Becoming What We Are- 2Corinthians 5:14-21

We resume our examination of 2Corinthians 5:14-21 at verse 18, where Paul tells us that all he has previously mentioned (compelled by Christ, new worldview, new creation) is from God. By this he means man cannot do this himself, it is done by God and man can only receive it. God`s goal in all of this is the reconciliation of the relationship between God and man broken by the sin of Adam and Eve. This reconciliation is through Christ, and God calls His new creations to a ministry of reconciliation. God has always (was here is an imperfect: was, is and always will be) reconciled the world only one way, through Christ`s atonement for sin, which is why God no longer “counts” men`s sins against them. God calls us, as His new creations, to a message of reconciliation, our message being that God has atoned for all peole`s sin, and acceptance of what Christ did for us restores the broken relationship with God. We are Christ`s ambassadors, His representatives in a foreign land, His appeal to the world being made through us. Paul`s conclusion is found in verse 21, in which we see that God “made” Christ sin for us. The word translated made here is poieo, whose “usual” meaning is made. Its usage here as made presents a problem, for it is difficult to concieve of a holy God being “made” sin. It is better understood here in the sense of “to appoint”, that Christ was not made sin but appointed sin for us, for only a sinless one could overcome sin and its penalty for us. The NIV adds the verb “to be” here, which is not in the Greek text, which simply says that God made Him who knew no sin sin for us. Our sin was appointed to Christ, who took our sin and gives us His righteousness. He paid the penalty for sin (death), but could not be held by its sentence. The “for” here is huper, in behalf of or instead of. Christ died on our behalf and in our place, and He did so for a reason (hina- in order that). The death of Christ for us thus had a purpose, and that purpose is intended for all who are “in Him”. This purpose is that we “might become” something. The question here is to the nature of the “might” here. This might here is the might of possibility, and what has been made possible is that we could become the righteousness of Christ, that we could become what we are. The word become is middle voice, in which the subject acts on itself, we become the righteousness of Christ only as we participate in the process of being continually compelled by the love of Christ and living out our new worldview, the fruit of our reconciliation. What Paul is teaching here is that we are the righteousness of God, and through this process we become what we are as we live out more and more of that righteousness, that reconciliation with God in our lives. As the love of Christ compels us, as we live out our new worldview and as we live out of our “new creation”, we become expressions of the righteousness of God to the world, we become more and more what we already are. May we all love more as Christ loves, see things as Christ sees them, and live out His life through us, drawing the world to the reconciliation He provides, becoming more and more like Him in the process, becoming what we are.

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