Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
God is the Creator of everything including us. As created beings God has absolute claim on us. This means that our lives should be fully at God’s disposal for all that he has in mind for us. The problem is this: no one apart from Divine intervention puts themselves at God’s disposal for living life the way he has in mind. As a matter of fact, we all go astray, go our own way, and live for ourselves. We have sinful, rebellious hearts that are neither willing nor able to live fully for God. Ezekiel 36:26-27 is in some ways the Old Testament equivalent of our passage for today. It says, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Both passages speak of exchanging the old for the new. While the Ezekiel passage anticipates God’s plan in Christ for producing people who would and could live fully for him as new creations, the 2 Corinthians passage boldly declares people to be new creations who are in Christ through what his crucifixion and resurrection provide. It is Christ through the Holy Spirit that makes all the difference. Christ came to redeem our lives for God. When we trust Christ as our Savior we are cleansed and become temples of the Holy Spirit. With Christ living in us through his Spirit we live out the reality that we are new creations as old things pass away and new things come.
The end of today’s passage speaks of God’s “new creation” intentions for us in Christ in this way, “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” This is “resurrection living.” Previously, we referred to this kind of living as an “On Top of the World” lifestyle. When we live out an “On Top of the World” lifestyle we will have a greater impact in shaping the world in which we live than the world will have in shaping our lives. As recipients of God’s provision in Christ we become ambassadors for Christ. The key to being a representative of Christ to others is our living a changed life before others. So, becoming the righteousness of God in Christ is essential. We look inward at ourselves in order to be in touch with Christ and His indwelling Spirit so that we can be transformed from the inside out. As we become ones who are consistently connected to God’s presence, His ways, and how He is at work in our world, he frees us from a selfish focus on ourselves and allows us to have an outward focus on others. Truly, because God has intervened his claim on us is being realized and we are learning to live fully for God. This is seen in the reality that we are becoming the righteousness of God in Christ and serving as ambassadors of Christ to the world. “Resurrection Living” is really coming about for us, the Lord is being honored and glorified, and we are on “Top of the World” with a life that wonderfully counts for eternity.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, you are our awesome God and your plan of redemption is awesome. Thank you for your sending Jesus to put it in place and thank you for the Holy Spirit who is making it actual in my life. Align me fully with yourself and all that you desire for my life. Awaken me to the Holy Spirit who lives in my heart forever. Here I am, ready and unafraid to go forward in my life fully in touch with you and fully in step with you. Transform my life and impact my world like never before and empowering me to impact my world in bold and significant ways. I am amazed at the commitment you have to succeed at fulfilling the purpose for which you created mankind. I am committed to you, Lord and truly want to be your devoted possession who fully exists for the praise of your glory. I worship you and love you, Lord. Amen!
Posted on Fri, April 6, 2018
by Ken Hart