2 Corinthians 5:14-21
14 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We are the ambassadors of God. Christ died for all and those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died". We are a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come. We know we are filled with the Spirit. All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. He has committed to us the message of reconciliation and therefore we are Christ's ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through us.
God is making his appeal through us that is why he sent Jesus to die for us. The scripture says he has given us a message of reconciliation. God has given us a message, the good news, where we could be reconciled (because someone gave us the message, we got reconciled to God). Also we have the opportunity to reach out to someone and reconcile them to God. That's what Jesus did. He went and reconciled people to God. It is like this when we go and reach out to a person, we take his/her hand and go and take God's hand and reconcile that person to God. Every time we do that we touch God's heart.
And in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus himself spoke and said to his disciples, "You are the light of the world". He also reminded that nobody lights a lamp and hides it somewhere. They keep it on a stand so that all people can see the light. He challenged them to let their lights so shine that people will see it and praise our Father in heaven. Jesus taught his disciples that they are, and need to be, the light of the world. He challenged them to not extinguish their light but to allow people to see it so that they can come to God. His main focus was reaching out to people and reconciling them to God.
1. Why is it important for us to share about Christ?
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Jesus' purpose was to bring salvation to the lost world. He himself said to Zaccheus when he went with him to his house that salvation had come to his house that day. Luke 19:9-10 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Today if we say we are Christians and that we are following Christ, this should be our mission too.
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
Here Jesus was praying for his disciples and for believers, He prayed an incredible prayer. He was praying for the disciples and he had the conviction that God had sent him into the world to do the mission and so He was also sending his dear disciples to do the same. For Jesus the purpose was very, very clear. Today we need to have the same purpose. Most of us, if we look at our lives, God has done incredible things through us. When we understand what God desires through our lives, it is very clear that we should reach out to this lost world.
God's desire is very clear in the Bible. God wants all men to come to repentance. God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. This good news is with us. We need to take it to our dear ones around us. There are a lot of people around us, very near to us who need so much of reconciliation with God. This we need to do out of gratefulness to God. Christ's love should compel us. God will be so happy when we reach out to someone because that is what Jesus' mission is and we are imitating the same in our lives.
2. How do we fit into God's plan?
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
17 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
Here Jesus is reaching out to Simon and Andrew and we'll listen to their conversation. Jesus came with the focus of reaching out to the lost people and reconciling them to God. Here we see Jesus was walking by the sea side. He saw two people catching fish. He called them. He asked them to follow him and from that day onwards he would make them fishers of men. They responded to his call. From the start of Jesus' mission, he called them to fish men. When he asked them to follow him he was pointing out that since he had himself come with a purpose if they followed him, he would give them the same purpose. Their response was almost immediate because they understood that was the right thing for them to do.
And we all know at the end of Matthew, at the end of his life on earth, he calls them again. Mat 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Jesus' farewell message was also a reminder of the mission. He commanded his disciples to be active in making disciples of all nations. Just think for a moment. If those disciples had become lukewarm about what Jesus said -the message would not have gone throughout the world. This is something for us to remember. This is something we all need to understand to fit into God's plan. Jesus had a plan to multiply his ministry. God's plan and Jesus' plan have not changed - it is the same. He is appealing to us even today and it starts from us.
3. Are we ready to go?
The time to act is now. Are we ready to go? That's the question.
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
Sometimes we think, 'Oh here's another message about evangelism and sharing of faith. For us to go and do Jesus' mission it needs a lot of inspiration and self motivation. And that is what we need to draw out of the scriptures. We need to allow God to work in our hearts. Let us be motivated to do what is right. It calls for sacrifice, personal time - we need to go out of our way to do these things. Are we ready for that?
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile. The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. God is ready to save anybody who comes to him and calls on him. V14. how can they be saved without believing? How can they believe without hearing? How can they hear without somebody preaching to them? How can they preach without somebody sending them to preach?
Are we ready to be sent to preach? The scripture ends with a beautiful line, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." We have the message of love from God. When we take a step and share God has his own way to reach out to people. So let's think about God's dream in our life. He has an incredible dream that He wants to accomplish through us. So are we ready to go? That is what God wants us to do.