The Great Change
2 Cor. 5:14-21
So many changes happen in our life. From the moment we were physically born, till the day we die, will see and experience changes. Physical changes, social changes, emotional, intellectual, even financial, are just some of the changes that happens to us all. However, there is a change that we all
must have. There must be spiritual change, this is the most important. From sinfulness there should be a change to godliness, from unbeliever to believer, from sinner to saint. This is what we will be talking today, Great Changes, what cause it and what does it do?
I. What Causes the change?
A. The Love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14-15)
B. This is the love of Christ for all believers and for Paul (Rom. 5:6-8).
C. A change is needed, not in God, but in the condition of the soul that is already lost because of sin. He loved us when we were unlovely, in fact, He loved us when we were ungodly, sinners, and enemies (Rom. 5:6-10). When He died on the cross, Christ proved His love for the world (Jn. 3:16), the church (Eph. 5:25), and individual sinners (Gal. 2:20). When you consider the reasons why Christ died, you cannot help but love Him.
D. Christ’s loving substitutionary death motivated Paul to serve Him (Gal. 2:20, Eph. 3:19)
E. “Compels us” means to pressure that compels action. Unlike the motives of the false apostles, the love of Christ controls and compels Paul and his fellow-apostles.
F. “One died for all”. The universal love of God is seen in Christ as He died for all man, Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:11-3:13). All humans are potentially saved in Christ (cf. v. 19;John 3:16-18; 4:42; Rom. 5:18; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 John 2:2; 4:14). The preposition “for” indicates he died in behalf of” or “in place of” all (Isa. 53:4-12, Gal. 3:13, Heb. 9:11-14). God’s punishment for sin death. Jesus took that punishment and died for our sins and satisfied God’s justice as a perfect sacrifice (Rom. 5:6-11, 18,19, 1 Tim. 2:5-6, 1 Thess. 5:10, Titus 2:14, 1 Pet. 2:24),
G. “Then all died”. Every true believer dies in Christ and is raised to new life in Him. And everyone who dies and is raised in Christ is given new life, that they might no longer live selfishly for their own benefit, but sacrificially in the service of Christ who gave Himself sacrificially for them. This is a blessed and wonderful change.
Illustration 1: The Love of God
A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on “The Love of God.” As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lighted a candle and carried it to
the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel.
There was nothing else to say. Source unknown
II. The Great Change (2 Cor. 5:16-17).
A. “Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh… “2 Cor. 5:16): As a result of his conversion Paul no longer evaluated people on the basis of externals.
B. A great change from being a persecutor of Christ to a proclaimer of Christ (Acts 9:5,20-22). This is an about face, 180 degrees turn. Because Paul believed the message of the gospel he was identified by faith with Christ (2 Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal 2:20; 6:14). The term “in Christ” is used frequently by Paul to describe his and the believer’s relationship with Christ.
C. To be in Christ is to be a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15). This new creation is brought about by the Holy Spirit, the Agent of regeneration (Titus 3:5) and the Giver of divine birth (Jn. 3:3,6-8). God’s new creative work, begun in each one who believes in Christ, will one day be completed in the future (Rev. 21:4-5).
D. “Old things are passed away:” The old standards of judgment, the old distinctions between men, the old dependence upon ceremonies and rites, the old purposes and aims, the old weaknesses and faults, the old pride and conceit, the old hypocrisies and sins. “All things are become new”: The affections, the motives, the thoughts, the hopes, the whole life is “new!” The new birth (John 3:3-6) has implanted the “new life” in Christ (Gal. 3:27). When we become a “new creature” or Christian, we do not immediately get rid of a bad temper or a quick tongue. The “new birth” does not annihilate the old nature, but brings in a new nature to control it. The old temper and the old tongue have a new master and are under a new control. Potential control and conquest lie within us the moment we are “born again” (John 3:7)!
Actual control and conquest of evil temper and tongue depend on the degree to which we will yield ourselves to the transforming power of our new nature. The change is so great. that “all things become new, both in us and around us, because the heart is renewed and the eyes are enlightened.
Illustration 2: Futile Renovations
London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs.
Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior.
As he showed a prospective buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.
“Forget about the repairs,” the buyer said. “When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site.
Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God’s, the old life is over (2 Cor. 5:17).
He makes all things new. All he wants is the site and the permission to build. Source unknown
III. How the change was brought (2 Cor. 5:18 -19).
A. “And all things are of God… “(2 Cor. 5:18): All “new” things have come from God through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. “God… reconciled us to himself… given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18): Before we were rebels against God. Through Christ we have been brought to love God, to love His will, and to obey Him. This is because we have been brought to love God, to love His will, and to obey Him. This is because we have been changed; we are “new creatures.” Christ reconciled us to reconcile others. This is every Christian’s ministry. The word “ministry” really means, “charter.” The task of winning the unreconciled to God is committed to the Church and every Christian. We have been won to win the unreconciled to God to repentance and the obedience of faith.
B. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor. 5:19): God through Christ cancels out our old sins (Rom. 8:32) if we make our peace with God through faith and obedience to the Gospel (Rom. 5:1; Heb. 5:9). It was not God who was to be reconciled, but the world. In Christ the world is offered peace and shown the love of God (John 3:16; 2 Pet. 3:9).
Illustration 3: We Are Reconciled to God
Reconciliation is changing for the better a relationship between two or more persons. Theologically it refers to the change of relationship between God and man. We are naturally children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and are at enmity with God (Eph. 2:11-15); but, “…we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son…” (Rom. 5:10). Because of the death of Jesus, the Christian’s relationship with Godis changed for the better. We are now able to have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3) whereas before we could not. So, we are reconciled to Him (Rom. 5:10-11). The problem of sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) has been addressed and removed in the cross. It was accomplished by God in
Christ (2 Cor. 5:18). Source unknown
IV. Responsibilities connected with the Great Change (2 Cor. 5:20-21).
A. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ… “(2 Cor. 5:20): Christians have God’s message, are His authorized messengers or ambassadors, and speak for God, beseeching the world for Christ, and in His name or authority, to be “reconciled to God” by repentance and obeying the gospel. In Christ’s place as His ambassador or representative we say to the world: “Get reconciled to God – now!” (Heb. 3:15; Matthew 28:18-20).
B. A new condition (2 Cor. 5:21). “For he hath made him to be sin for us… “(2 Cor. 5:21): Christ was sinless. He “knew no sin” (John 8:46; 1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 Jn. 3:5). “Made him to be sin for us”: In the mystery of divine grace, God made the sinless Christ to take the place of sinful men. He was our sinless substitute who suffered for our sins, that our sins might thus be atoned for, the law satisfied, and we be forgiven and accounted righteous. Since we die with Christ, in Him we pay the penalty, and are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1). The gospel is not good advice, but good news. The gospel announces to a guilty, hopeless world a great atoning, redeeming, reconciling act. “Christ died for all.” “Be ye reconciled to God” today!
The love of Christ motivates us to serve Him. Now that we are “in Christ”, we are new creature, old things are passed away, all things are become new, with new responsibilities. The question is, have you been changed?