II. The Exhortation to understanding. 3:1-7:4
A. The influence of the Word of God. 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
B. The Influence of the Work of God. 2 Corinthians 4:7-17
1. The power of God working in man. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
2. The purpose of God. 2 Corinthians 4:11-15 (vs. 15 – His glory)
3. The Praise unto God. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Refer to 4:1
4. The Preeminence of God. 2 Corinthians 5:1-16 as seen in –
a. Our Person. 5:1-4
b. His Presence. 5:5-9
c. The Proof 5:10 – 16 The evidence of His preeminence in our lives is seen in –
1). Our standing before God. 5:10
2). Our standing before men. 5:11-21 He is an example of God’s workmanship and so he –
a). Set forth the believer’s priorities. 5:11-16
(1). Purity a holy life.
(2). Passion – a believing life
(3). Principles – a dedicated life
Paul had declared the preeminence of God in his own life and the expectation of God for all His children. He set forth the believer’s priorities and then he –
b). Set forth believer’s position. 5:17-21 The wonderful truth to the praise of God!
We are –
(1). Redeemed – a new relationship in Christ 5:17a
“… Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:…”
The preeminence of God is seen in that we are saved, not of ourselves, but of Him! He paid the price for our sin, death, and provides salvation to whosoever will come to Him in faith –
Romans 5:6-9 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
We are –
(2). Renewed. 5:17b
“…he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
God did not just promise to save us when we die and get to Heaven. He did not say “Do the best you can and when you die, look me up and I will see what I can do for you”. He completely changed us now at the moment of salvation. The believer is not becoming a new creature, he has been made a new creature! Have the old things of your life passed away? Have the things of God replaced them?
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
We are –
(3). Reconciled. 5:18a “to bring together”
“…who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ…”
God did not make peace with man through a treaty of compromise! God did not change – man must change (repent) and surrender unconditionally.
Colossians 1:20-22 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
God has accepted our surrender in Jesus Christ –
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
We are –
(4). Representatives. 5:18b-20 As ambassadors, we must remember –
(a). Who we are representing – the Lord. This may sound very basic, but it seems that it is an easy thing to forget!
(b). Why we are representing the Lord. People are lost, condemned to eternal separation from God in Hell.
(c. How we are to be representing Him – proclaiming the Gospel that they might be reconciled to God.
We are –
(5). Righteous. 5:21
We did not become righteous. God has made us righteous in Him. This is the message of the ambassador of Christ – the same that Paul declared in –
Romans 1:15-17 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The questions that this message brings us today are these –
Are you saved – “in Christ”, reconciled to God?
If you are saved, are you an ambassador of the Lord? Have you been a witness of the Lord and been proclaiming of His message?
Is living a life to testify to the righteousness of God your priority?