Take a moment to pause, be still, and prepare your heart and mind to receive God’s word.
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT
Verse 17 is one of my all-time favorite verses in all of the Bible. I did a deep dive into and learned some great stuff.
I first looked into the original language to try and understand this word “anyone.” I discovered that the intended definition of the word is … anyone. Go figure! This promise is to anyone. Anyone! It doesn’t matter your class, race, nationality, language, level of intelligence or political leanings. Anyone can be a new person.
The qualifier is that the promise is for anyone who is in Christ! Not those who are in themselves or in some kind of religion or in something else. This is specifically for those who are in Christ. And, if that’s true of you, you’re not “just forgiven”; you’re changed into a whole new creation.
You know, it’s not fair for us to expect those who are not yet in Christ to live as if they were a new creation. However, it’s not unfair for us to expect a changed life from people who claim to be Jesus followers; including ourselves.
That being said, it’s also important to remember that it doesn’t mean that we are perfect. It simply means that we are changed and that we are also being changed.
What a great work God has done for us and in us.
Take some time and let yourself dwell in this amazing truth. Consider the ramifications of this complete work that God has done and is doing in you. Find a few reasons to give thanks for that work.
Give thanks! Then ask Him how it can look for you to actually be one who is “reconciling people to Him.”
This is a perfect time to lovingly clarify the spiritual hearts of each one in the family. Talk about being a new person in Jesus and then give thanks for His work.