New Begets New
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (NIV)
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
18All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
I have especially taken a liking to these two Bible verses as well as the few verses which follow, because they offer and present the Great Commission in a different perspective. Many of us know about 2 Corinthians 5:17, where it says that when we have Christ in us, we are made new and whole and the old nature has passed away. However, most of us may stop right there and do not go on reading the verses that come after that verse, where even more truths can be found. You see, when the old nature passes away and the new nature comes in to take its place, there has to be something that changes. It cannot be possible that the moment you accepted Christ, nothing has changed and you still live life as though you are still a pre-believer! Sure, maybe you don’t feel any different, but there has to be changes effected when God inhabits your spirit and your life, sometimes that change requires a lot of effort, but other times it may be effortless, though I must say that the latter does not occur all too often, at least not for me.
Therefore, I am sure that it is safe to conclude that when the new nature enters into your life, not only has the old nature passed away but the things and the purposes that you served while in your old nature must pass away too. It could be the mentality that money solves every problem, or the preconceived notion that in order to be successful, you have to be in high positions. Whatever it is, when Christ enters into your life, that has all got to go, because with new life and new nature comes new purpose as well. So we read further down in 2 Corinthians 5:18 that all this was from God, that He not only reconciled us with Him, He also gave us the ministry of reconciliation. Notice that when the apostle Paul wrote this, he used the conjunction ‘and’, which means that these two things: being reconciled with God and the ministry of reconciliation, are glued together, they go hand in hand and cannot be separate from one another. Of course, this brings us to the revealing of this new purpose that we have in Christ: the ministry of reconciliation. As we read further down in 2 Corinthians 5:19 & 20, Paul tells us more about what this ministry really refers to.
In these verses, Paul says that God has given us the message of reconciliation and that we are His ambassadors, representing God and making an appeal for Him to all of mankind. From here, it all becomes clear and obvious. The message of reconciliation that Paul was referring to is none other than the message of the Gospel, the fact that God loved us so dearly He sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay for our sins and redeem us from the pits of hell. So remember today, that as much as we have our needs and desires, we always have one ultimate purpose that God has called us to fulfill, that is to love people by sharing God and His Gospel with them. It’s time to put off the old self and put on the new self. It will always be a deliberate decision on our part to do so. God has given us free will and He has only good things in store for all who are willing to pick up their cross and crucify their flesh to follow Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for giving us new life and for choosing to make Your dwelling in us. Father, we pray today that even as we are being placed in our various marketplaces, may You continue to strengthen us and grant us with the courage to be Your salt and light in this world, that we may fulfill the purpose You have called us to live out, which is to bring forth the message of reconciliation to those around us. We pray, Father, that Your love will just be poured forth from our lives to those whom we meet, that they would be touched by Your grace and mercy and would thus come to know You. We thank You for using each and every one of us mightily to be Your ambassadors and to make disciples with the unique gifts and talents You have given to us. We give praise to You in everything and In Jesus’ Most Mighty Name we pray, Amen.