Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
The Believer's Motivation in Action
2 Corinthians 5:16 – 20
17 April 2016
Paul, once a man who zealously persecuted Christ and His followers, became a man who gave his life for the cause. What could have caused this radical change? In Second Corinthians 5: 16 - 20, Paul gives three reasons behind conversion.
The believer's transformation (v. 16 - 17). While "the natural man doesn't receive the things of God's Spirit" (1 Cor 2:14), Christians have been made into "a new creation" (v. 17) by God, and so see things differently. Instead of judging by appearance, they judge on eternal values, because Christ has opened their eyes.
The believer's reconciliation (v. 18 - 19a). Believers have been forgiven by "God, who reconciled us through Jesus Christ" (v. 18), and are now part of His family. While our sin deserves death (Rom. 6:23), Christ offers forgiveness based on His works alone. We cannot earn forgiveness by works, but must either accept or reject the terms of reconciliation.
The believer's divine posting (v. 19b - 20). As Paul, we have been made "ambassadors on behalf of Christ" (v. 19) to go and preach the Good News. Although we were once enemies of God, like Paul, we are now servants to make His appeal to the world.
Paul was a zealous enemy of the Gospel, but was changed by God's work of reconciliation. May we embrace that work, and serve God.