2 Corinthians 5:11-21
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God and I hope it is known also to your conscience.” (2 Corinthians 5:11)
I loved how The Passion Translation put this verse:
“Since we are those who stand in holy awe of the Lord, we make it our passion to persuade others to turn to him. We know that our lives are transparent before the God who knows us fully, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences.” (2 Corinthians 5:11 TPT)
Do you stand in holy awe of the Lord? If you find that you have become complacent in your holy awe of Him, ask Him to help you to find it. And then you take steps to see Him. Take in a sunrise or a sunset. Look for Him in your every day mundane things of life. Look at the world and His earth in wonder. Look into the eyes of a child. Take in the tiny hands and feet of a newborn baby and then look at your own and be awed by His creation and how we grow. I look at my big, grown up sons sometimes and I am in awe that I carried these creations in my womb. When you stand in holy awe of Him, you become more passionate for Him and you want to persuade others for Him too.
It seems to me that Paul continues to have to give his credentials or defend his ministry to these Corinthians. Well here he goes again. These Corinthians liked the outward appearances and Paul did not fit the bill for them. Paul is defending himself and giving them the words to answer to others about him.
“We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind it is for you.” (2 Corinthians 5:12-13)
Just like with David, God chose David as King of Israel because of his heart, not his outward appearance. Paul is telling them not to boast in outward appearances and I am taking it that we all need to be careful about boasting in outward appearances. Paul is basically telling them, if you think I’m crazy it’s because I’m crazy for God, if I do things for outward appearances that would be for you. I love the next verses.
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who might live no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 14-15)
Oh that I would let the love of Christ control me! I don’t want to just live for myself and for what others might think of me. I want to live for the one who died and rose again for me!
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)
Paul gives reference here to Christ when he was in the flesh but He is no longer in the flesh. And when we are found in Him, we are not regarded as “in the flesh” either. God sent Jesus to earth in order to reconcile us to Himself and in that he gave us the ministry of reconciliation. That right there, is what it is all about. Christ came to earth so that he could take on our sins and we could be reconciled to God. Paul is imploring the Corinthians and us, through God’s word to be reconciled to God.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus was the sinless son of God. We have no way to be sinless. Sin is not a learned behavior, we come into this world as sinners, yet Christ bore every sin we have ever committed on the cross and because of that, if we let Him make us new in Him God sees us as righteousness, not the sinners we are!
Oh sweet Lord, thank you for loving me and I pray that I will live and walk in Your righteousness, not in a way to give others cause to boast but only to be controlled by Your love!
Please pray for your Pastor and your church today!