Day 4 Read: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Reflect: Why do you think that it’s the love of Christ that compels us into the world? Why is that attitude key if we are to be ambassadors for Christ?
Consider: In these verses the apostle mentions two things that are necessary in order to our living to Christ, both of which are the consequences of Christ’s dying for us; namely, regeneration and reconciliation.4
Respond: What does the word “ambassador” mean? What are the keys to being a quality ambassador? Why do you think Paul chose this word to describe the role of the Christian in the world? In what ways does your life reflect the priorities of ambassadorship for the kingdom of God? Does your heart match Paul’s heart in pleading with people to be saved? How can you tell?
4 Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 2284.