All Things New
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
In everything from computers to dishwashing liquid, we want the new and improved version. Often, however, getting something new is not a luxury, but a necessity. Everyone has experienced the need to replace an old, malfunctioning item with a new one.
Sometimes our broken-down lives also need to be replaced with that which is new and improved.
When Christ came. He replaced the old system with His plan of salvation. He is author of all things new. He wants us to know that our lives can be made new. How are our lives new in Christ?
I. We become a new creation (v. 17).
A. The old things have gone. Do we really believe this? Since we constantly review the
past, it is often difficult to accept that God puts our past in the past.
B. The new has come. Do we really believe this? We don't always look new, but where it
counts we are.
C. This is only possible because we are in Christ. He is the only one with the power to
make us new.
II. We enjoy a new covenant (w. 18,19).
A. Once we were separated from God. We were indeed separated, whether we knew it or
B. Now we are reconciled to Him. The relationship is mended as if the offense never
C. This is because Christ died for us. This is the beautiful mystery of the cross.
III. We experience a new compulsion (vv. 20,21).
A. We are reconciled to become reconcilers.
B. We cannot rest until all who need the message have heard it.
C. We have been made ambassadors.
There is no more responsible position than that of ambassador.
1. An ambassador is a representative in a foreign land. An ambassador’s life is spent among people who usually speak a different language, who have a different tradition and who follow a different way of life.
a. The Christian is always like that. We live in the world; we take part in all the life and work of the world; but we are a citizen of heaven. To that extent we are a stranger in the world. The person who is not willing to be different from the world cannot be a Christian at all.
2. An ambassador speaks for their country. There are times when you, the Christian, has to speak for Christ. In the decisions and counsels of the world, ours must be the voice which brings the message of Christ to the human situation.
3. The honour of a country is in the hands of its ambassadors. Their country will be judged by them. Their words will be listened to, and their deeds are watched.
a. Here is the Christian’s privilege and almost terrifying responsibility. The honour of Christ and of the church are in your and my hands. By our very words and actions we can make people think more or less of our church and our Master.
Be reconciled to God. Accept the offer of the grace of God. Do not frustrate grace. Lest think of it in human terms:
Suppose that you, as a parent, sacrifices and toils to give your child every chance, surrounds the child with love, plans for the child’s future with care, and does everything humanly possible to equip that child for life. And suppose your child feels no debt of gratitude, never feels the obligation to repay by being worthy of all this; and suppose your child fails, not because of a lack of ability, but because they will not try, because your child forgets the love that gave them so much. Your heart is broken.
When God gives us all his grace and we take our own foolish way and frustrate that grace which might have recreated us, once again we crucify Christ and break the heart of God.