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					                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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
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                             II CORINTHIANS
                                             Chapter 5


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
                                                            dwelling,
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
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                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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.
transferable.                                     15:52)

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
                                                          the Spirit.
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
        life.
                                                  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
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                                           Chapter 5


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

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                               II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


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
                                                       Object
At times we are amazed by God's perfect
                                                       Power
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,
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                               II CORINTHIANS
                                              Chapter 5


           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
         Lord.
                                                     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
service.
                                                     there is any place called purgatory. Notice
                                                     the apostle Paul’s desire was “to depart and
Heading Home
                                                     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
has written:
                                                     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,
                                                     Jesus Christ.
we cling to life with a God-given instinct of
self-preservation.
                                                     Ascended!
                                                     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
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                              II CORINTHIANS
                                              Chapter 5


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

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                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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).
        bad.
                                                  Instead of cringing with fear, we can live with
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                                           Chapter 5


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?
                                                       (5:1)
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
                                                  ___________________________________
judgment.
                                                  06. Why did Paul long for heaven? (5:2-3)
Open It                                           ___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
01.  What do you imagine heaven will be
                                                  ___________________________________
     like?
                                                  ___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
___________________________________               ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                  07.  For what purpose has God made us?
___________________________________
                                                       (5:4-5)
___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
02.  What common clichés do you                   ___________________________________
     frequently hear when people talk             ___________________________________
     about heaven?
                                                  ___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                  08.  How does the Spirit guarantee what is
___________________________________                    to come? (5:5)
___________________________________               ___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
Explore It                                        ___________________________________
                                                                                           9
                           II CORINTHIANS
                                         Chapter 5


___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
                                                ___________________________________
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)      ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                Get It
___________________________________
___________________________________             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?    ___________________________________
     (5:8-10)                                   ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________             17.  How can Christ be glorified through
___________________________________                  the weaknesses of men and women?
___________________________________             ___________________________________
                                                ___________________________________
12.  What should be the believer’s goal?        ___________________________________
     (5:9)                                      ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________             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)            ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
                                                                                      10
                         II CORINTHIANS
                                       Chapter 5


___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________           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
___________________________________                   conscience.
___________________________________                   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
Apply It
                                              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,
___________________________________
                                                                                          11
                             II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


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
                                                   salvation.”
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,
                                                                                           12
                             II CORINTHIANS
                                             Chapter 5


        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.
Saved To:
                                                          The value of one soul is measured
    Relationship with God
                                                         by the price Jesus paid on the cross.
    Eternal live
    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.
                                                                                                 13
                              II CORINTHIANS
                                              Chapter 5


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
                                                         Service-inspirer
tetelestai to report it.
                                                         Victory-giver
                                                         Magnet-drawer
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
Christ’s Death:
                                                     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
                                                         Inextinguishable
    Destroyed the devil’s works
                                                            (in its flame of affection)
    Died that we might live in Him
                                                         Inexhaustible
                                                            (in its flow of supply)
Anybody for Calvary?
                                                         Indefatigable
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
                                                                                                 14
                             II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


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.
    Light
        (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
    Love
                                                   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
                                                                                               15
                             II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


       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
                                                   inspired poets."
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:
                                                       Prevailing prayer
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
                                                                                               16
                              II CORINTHIANS
                                                Chapter 5


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).
                                                       Christ’s Death:
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
                                                                                                      17
                              II CORINTHIANS
                                               Chapter 5


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
                                                      would do?"
Man Eaters
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?
Galatians 5:15
                                                      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
                                                                                                   18
                             II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


       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)
                                                        Peace-maker
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
                                                        Pattern
reference, a new base from which we
                                                           (for our dying to self)
operate, a new source from which we draw
                                                        Propeller
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
                                                   Devotional
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
                                                                                                 19
                             II CORINTHIANS
                                             Chapter 5


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
Sermon Note
                                                    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
                                                           By Christ
Devotional
                                                           To 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
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                             II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


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,
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                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


        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.
                                                  As Is
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
                                                                                     22
                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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
                                                  over."
 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)
                                                      New Attitude
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
5:17
                                                        (by the love of Christ)
                                                      New Ambassador
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
                                                                                            23
                             II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


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
                                                   Billy Graham
           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
Oswald Chambers
                                                   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
                                                   Oswald Chambers
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
                                                                                               24
                              II CORINTHIANS
                                                Chapter 5


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
                                                                                                   25
                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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
Devotional
                                                      Operation            treatment, deed
To say "old things have passed away" and
                                                      Ordination           commission
"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
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                             II CORINTHIANS
                                             Chapter 5


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
                                                    today—make peace.
         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
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                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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
                                                  God’s love.”
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?
fault."
                                                  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."
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                             II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


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
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                                          Chapter 5


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
as God’s.
                                                 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
                                                     To arm
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
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                             II CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 5


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
To Himself:
                                                   could bury my head in my hands and weep
    Divine reconciler
                                                   as I thought of God beseeching anybody. He
    Necessary mediator
                                                   speaks, and it is done. Myriads of angels
    Positive end
                                                   count themselves happy to fly at his
    Gracious choice
                                                   command. And yet man has so become
    Separated people
                                                   God’s enemy that he will not be reconciled
    Holy presentation
                                                   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.

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                                                    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
                                                    representatives.
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.
Corinthians 5:20
                                                    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
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        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?"
                                                    Sermon Note
                                                        Regeneration new start, revival
Eight Questions:
                                                        Reconciliation agreement
    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
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                             II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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
                                                  die.
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
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                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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
    Humanity            hypostasis
                                                  the revealed truth of redemption and the
    Genealogy           family tree
                                                  actual conscious experience of salvation in a
    Identity            singularity              person's life.
    Humility            modesty
    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
                                                                                              35
                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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
                                                                                               36
                            II CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 5


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
                                                  Explore It
righteousness of God.
                                                  03.  Why did Paul try to persuade others to
The Substitute:                                        follow Christ? (5:11)
    God-provided                                 ___________________________________
    Sin-made                                     ___________________________________
    Curse-bearing                                ___________________________________
    Life-sacrificing                             ___________________________________
    Grace-imparting                              ___________________________________
    Holy-inspiring                               ___________________________________

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.           ___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
Open It
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          ___________________________________
     accept?                                      ___________________________________
___________________________________               ___________________________________
___________________________________               ___________________________________
___________________________________               ___________________________________
___________________________________               ___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                  08.   How did Paul change the way he
                                                                                    37
                        II CORINTHIANS
                                      Chapter 5


     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)                          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
                                             Get It
___________________________________
                                             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
___________________________________               God?
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
                                             ___________________________________
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?
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
                                                                                    38
                          II CORINTHIANS
                                        Chapter 5


___________________________________
___________________________________            24.  What difference does it make that
___________________________________                 Christians are counted as Christ’s
___________________________________                 ambassadors?
                                               ___________________________________
19.  In what ways are all Christians new       ___________________________________
     creations?                                ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________            25.  Where       is  your ministry of
___________________________________                 reconciliation?
                                               ___________________________________
20.  For what other Christians are you         ___________________________________
     concerned?                                ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________            26. To whom are you an ambassador?
___________________________________            ___________________________________
                                               ___________________________________
21.  How can you encourage your                ___________________________________
     Christian friends to listen to God’s      ___________________________________
     Word?                                     ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
                                               Apply It
___________________________________
___________________________________            27.  What is one way you can represent
___________________________________                 Christ to your friends and coworkers
                                                    this week?
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?           ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                                                     39

				
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