At the very heart of the Christian faith is the message that God invites all people to be reconciled with Him through the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
At the cross Jesus took our sin and invites us to receive His righteousness. This is sometimes referred to as the great exchange:
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. (2 Cor. 5:21)
When we put our faith in Jesus, God not only reconciles us to Himself, He also makes us into a new creation; He gives us new life, a new identity, new goals and priorities and aspirations.
Through the transforming work of His Holy Spirit, God even transforms our very thoughts, sanctifying us and making us into something new.
What’s more, when God reconciles us to Himself, He also invites us to join Him in this great work of reconciliation; encouraging, persuading, even begging others to also be reconciled with God.
We become God’s ambassadors, God’s human representatives in this world; speaking and acting on God’s behalf.
This is an awesome and exhilarating responsibility; not something to be afraid of but the opportunity to share with others the good news we have received ourselves.
Pastor Jono Smith
I’ve never met someone who didn’t want to be well thought of. As people, all of us want to be admired and respected and appreciated; if only by a small group of friends and family.
Taken too far, this desire can become an obsession with looking right, sounding right, and acting the right way in order to fit in and be “liked” by others.
For many, the rise of social media hasn’t helped. We post our best photos, our cleanest children, our most flattering angles, our sunniest holiday moments.
Facebook, twitter and snapchat are not the places for honestly telling it like it is.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul encourages us to think of ourselves as being like jars of clay; simple, ordinary vessels that contain a priceless treasure; the glory and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rather than boasting or exaggerating or obsessing with ourselves, we have the incredible privilege of carrying with us the good news of Jesus’ Lordship.
We carry with us the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the life and hope that is available in Jesus’ name.
We carry with us the truth that while our physical bodies are wasting away, we have an eternal body and an eternal home waiting for us when we go to be with the Lord.
This is good news that gives us hope and confidence for each new day.
Pastor Jono Smith
Letters are on the way out and emails have taken over. This fact is causing Australia Post to lose millions of dollars each year. $1 to post a standard letter is starting to get a bit steep. Most of us receive multiple emails each day and from a huge variety of sources. A lot of them we can simply discard. In 2 Corinthians chapter 3 Paul speaks about the church receiving letters of commendation carried by his opponents to justify their credentials as apostles. Paul refuses to give much weight to such letters and pleads with the Corinthians not to be swayed by any lofty well worded letters. His line of argument to them is not to look at a person’s qualifications but rather the spiritual results that flow from their ministry.
Paul uses this argument as a springboard to compare the old covenant of law to the new covenant of the Spirit. His arguments are compelling and are a very timely reminder to each of us how easy it is to slip back into the “letter of the law” when it comes to our walk with God. The last 3 verses of the chapter are a wonderful testimony of the work of the Spirit in a person’s life. They speak to us of freedom, contemplation and transformation, surely a much more expansive way to live our Christian lives that by the “letter of the law.” The way of the Spirit is the way that God wants us to live. A spiritual life cannot be lived through a legalistic framework. So as we this week examine this chapter let us be open to what God wants to say to all of us
Pastor Warren Griffin