Sharing His Story

Bible Book: 2 Corinthians  5 : 19-21
Subject: Jesus; Gospel, The
Introduction

Story of Jesus is best summed up in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Six hundred years before God came in His Son, Christ Jesus, the Prophet Isaiah told his generation in prophecy these words:

Isaiah 53:5-6

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

We have turned, every one, to his own way;

And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Now we hear from Paul, once a Christ-hater and now a Christ-follower.

1 Timothy 1:12-15, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

I. HIS STORY IS ONE OF INCARNATION. 19

"God was in Christ” – this speaks of God Who is Spirit taking on flesh. This is God becoming one with us that we might become one with Him.

“He became what we are that He might make us what He is” Athanasiu

“God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.” C.S. Lewis

“The mystery of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.” Martin Luther

“Nowhere is salvation conceived of as a flight from history as in Greek thought; it is always the coming of God to man in history. Man does not ascend to God; God descends to man.” George Eldon Ladd

“God. by His will and design, used His Son (Jesus) the only acceptable and perfect sacrifice, as the means to reconcile sinners to Himself.” John MacArthur

II. HIS STORY IS ONE OF RECONCILIATION. 19

“reconciling the world to Himself” – to reconcile means

to change completely; to affect a change or to exchange. Refers to a change in our relationship with God. Man is reconciled to God when God restores man to a right relationship with Him through His Son of the Incarnation.

Romans 5:10, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Ephesians 2:16, “and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”

To be reconciled refers to God’s act (on our behalf) of changing man’s relation to Him by removing, through Christ’s death at Calvary, the barrier caused by sin.

TRUTH TO KNOW

Reconciliation is not precisely the same as salvation. It makes salvation possible for man by paying sin’s penalty thus removing the obstacle, but does not save you. The benefits of Christ’s reconciliation is applied only to those who believe.

III. HIS STORY IS ONE OF IMPUTATION. 19

“not imparting their trespasses to them” – imputation is a banker or accountant term; to put to one’s account; to your credit. “not imparting” – not counting your sins against you because He placed those sins on Christ instead.

Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Referred to as the Great Exchange. He took my record, died for it, and offers me His perfect record in return. He took my shameful nakedness to clothe me with His righteousness. When I receive that grace (gift) in repentance and faith, full acceptance becomes mine. He lived in my place, died in my place, and then offered to me a gift. Theologians call that gift “righteousness.”

He now sees me according to how Christ has lived, not on the basis of my life.

“He hideth our unrighteousness with His righteousness, He covereth our disobedience with His obedience, He shadoweth our death with His death, that the wrath of God cannot find us.” Henry Smit

1. OUR MESSAGE TODAY. 19

“and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

“word” – refers to a true and trustworthy message.

Acts 13:26, "Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.”

God has called believers today to proclaim the gospel of reconciliation to others.

2. OUR MINISTRY TODAY. 20

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.”

“we are ambassadors” – a representation of a king from one country to another.

Philippians 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”

“citizenship” – the Greek term refers to a colony of foreigners. In one secular source it was used to describe a capital city that kept the names of its citizens on a register.

“in heaven”

1. The place where God dwells and where Christ is present

2. It’s the believers’ homes (John 14:2-3)

3. Where their names are registered (Luke 10:20)

4. Their inheritance awaits (I Peter 1:4)

5. Other believers are there (Heb 12:23)

6. We belong to the kingdom under the rule of our heavenly King, and obey heaven’s laws (Bible)

As an “ambassador” there is nothing to be ashamed of

or embarrassed about. In fact, the people who hear the

message of our King should be grateful that one of

Christ’s ambassadors gave them His message,

ILLUSTRATE: Neville Chamberlin was sent by Great Britain as an Ambassador to deal with Hitler. Chamberlin, despite the warnings of Churchill, compromised with Hitler. He came home declaring, “peace in our time.” Great Britain and the world discovered the high price of using a weak, compromising ambassador. We must never compromise the message of Christ, lest souls perish because of our failure.

 

3. OUR MOTIVATION FOR PLEADING TODAY. 20

 

“as though God were pleading through us: we implore (call or beg) you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”

 

As God was in Christ accomplishing the grounds of reconciliation, now Paul tells us that God was in him and others (now that Christ is absent in the flesh) issuing the appeal to man to accept by faith what God had done.

 

Why is the appeal so important?

 

The objective aspects of reconciliation were accomplished by Christ.

 

The subjective aspects require man’s response for salvation to be received.

 

(In imputation the Lord placed His righteousness to my account. What if I never draw from His deposit?)

It is as if God was issuing a personal and direct invitation through them to their hearts to enter into the benefits of the reconciliation already achieved by Christ.

 

IV. HIS STORY IS ONE OF SUBSTITUTION. 21

 

1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”

 

The whole meaning of the incarnation is the cross. Beware of separating God manifested in the flesh from the Son becoming sin. The Incarnation was for the purpose of redemption. The center of salvation is the cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much.

 

CONCLUSION

“This is the mystery of the riches of divine grace for sinners, for by a wonderful exchange our sins are now not ours but Christ’s and Christ’s righteousness is not Christ’s but ours.” Martin Luther