Changed - In Christ!
You are being changed- in Christ!
As the seasons change, we notice. The cooler air. The shortening days. The colors in the leaves. All of these signs indicate that change is in the air. But what about you?
This reformation weekend we will explore together 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. This section of scripture begins with the statement, “The love of Christ controls us.” (2 Cor. 5:14) This is quite a bold statement, and one we Christians ought to ponder. Is the driving force in my life the love of Christ? Is the proclamation of Christ’s love the primary focus of my decisions, my relationships, my words and actions?
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 Cor. 5:16-17 ESV)
The love of Jesus not only changes the way we view ourselves, but also those around us. We begin to notice that the people we see each day are dearly beloved people for whom Jesus died and rose again – people who need His love just like we do. In a “me-first” world, we proclaim “Christ first, you next, me last”. Instead of “what can you offer me?” we ask, “how can I show you the love Christ has shown me?” All of the labels with which we name each other give way to the only label that counts, “beloved Child of God.” This change in thinking and acting happens because Jesus has breathed new life into us, and continually fills us with the Holy Spirit. As the past fades into history, we are made completely new in Christ.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ESV
Jesus has called and appointed us to be His ambassadors in the world today. We are charged with proclaiming the love of Jesus with our words and our actions. It is as if Jesus were loving people through our actions. This is the reformation taking place within all of God’s people. Slowly but surely, the old self fades as the love of Christ is continually poured into us.
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 Cor. 5:21 ESV)
- Pastor Wood