: 5:21. Our sin was transferred to Him, and
The denial of Peter He took the judicial judgment for it and paid
the price for it with condemnation, judgment,
The betrayal of Judas
and death. He received the sentence for sin.
The forsaking of His friends
It was paid for, once and for all. He has the
sin, that we might become the righteousness ___________________________________
of God in union with Him. Now in this new
"I," in union with Him, we have become the
righteousness of God.
03. Why did Paul try to persuade others to
The Substitute: follow Christ? (5:11)
Atonement Foreshadowed In Joseph 04. Why was Paul concerned about
Story justifying his ministry to the Christians
The first intimation in the book of Genesis of at Corinth? (5:12)
the great doctrine of atonement was ___________________________________
revealed in Judah's offer to become a ___________________________________
substitute for his younger brother Benjamin ___________________________________
in Genesis 44. Judah had no way of ___________________________________
knowing that Benjamin was not guilty of ___________________________________
theft, but because of his great love for his ___________________________________
brother, he stands ready to suffer in his
stead, the just for the unjust. 05. How were Paul’s opponents building
themselves up at his expense? (5:12)
Here is the "red thread" of redemption which ___________________________________
runs through the pages of the Bible. It is a ___________________________________
foregleam of our "elder brother" Jesus Christ ___________________________________
who was willing to assume our guilt, bear ___________________________________
our penalty, and suffer our punishment. ___________________________________
01. When have you seen someone 06. What motivated Paul? (5:14)
change in a significant way? ___________________________________
07. Why did Christ die for everyone?
02. What about you is most difficult for (5:15)
your acquaintances to understand or ___________________________________
08. How did Paul change the way he
looked at people? (5:16) ___________________________________
___________________________________ 14. Why should we listen carefully to the
___________________________________ message about Christ? (6:1-2)
09. What is true about every person in ___________________________________
Christ? (5:17) ___________________________________
15. How do Christians sometimes take
10. What happened when God sent His pride in ministries that give them
Son to earth? (5:18) attention and popularity?
11. What does God do with our sins when 16. How is it possible for us to be
we are reconciled to Him? (5:19) motivated both by the fear of the Lord
___________________________________ and Christ’s love?
12. How is a Christian an ambassador?
(5:20) 17. Why was it necessary for Christ to die
___________________________________ in order for us to be reconciled to
13. Why did Paul try to persuade the ___________________________________
Corinthians to respond to God’s
Word? (6:1) 18. In what ways do people today receive
___________________________________ the grace of God in vain?
___________________________________ 24. What difference does it make that
___________________________________ Christians are counted as Christ’s
19. In what ways are all Christians new ___________________________________
___________________________________ 25. Where is your ministry of
20. For what other Christians are you ___________________________________
___________________________________ 26. To whom are you an ambassador?
21. How can you encourage your ___________________________________
Christian friends to listen to God’s ___________________________________
___________________________________ 27. What is one way you can represent
___________________________________ Christ to your friends and coworkers
22. How did God make His reconciliation ___________________________________
with you? ___________________________________
___________________________________ 28. What Christian friend can you
encourage to listen to God’s Word?
23. How can you personally be involved in How?
the ministry of reconciliation? ___________________________________