II CORINTHIANS 5:17-21: “Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Messiah and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Messiah God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them; and He has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us. We are therefore ambassadors for Messiah, as though God were making His appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God. He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” TLV
OBSERVATION: What does it mean to be a new creation in Christ Jesus? Paul declares that anyone who places their trust in Christ become a new creation, the old things pass away, and all things become new. How am I to understand this statement? How am I to live out this statement in my daily life?
When I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord, there truly was a radical change in my heart and life. It was as if “all things had become new.” Many of the things I had struggled were simply taken away. Yet, in a short period of time I learned that there were many things in my life that did not become new at that moment. So how was I to understand Paul’s statement?
When we are reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into His glorious Kingdom of Light! Our spiritually blind eyes are opened, our heart receive a new capacity to love, and we have an intimate and ongoing personal relationship with the living God through the indwelling work, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit. We no longer live and look at life through the lenses of our brokenness and sin. We now live and look at life through the power of His love and redemption.
This is how all things become new!
We also realize what a great price Jesus paid so that we could be made new. Salvation to us is a free gift, but it cost the Father and Jesus everything! Paul reminds us,
- “He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (Verse 21)
Jesus, the Eternal Word of God, humbled Himself and became a man. He lived a completely sinless life, and then willingly took my sin and the sin of the entire world upon Himself. He bore the penalty of our sin, as He surrendered to the tortuous death of the cross. And why did He do this? He did this so that He could forever defeat sin and death and extend to us a right standing with God (righteousness) through faith. He shed His own blood so that we could be reconciled to our original creative purpose, being restored as sons and daughters of God!
This is such a marvelous gift, such an awesome display of love, it should compel us to tell others. Paul calls us to be transformed into ministers of reconciliation, to become Ambassadors of the Messiah. What is an Ambassador?
- Ambassador: “An accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country.” (New Oxford English Dictionary)
We are now citizens of a new Kingdom, and we are each called to be God’s representatives to those who are still bound in the kingdom of darkness (foreign country). He has called us, redeemed us, and sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise. He has provided every resource of heaven to be at our disposal. Yet this provision is not for our own blessing, it is so that we can fulfill our commission as His Ambassadors!
- “That is, in Messiah God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them; and He has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us. We are therefore ambassadors for Messiah, as though God were making His appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God.” (Verses 19-20)
For too long we have made the Gospel about our personal blessing. We have neglected the reality of our personal responsibility. Earlier in this chapter of II Corinthians Paul writes,
- “For the love of Messiah compels us, since we have concluded that One died for all; as a result all died. And He died for all so that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.” II Corinthians 5:14-15 TLV
An Ambassador who stays shut up in their embassy is not fulfilling their call. An Ambassador is to represent their King to the country they have been sent to. We have been sent to our neighborhoods and our communities as Ambassadors of the King of Kings. We have both a calling and a stewardship of this wonderful grace that the Lord has bestowed upon us.
How much time am I spending asking the Lord to help me be a better Ambassador?
Everything we do is to reflect the love and grace that Jesus Christ has poured out upon us. However, simply showing acts of kindness and love is not enough. We must also be compelled to call men and women to reconciliation to God through faith in Jesus Christ. If we simply give them a cup of cold water, but fail to offer them the cup of salvation, we have only done half of our job as an Ambassador of Jesus Christ. Their eternal destiny should be so important to us that we should be compelled to cry out,
- “We beg you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God.”
If you are reading this and you have never surrendered your life to Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, I beg you – be reconciled to God! Let Him transform your life and give you a new calling and purpose. Let Jesus pour out His transforming love and forgiveness upon you that will truly make all things new! Turn from your old way of living, let go of your self reliance, repent of your sin, and turn to Jesus.
He truly will make your life new, and you too will be commissioned as an Ambassador of Christ!
In Jesus Name!