2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This is the message of the reality of being reconciled to God – my sin can be paid for by Jesus’ death. Yes! We can be made right with God — it is possible because of Jesus and what He has done! Through that death he has worked it out in me personally, and given me life and made it possible for me to have a reconciled relationship with him and that means I can be on the right path that leads to eternal life and sharing in the divine nature. (See 2nd Peter 1:4) Most Christian would agree with those statements. Jesus paid for sin on the cross to save and bring people to God. Where they stop short is actually becoming carriers of the message, at least in a purposeful way, keeping it foremost in their minds and hearts. They slip back into obligations, and habit, and doing life the way they always have.
I do not believe that you can do that for very long and not hear from God about it. The truth is if you let Satan steal the seed of the message of reconciliation before it actually germninates you are just as lost as though you had never heard it. Likewise if you do not allow that seed to germinate down deep you will be baked by the sun of trials and temptations and again you will not be any better off for hearing the message. (See Matthew 13:18-23 for Jesus’ explanation of what it means to be saved Biblically) So, some people fall back because they were never really born again (Biblically) and made a new creation in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:17 just a few verses ahead of our passage for more on that).
The only way to “become the righteousnes of God” is to let the message sink down and take root and grow sustainably. By “sustainably” I mean able to be sustained. It is the same thing as when Jesus said “abide in me, for without abiding in me you can do nothing and are only good for being cut away and thrown into the fire.” (My paraphrase) I fear that in our day many qualify for the fire and few qualify for fruit bearing. (See Matthew 7:14 & John 15:1-26 The Bible does not know of “saved” people who only believe for a little while…that is a lie of the watered down gospel!)
The good news for believers is that John 15 ends with the promise of the Spirit of God that gives us the power to witness faithfully for the Lord though the world hates us and opposes us. “He will bear witness of me and you will bear witness.” The Spirit not only waters us, and guides us into truth so we can grow but He also gives us the ability to testify about Jesus’ plan and continually testifies of Jesus to us and the world at large — so we grow in our relationship with Jesus, even as we are sharing Him with others.
The passage that precedes the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that explains what it means to be reconciled — namely that God purchased our redemption by Jesus’ death — is this (from 2 Corinthians 5:18–20)
“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”
So as Jesus taught those first disciples — that the spirit would empower them to be witnesses for him (John 15:26) Paul reiterates this by saying “all this is from God” or in other words – God’s plan was to empower us, enable us, help us, so we can become pipelines of the message that people can be reconciled to God thorugh Christ. In other words this is our job and He has made a way for us to be capable in that job. He has entrusted it to us and made us able to complete it. God is making his strong appeal through us “be reconciled to God.” So, we can say with Paul “we do not come just in word but in power.” The power is the working of the Spirit of God inside of our temples — our bodies. We are housing the message of reconciliation. The message — should we lose sight of it is — “for our sake he made him to be sin…so we might be made the righteousness of God.” He did it for us. He did it for our benefit and blessing. In ancient times God came to a man named Abram and promised him that the seed of blessing would come through him and make him a blessing to all peoples. That has happened for the seed is Jesus. Now, we are the Abrahams. The message — Jesus Himself is carried about in us. We carry the message. We are the ones entrusted to carry in ourselves Jesus and what He has done for the world.
There is power in this proposition. What I mean is there is great authoritative power. This is not small talk. This is the serious business of heaven. This is the mandate for every true Christian. The normal thing for a Christian is a most holy appointment — ambassdors for Christ. Deputized by God. It is time to do this, not in the flesh, not with fleshly methods but in the power and direction of the holy Spirit of God.
Brothers and Sisters: people are looking for answers, and yes, of course they are looking in the wrong places — but let us not get bogged down in figuring out which swamp they are stuck in, and how bad that swamp is, and how the old swamps were not as bad as the new swamps, trying to become swamp experts. Let us become Reconciliation Message Experts — experiencing Christ and knowing Him — and then simply sharing Him and the message of reconciliation with everyone in our path. For Paul it meant becoming all things to all people that he might win some of them to Jesus. Are you willing to do this. Are you willing to let the world beat a path to God, walking on you to get there?
It is our sacred duty. His business has now become our business.