By Brooke Holt
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18–20)
The apostle Paul has just shared the most amazing news ever. When you turn to Christ and trust in his saving work on the cross, you are made new. In Christ, you become a new creation. You were separated from God due to your sin, but now you are reconciled to God through Christ. Do you realize the magnitude of what Paul is saying?
Have you ever experienced the pain of being separated from someone you love? Think about someone who has cut you off relationally due to a disagreement. Anytime we are separated from people we care about, we feel emotional pain, and we long for reconciliation. On a much bigger scale, our sin separates from the God who created us. But we cannot draw near to his perfect holiness if we have even a drop of sin in our hearts.
Jesus endured the cross so that you could be reconciled to God. He spread his arms on the cross because of his love for you and his desire to be in relationship with you. Through his shed blood, you are forgiven of all your sins—past, present, and future. Nothing will be held against you. You don’t have to stay far away—you are invited to draw near to God and enjoy the gift of reconciliation. Then God calls you to be his ambassador—to tell others what God has done so that they, too, can be reconciled to God.
Paul longed for the Corinthians to be so excited about this gift of reconciliation that they would give their lives to go out and tell others the good news about Jesus Christ. Paul wrote this letter so that you, too, would have your life changed by this amazing gift of God. In our joy, we are called to share the Gospel with everyone—even those from whom we are separated.
Our forgiveness came at a price we could never pay—the blood of Jesus Christ. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation, and “all this is from God” (v. 18). Now the Lord entrusts his message of reconciliation to you. Will you go and proclaim what God has done?
This week, take some time to reflect on how God reconciled you to himself. Read the Gospel accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus on your behalf. How are you sharing this message with the people in your life? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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