[5:17] Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The precise function of the word Therefore in verse 17 is to establish and set forth a proclamation of truth - prophetise; a proclamation of spiritual or eternal truth. That eternal truth which Paul proclaims is... In Christ.
Any individual person "in Christ" Jew, Gentile, any culture, creed, language, or color significant to the diversity and divide or disunity of the condition and circumstances of Corinth. Since this is a proclamation of eternal truth this is a proclamation for all mankind from all times and all places including you and me. In Christ - that person is a new being. This translation goes deeper still in that the meaning does not stop at the individual person “is a new being” as in rewind, reset, redirect, or redo (all very good). The proclamation is that there is in Christ a new creation meaning not just that the individual person has been made new but also that a new way of life has been created.
The old refers to things that characterized the pre-Christian life. Life before Christ - the old order has passed away a new order has begun, the old creation has disappeared, has come to an end, or finished and gone. New creation, new life, a new order for things has begun.
[5:18] All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
All this takes us to to an understanding that God the Creator of the universe is creating the new you, the new me, a new life order. We live move and breath in new a new life in Christ Jesus. This has been done by God through the means of the incarnation, sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. It is God in Christ, who has done this all.
God through Christ reconciled us to Himself: Christ is the means through which God reconciled sinners to himself.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Paul does not use “to reconcile” or “reconciliation” very often in his letters, but he sure has in Romans 5 and in both letters to the Corinthians. These words are metaphors from the context of personal relationships in which enemies have become friends again. He uses the reconciliation term directly for relationship between husband and wife, and in relationships of those in the community and body of Christ - be reconciled. Implicit in the idea of reconciliation is that the people who are reconciled were previously divided, breached, broken, or had even become enemies. Paul calls for a reconciliation that changes us from enemies into his friends. For Paul however, it is not God who was our enemy; rather we were the ones who were opposed to God (back to Romans 5:10–11). Reconciled to a righteous friendship of peace.
Ministry of reconciliation: the word rendered ministry may also be translated “work” or “service” (diakonia; ministry of the Church). In this context the work of the Church directs its focus and efforts to the work of making peace between ourselves and others. This kind of reconciliation has deep connection and meanings towards being brought back to God, therefore connecting our reconciliation to one another to our reconciliation to God.
1 John 4:19-21
We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
This is a difficult idea for us to process and then accept (reconcile). But we must. We must accept that as part of the work of the Creator in us. As His new creation there is a call and command to reconciliation that connects the inter-personal relationships of mankind with the personal relationship with God. The same idea may be expressed “the work of being brought or bringing other people back to God in order to bring people back to one another."
[5:19] ...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.
God was making all mankind his friends and family through Christ; or God was in Christ making all mankind his friends and family. Either way it is clear - reconciliation is relevant to our life here as a new creation in Christ, and to our place as a new creation in a new world - a world without end.
Not counting the intentional and unintentional sins, violations, and trespasses of mankind against them. Not keeping record, not holding against. The meaning here is that God does not keep an account of human failings but rather forgives them. Some translations are: “not holding anyone’s faults against them”, “he does not keep against men an account of their offenses”, “instead of holding men to account for their sins”.
Entrusting to us the message of reconciliation: the expression message of reconciliation focuses more on the verbal aspect of bringing people to God, while the “ministry of reconciliation” (from verse 18) has to do more with the actual work or active application of reconciliation. The idea here is that of being given the task, opportunity, and responsibility to proclaim this message to first ourselves, and then to other people. God gave (entrusted) us the assignment of telling the news of this new creation, this friendship, this new family, this new community. He charged us to preach this message of new love, new life, new hope, and the gospel of peace.
We are a Bible teaching Christian church in Peoria, AZ. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.
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