2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10
God has called us to salvation- ‘God has shone in our hearts…’(4:6). He has called us to service- ‘having this ministry by the mercy of God’(4:1). We receive salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’(Acts 16:31). We are not to keep our faith to ourselves. We ‘believe’. We are to ‘speak’. This is God’s way of reaching ‘more and more people’ with His ‘grace’(13-15). Our experience of salvation and our empowering for service are both grounded in one great gift from God: ‘God… has given us the Spirit’(5:5). We fail our Lord often. Our faith is weak. Our witness seems so ineffective. When you feel such a failure, remember the Spirit. He will not fail you. He is our ‘guarantee of heavenly and eternal glory’(4:16-5:5).
2 Corinthians 5:11-7:1
‘Reconciled’ to God through Christ, we have received ‘the ministry of reconciliation’. Saved by Him, we are to ‘work with Him’. We are ‘not to accept the grace of God in vain’ by living for ourselves. We are to be ‘ambassadors for Christ’. We must proclaim the urgent message of salvation - ‘now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation’. We must call men and women to respond to God’s message of salvation: ‘Be reconciled to God’(5:18-6:2). If we are to be effective ‘ambassadors for Christ’, we must dedicate our lives to Him: ‘Let us cleanse ourselves… and make holiness perfect in the fear of God’(7:1). Without this heartfelt commitment to godly living, we cannot really serve the Lord at all. Our wrong lives will drown out our ‘right’ words. We need true lives as well as ‘true’ words.