Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer for revival and for the restoration of our prodigals. In the beautiful chapter of 2 Corinthians 5, Paul highlights three essential aspects of our Christian lives—our identity, our motives, and our service. Identity is who we are. Motive has to do with why we do what we do. And service includes our outward activity for the glory of God.
Paul makes it clear that upon conversion, our identity changes. In verse 17, he says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” When we trusted Christ as our Savior, we received a new identity. We became a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is a work of God, not something we have accomplished. He pronounces us righteous (Rom 4:5). He calls us “children of the living God” (Rom 9:26). He reminds us that we are loved (1 Jn 4:9). We need to listen to these words of truth that God speaks over us. We must settle our hearts and minds on this awesome truth and cease from striving for significance and worth in false places.
God intends us to be governed by many good motives; two are highlighted in this chapter. Paul says, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others” (2 Cor 5:11). As we get to know the Lord and the greatness of His character, as we learn more deeply of His righteous ways, we earnestly desire to persuade people from the path of sin. We know that sin brings death and the judgment of God. We fear for their eternal well-being and we want them to know the peace and joy which accompanies salvation. We want the best for them, just as God does. The second motive is found in verse 14, “The love of Christ controls us.” His love delivers us, fills us, surrounds us, covers us, supports us, and propels us to do the right thing. The first motive is on the horizontal plane—our desire for the welfare for others. The second is on the vertical plane—God’s transforming love for us. His unfathomable love enables us to be and to do more than we can begin to imagine.
Paul finishes this chapter by reminding us of our service for Christ. We are commissioned by God on the behalf of Christ, as ambassadors, with the task of reconciling people to him. Out of a clear understanding of who we are and with proper motives, may we be energized to do the good works He has prepared for us. Whether He calls us to do big or small tasks, may we work with joy out of love for our Lord. May God’s blessing be on each of you.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel