Explore the Bible
May 13 2018
2 Corinthians 5:16-21; 6:1-2 (ESV)
Have you ever bought a new car? Or maybe sat in a new car? If so you know the new car smell. It cannot be replicated but when you smell it you know it. It is the smell of new.
Paul reminded the Corinthians that they had been reborn in Christ and were new creations. After a distressing visit to Corinth (2 Cor. 2:1) Paul wrote another letter to the church in hopes that his relationship with them could be healed. Of course the Corinthians living sinfully did not like Paul’s style of calling them out on their sin and they chose to make him miserable. Nonetheless Paul wanted to make an appeal to their soul and not their attitude. Paul wanted the gospel to transform their lives and inform their mission.
Paul reminded the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 of their new beginning. They were no longer who they once were; they were no longer dead. As believers they were reborn in Christ and set in heavenly places (Col. 3:1). Paul did not focus here on the history of Jesus in death but the present and future aspects of the resurrected Lord who had saved each of them and shaped them in their sanctification. They were no longer who they were; they were who they were becoming in Christ.
Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for the sins of all people and allows all people the opportunity to be saved. The church in Corinth needed to both rest and work in that truth. Our reconciliation (salvation) to Jesus creates peace and motivates our mission to kingdom expansion (2 Cor. 5:21).
Paul urged the Corinthian church to be in gospel service and not to take their calling in vain. The gospel calls all Christians even the Corinthians to make disciples. Paul’s message is clear: “The call to reconciliation must happen now and it can only happen through Jesus.”