What follows is an (updated) Bible Study PowerPoint slideshow on 2 Cor 5:11-21 that was first shared a few weeks ago. I used the same research for a recent sermon on Ambassadors for Christ and updated these slides with extra information (most of which appears in footnotes in the sermon text).
Please see the main points and slideshow below. For the sources, please visit the bibliography from the sermon here.
- Sin offends God and alienates us from Him; God takes sin personally! (cf. Col 1:21-23)
- God personally took the initiative to reconcile us back to Him, sending Christ as our substitute on the cross
- Great Exchange: Christ bore our sin so we might receive His righteousness. God can justly not count our sins against us
- We ought to gratefully respond to God’s grace with love and faithfulness to God (Barnett, 119), seeing the world according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh (cf. Kruse, 175)
- Both fear (i.e., reverence) of the Lord and the love of the Lord should constrain us to live not for self but for the Savior (Kruse, 174). – for our good (cf. Harris, 423) and God’s glory
- Like Paul, we are Christ’s ambassadors: those who are reconciled and entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation
- Likely won’t be a popular message (Guthrie, 320), yet we should beg others to also be reconciled to God.
- Let us focus less on recreation and more on re-creation!
- Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn king, / Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled (Belleville IVP)
- Ambassadors work is not their own, but God’s work on them, in them, and through them (Seifrid, 239) – as God’s mouthpiece (Harris, 424)