2 Corinthians 5: 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, 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.20Therefore, 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.
Paul tells us we are new creations in Christ. This is a salient point for all those who might say “How could God ever love me, after all I’ve done?” The answer, of course, is that His love knows no bounds, that it is unconditional. But, it is also true that He has sent Jesus to intercede, reconciling us completely to God the Father. This sacrifice on our behalf, if we will but accept Him, creates us as brand new, and our trespasses no longer count against us.
The last verse here further expands upon the subject matter from the last few days. We are His ambassadors; He appeals to others through us. Again, our lives may be the only Bible they ever read; the only exposure to Jesus they ever receive in this life.
2 Corinthians 4
Paul’s Apostolic Ministry
1Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death works in us, but life in you.
13But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 5
The Temporal and Eternal
1For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
6Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. 12We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, 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.
20Therefore, 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. 21He 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 6
Their Ministry Commended
1And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— 2for He says,
“AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.”
Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”— 3giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, 4but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.
11Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. 12You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. 13Now in a like exchange—I speak as to children—open wide to us also.
14Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
“AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.
On Life and Conduct
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.
2 The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.
3 Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will quarrel.
4 The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.
5 A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out.
6 Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?
7 A righteous man who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.
8 A king who sits on the throne of justice
Disperses all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?
10 Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the LORD.