Proverbs 13-15 2 Corinthians 5
“God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold the world guilty of its sins. And he gave us this message of peace. So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God.” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NCV)
It’s finished. The war is over. The problem is that we have these holdouts who don’t seem to get that they fought for the losing side, and that the irony of that is that by losing the war against God, they end up winning in life. As Paul talked about the war that God used to have with the world, he reminded us that God’s purpose was to make peace with the world. You wouldn’t know that based on the actions of some of my brothers and sisters in Christ – but in Christ, God doesn’t hold the world guilty of its sins. He offers forgiveness and grace to cover all the sins of the world. Our message to the world is not a message of God’s wrath, it’s a message of peace. Other versions translate our job here as “ambassadors.” The message we speak is the message that Jesus would have us speak which is peace. God is calling the world; God is calling each person individually to peace with Him.
If we’re truly speaking for Christ, we should be calling people to peace with God. There are enough people speaking condemnation in the world today. If we can believe these verses, that isn’t our call as followers of Christ. There are many preachers today in churches and on the streets, who love to spend time on and condemn the sins of those listening. While we need to point out God’s truth about sinful behavior, it should always be with the understanding that God forgives, God has mercy, and God has grace. When our proclamations deal with sin, we should always remember that Jesus condemned the religious elite and consoled the sinners. He told those caught in sin to sin no more once they’d established their relationship with Him, but only after He’d brought peace to them. We live in a world that’s restless and ill at ease. People defy God openly with their words and their actions. We have people who are caught up in addictions who see no hope. Our job as Christians is to be these individuals to be at peace with God. The old saying is that we’re called to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I believe that people without God are afflicted and ill at ease no matter how much money they have. I believe that most people that don’t follow Jesus know their own sin deep down, my job is to bring the grace and peace of Jesus Christ to them so that they can choose to follow Him and experience true peace.
Lord, in a world where people are still battling against You even though You’ve already won the war, help me to proclaim peace. Let my words and my actions draw others to You.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.