Faithlife
Faithlife

2 Cor 5_11-21

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Secular:

Yangtze river in China starts in the west… in the treeless mountains of Tanggula Ranges… it races through three gorges… narrow… powerful…deep and beautiful…

As it storms eastward… it begins to broaden out… to become wider and more shallow…

It no longer cuts its way through obstacles… it meanders around… weaving through farmland, and through the rice patties…

In the begin there is direction, power, and depth…

In the end there is meandering, futility and shallowness…

We came to this world meanderers… without purpose and without hope… we accepted Christ… we now have direction, we now have power and we need to have depth…

Biblical:

2 Corinthians 5:11 Therefore, 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. 12 We 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. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and 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. 16 Therefore 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. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 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. 20 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. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Personal:

In the book of Acts we got to see the things Paul did…

  • His conversion
  • His sense of mission… first as a Jew
  • His sense of mission… as a follower of Christ

In the letters he wrote… we got to see what made him “tick”

  • His passion
  • His commitment to truth
  • And we know…
  • That his direction, power and depth came from knowing Jesus Christ

Bridge:

Knowing Jesus is critical…

He is our direction… to give us purpose

He is our power… to overcome

In Him we have depth… conviction

 

Paul identifies three things in this passage that are key to knowing Christ… and to having direction, power and depth.

 

Body:

1) Things we get wrong… View of Me

2) Things we get wrong… View of You

3) When we get things right… we have a right view of me… we have a right view of you… and a desire… compulsion to live for Christ.

14 For the love of Christ controls us… compels us…. restrains us….

True Love… the Love of Christ is demonstrable…

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

Cricket match… love letter…

- 1 ½ trip…

- my most beloved…

- every heart beat… cries out

- if only we could be near…

- if only we were together…

- I will not be able to attend lunch on Sunday… I have a cricket match…

Not just about words… but about action

Look at us from God’s perspective…

1) Who we are…

2) What we have done…

3) Where we are going…

* * ALL WRONG!!
And we can’t do anything about this mess ourselves!!

But verse 8 -11 (Rom 5): Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Jesus demonstrated his love…

1) Justified… dealt with what was done

2) Provision… to save us from where we were going

3) Life in him… to save us from who we are

There is a difference… between sentimental love and a love of conviction…

Sentimental is cheap…

Conviction is costly….

Sentimental is fretting over a trapped whale (under polar ice)…

Conviction is fretting over 10,000 children dying every day from starvation and being committed to doing something

The Christian faith isn’t about a sentimental buzz…

Following Christ is about costly conviction!!

1) Things we get wrong… View of Me

16 Therefore 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.

  • It used to be about me… about the flesh… How smart I was… How respected I was… How much of a Jew I was…
  • I knew Christ in that human sense… Paul could attest to a fiery history in that regard…
  • But I am no longer knowing Christ in that way… it isn’t about me… my flesh… my wants and desires…
  • Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
  • Sentimentality is living for the idea of Christ… living to be a “good person”… a churchgoer…
  • Conviction is the realization that you are no longer free to live for ME!!...
    • You have only one option…. Live unabashedly for Christ… for you are not you own!
  • If only we could understand what compels us!!
  • We don’t want to fill the building… and be weak of faith…
  • We want to build a church…spiritually strong… living lives sold out for Christ…
  • We struggle… we don’t want to!
    • Do not want to go
    • We are self-compelled!!

Hear the truth and choose…

Like Chief Priests… But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse.

Or

Like Paul… I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me

WHO ARE YOU… Dead to self… sold out for Christ?

Self-compelled…

Or… Living a life of Conviction for Christ

Things we get wrong… View of Me

Knowing Jesus is critical… right view of ME

He is our direction… to give us purpose

He is our power… to overcome

In Him we have depth… conviction

 

2) Things we get wrong… View of You

Remember that love that compelled Christ… in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

v. 16 - we recognize no one according to the flesh…

We can’t under obligation to Christ… recognize people from the world’s perspective… we are not free to view people except as Christ would se them…

1)      Talk about a change!!

a.       Saul of Tarsus…

b.      Student of Gamaliel (Harvard)

c.       A Rabi himself

-          Logic… he knew the drill… cursed is He who died on a tree… (Deu 21:23)

-          No way was the Messiah cursed… (from God…accursed by God… no logic)

-          Not from God… then a blasphemer…

-          Saul – man of action…

o       He had a theology of Action…

o       Belief is something that changes who you are and what you do!!

o       Acts 9 still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, Off to Damascus to take out the Christ followers…

2)      Saul meets Jesus on the road to Damascus

a.       Who are you Lord…

b.      Obeying

c.       Scared

d.      Forgive me

e.       BIG 180 degrees… (Leafs / Canucks)

Logic corrected… cursed is He who died on a tree… Jesus is Lord… and he died for me… Jesus is the Saviour… who was not cursed but became accursed for me…Jesus came to die for all who would trust in him!!

·         Saul… whose name was changed to Paul… Had a change of View… and clearly saw the Love of Christ… ( a true vision of Christ)…

·         Not free to look at people from a human view…

A human view of you is based on differences…

Versus Christ’s view of uniqueness…. In Christ’s love…

Not only are we sinner’s in need of a Saviour…

But that needs to be our view of those around us… Christ loves them enough to die for them… and I follow Christ… …living a life of Conviction for Christ

Things we can get right in Christ… View of Me

                                                … view of You

Knowing Jesus is critical… gives a right view of You

He is our direction… to give us purpose

He is our power… to overcome

In Him we have depth… conviction

 

3) When we get things right… we have a right view of me… we have a right view of you… and a desire… compulsion to live for Christ.

Controls us… Compulsion… Bound…. Restrained…

Funny how society today heralds choice as god…

The idea of being alive to self… self compelled… doing as I please… when I please… how I please!

That is nothing like Life in Christ…

The Love of Christ compels… that should be the test… in your life…

When our view of ME is made right…

When our view of YOU is made right…

  • We should be compelled… an absolute conviction… restrained… bound… to introduce and reconcile people to Christ!
  • When we understand apart from Christ we are mired in our human nature… a part form the love of God…
    • And recognize through the love of Christ we have hope, we have love, we have truth and we have eternity…
  • We should be distraught when we se others a part form Christ… we should ache for them… not as those who are better, smarter… but those who compassionately love…
  • And our theology of action… our compulsion in love with Christ… should drive us!! to our ministry of reconciliation!!
  • Like a diplomat…
    • Nice, new country… nice people…
    • But a desire for home… to serve…
    • Passionately sharing…

Knowing Jesus is critical…

He is our direction… to give us purpose

He is our power… to overcome

In Him we have depth… conviction

 

Conclusion…

1) Take this summer to examine who you are in Christ!

What Christ he has done for you…

Your position before God… the love of Christ that Compelled him to the Cross!!

2) Look at those around you… not just as neighbours… not just a grocery clerks or tellers at the bank…

Look at them as those whom Christ was willing to die for…

Look at them as those who are lost…

Look at them as those who are mired in the very muck of life that could have suffocated you

3) Prepare to act…

Christ called us to a ministry…

Know His Love

Share His Love

Rejoice in His Hope

People need Jesus Christ…

The Vision is Clear…

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