Week Commencing 30th September 2018
Notes for next Sunday’s sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, “Love”
Staring 14 Oct: in three sermons and two seminars Kevin Simington will address these 5 vital issues:
|Three Sunday talks – all services
14 Oct Where’s all the evidence?
21 Oct Why aren’t you more obvious?
28 Oct Hasn’t science disproven you?
|Two Wednesday night seminars
7.15pm-8.30pm – Tewantin site
17 Oct Why didn’t you stop the abuse?
24 Oct Why don’t you end all the suffering?
So, in our current series, we’re asking the important question: why invite others to hear about Jesus?
2 Corinthians 5:11-14
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
DAY 1: Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Last week and in Sunday’s message, we explored the fear factor which motivated Paul to persuade others about Jesus. This week – the love factor: for the love of Christ compels us. Paul is not speaking of his great love of the Lord Jesus, but the Lord Jesus’ great love for Paul.
Paul is absolutely convinced of Christ’s love for him, because it is so clearly demonstrated in Christ’s death for him: Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
Christ died our death, so we died! What unmitigated love! Clearly he is speaking of Christians here. As Christ died for us, that death which is the wages of sin, has been taken for us. As Paul explains in Colossians 2:12, we were both buried with Christ and have been raised with Christ.
Paul says that such unspeakable love compels him in his ministry of persuading others. The overpowering love of Christ, demonstrated when he died on the cross for us, controls or compels us, and calls forth a mighty response. This is what so mightily drove Paul in his epic missionary endeavours.
That love ought to control or compel us also. Our entire lives now are to be lived for him. “…those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” A thousand things work to draw us aside from what is important and significant to what is small and useless – such as our possessions, passions and appetites. But the fact Christ in love, died our death, keeps us from living for ourselves, so that we live entirely for the one who died for us and was raised again! May we so clearly see the love of God in the death of Christ, that this love compels us to live only for Jesus!
DAY 2: Read again 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
The energy cell in Paul’s heart was charged with a negative and a positive – the fear of Christ and the love of Christ! The combination was explosive!
We are controlled by Christ’s love, but this is no way paralyses us, but frees us to do all that is worthwhile. We are kept by both fear and love from doing evil things so that we might do good things.
We are kept from doing things that bring death so that we might do things that bring life. This is freedom and it is the path to unfolding joys. Paul’s energy – passion – motivation – dedication – will be seen wherever Christians are galvanised by the fear of Christ and the love of Christ.
May it be so for us. May we know the fear of Christ and be compelled by his love. And may we raise up in our church new disciples of Jesus – many workers for the harvest field, who are similarly driven and compelled by reverence for Christ and a firm grasp of his love for them!
DAY 3: Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
At his conversion on the road to Damascus, everything changed for the Apostle Paul. He had a whole new view of the world and of God’s eternal purposes. When he was persecuting Christians, he only had a worldly view of Christ. He now sees him as the one who died for all and as the one for whom believers now live. This means in turn, that if anyone is in Christ (in a relationship of love and trust and service) they are a new creation; the old has done, the new has come! A new creation! As by the agency of the word of God the world was made, so now, by the word of God (the message of reconciliation), people are remade. Our old self lived only for ourselves. That old self now makes way for the new self which lives for Him!
Of course, this is all from God. It’s his work for his glory. He is the one who has reconciled us to himself through Christ. He is the one who did everything necessary so that our sins may not be counted against us. Not our doing! His work entirely! V21 explains clearly how this could be the case: that God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. A great exchange has taken place. Jesus had no sin of his own. Yet he ‘became sin’ as our sin was put on him. Our sin was put on him and his righteousness (all that it means to be made right with God) was put on us.
DAY 4: Read again 2 Corinthians 5:15-21
God has not only reconciled us to himself but called us to be involved in the work of bringing other people to also be reconciled. The ministry of reconciliation has been given to us, whereby we are involved in imploring other people “please be reconciled to God’’. We are in the privileged position of being Christ’s ambassadors.
I want to say to any one reading this today: if you aren’t yet reconciled to God: today’s the day! Don’t receive God’s grace in vain. Today, if you turn to the Lord, you will be saved; you will be forgiven and reconciled to God. I implore you: be reconciled to God!
Should you be among the many who are reading this who are already reconciled to God; then I want to say to you – in what way are you involved in the work of being God’s ambassadors?
God wants to make his appeal through you!
It’s a ministry committed first to Paul and by extension to us all. My prayer is that we will all realise and embrace afresh, the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us. May Noosa hear this glorious call: “Be reconciled to God!”
One small way of playing your part as an ambassador for Christ is to invite someone to our “If you could ask God” series. When you consider it, inviting someone to join you to hear one of these important talks, is one of the more ‘risk averse’ ways to be involved in the ministry of reconciliation! You have very little to lose if they say ‘no’, but they have everything to gain if they should join you and discover the joy you’ve discovered in serving Jesus.
Why invite others to hear of Jesus? Because you’re seeing things clearly. You’re seeing those around us as harassed and helpless; as sheep without a shepherd, and you’re developing a deep compassion for them. You’re also seeing clearly that you will answer to God for all that he’s entrusted to you. Your healthy reverence for God results in your wanting to use all that he’s given you for his glory. And you’re seeing clearly the depths of God’s love for you. You are understanding more than ever that God loved you so much that Jesus died for you, and therefore you died (and then were raised with him). Such great love! And because you’re seeing that love clearly you feel compelled to share it with others so that they too may say ‘because Christ died, I died’. You long to be part of the ministry of reconciliation.
Who will you invite?