This Is Love: Love That Makes All Things New
Sunday, May 26, 2019
This is Love: Love That Makes All Things New
2 Corinthians 5:1-21
At the core of the good news of the gospel is what I referred to on Easter Sunday as the “great exchange” which means our sins were imputed or transferred to Christ as He was made to be sin for us; His righteousness was then imputed or transferred to us.
Jesus taking our sin and giving us His righteousness is at the heart of our Christian faith. This transfer, exchange, has reconciled a once sinful person to a holy and just God and made us a new creation in Christ. Because of this, Christians have the power to become sacrificial ministers of reconciliation as our love for Christ compels us to speak about Him despite opposition or affliction.
We are connected vitally and legally through our union with Christ because He accredited His perfect, righteous life of obedience into our account. He transferred not only righteousness but also innocence, not only pardon but also perfection. He not only stood condemned in our place as a punishment bearer, Hs also stood in our place as our law keeper.
Jesus not only died the death we should have died; He also lived the life that we should have lived. All has been taken care of. All has changed. The old has become new. All because of His love.
1. His love gives us a new view of this world (v1-8)
The old view of life says: “get all you can, can all you get, and sit on the can!” The old view of life is one where stability and success is measured by wealth, possessions, and things.
But God has called us to walk by faith and not by sight. We need to shift our focus and trust God. Our new perspective will seek heavenly treasures. It will renew the way we see life, death, and everything in between. It will help us see things like He sees them.
Because we, believers, have God’s guarantee (v 5), we can live our lives with confidence and be of good courage in knowing that immediately after death we will be with Jesus in heaven.
2. His love gives us new desires and motivation (v9-15)
The old motives will only take you so far. There are several wrong ways to keep yourself going...
Works: I'm doing good to earn something important.
Fear: I'm afraid not to do what's right.
Pride: I want to do right for right's sake (and for mine too).
Duty: I'm supposed to do what's right, so that's what I'll do.
Insecurity: If I don't do what's right, people won't accept me.
But the new motive is simple: LOVE. His love moves us to love like He loves. His sacrifice, His grace, His forgiveness becomes such a deep part of us that we begin to live that way. Christ didn't endure the cross because He needed the salvation, He did it for our salvation and to glorify the Father. His love gives us a 'want-to' attitude and build within us a healthy ambition and Christ-centered motivation.
3. His love give us a new attitude toward others (v16-17)
The old way to approach relationships is usually selfish in nature. Skeptical, doubtful, judgmental, critical, and fearful. According to the flesh.
As a Christian, our new mindset gives others (especially Christians) the benefit of the doubt. We must understand that Christians deserve a clean slate - worthy of love and of trust. We must ask God to remove our prejudices and renew our appreciation for His people who are His image-bearers.
A believer’s life should change, because he or she is being transformed into the likeness of Christ. Instead of living for our self, we should be living for Christ.
Instead of evaluating others with the values of the world, we must look at this world through the eyes of faith. See them how He sees them.
4. His love gives us a new awareness of our own self (v17-21)
The old perspective is usually out of balance in one of two ways: either I saw myself as a worthless human being or I felt too highly of myself. Both views are too extreme to be new because they either lead to 'self-esteem' issues (self-pity or pride).
Our old perception begins with 'who I am without God,' but the new perception of our self begins in God. ‘I am what God says I am, and I have what God says I have. I am forgiven. I am an ambassador. I have been reconciled to God and have been called to reconcile others to God.’ His love helps us really see who we are in Him.
God has made us new creature in Christ thus changing forever our relationship to and with Him
ILL: A salesman once had a difficult time selling an old, rundown warehouse. As he showed a prospective buyer the property, the agent took pains to talk about all he planned to do in renovating the broken windows and cleaning up the garbage. "Forget about the repairs, said the buyer, "I'm not interested in the building. I just want the site." ... God isn't interested in the repairs that we can make to ourselves; He wants to totally renew (restore / rebuild) us from the inside out! Give up the rights to your site and see what God will build on it.
Things drastically change in light of this great exchange, this greatest act of love. Our legal standing before God has shifted from that of guilty or unrighteous to innocent or righteous. The status of our relationship with God has moved from conflict to reconciliation, ensuring peace and communion with God.
Our very being is transferred from the impending death of this world to the promised life of God’s new creational order, leading us to an increased appetite for that which pleases Him and a growing distaste for that which does not. Our perspective is altered so that we no longer focus on outward appearances but on a radical interior radiance.