STUDY II Corinthians
5:11-21 (click here for
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 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.
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. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 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. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)
Paul has just finished writing about the desirability of being with the Lord. He has also re-emphasized that everyone will stand "before the judgment seat of Christ" to receive what is "due him for the things done while in the body." (5:10) Referring to this inevitable judgment, he continues, "Since, then, we know what it is to fear [stand in reverence, awe, respect for the justice of] the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience."
1. Of what is Paul trying to "persuade men"? (see 2 Cor. 1:1, 12; 3:2-6; 12:11-12; 1 Cor. 4:14-15)
2. Why was this persuasion necessary? (see 1 Cor. 1:11-17; 3:3-5; 4:2-5)
3. For what did Paul want the Corinthians to be proud of him, and why did they need to answer those who looked on the outside instead of on the heart? (see 1:14)
4. Why does Paul defend the possibility that he might be considered "out of [his] mind," and why might he be thought of as crazy? (see Acts 9:1-19; 1 Cor. 1:18-19; 2 Cor. 11:1, 16-18; 12:1-5, 11)
5. Did Paul present himself as "crazy"? (see 2 Cor. 1:18-19; 4:1-2, 5; 1 Cor. 2:1-5; 1:19)
6. What does Paul mean when he says, "One died for all, and therefore all died"? (see Romans 6:6-7; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3)
7. If all died, who are "those who live" (v.15)? (see John 5:25-26; 11:25-26)
8. What does it mean to live no longer for ourselves? (see Romans 14:7-9; Galatians 2:20; Romans 8:10-11; 1 Peter 4:2)
9. What does it mean to regard someone from a worldly point of view? (see 1 Corinthians 1:20; 26-31; 2 Corinthians 10:4; 11:18)
10. How does Christ "look" seen from a worldly point of view? (see Isaiah 53:2-4; 1 Corinthians 1:21-25)
11.How do we see people differently when we see them from a spiritual point of view? (see Ephesians 2:1-10; 4:21-24; Matthew 23:37-39)
12.What exactly does it mean to be a new creation? (see John 1:12-13; 3:5-8; 6:63; Romans 6:4-5; 7:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 18-20; 4:22-24; Galatians 5:16-18; 22-26; 6:15; Colossian 3:9-10)
13.What is significant about Paul's saying that "all this" (the miracle of becoming new creations) "is from God"? (see Romans 5:8; 11:36; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 John 4:9)
14.W hat does it mean to be reconciled to God? (see Isaiah 27:5)
15. What is the appeal Christ makes through us as his ambassadors? (see verse 18-19; 6:1-2; Ephesians 6:19-20; Romans 3:21-26; 4:1-8)
16. What does Paul mean when he says, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us"? (see Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26-27; 1 Peter 2:22-24; 1 John 3:5)
17. How do we "become the righteousness of God"? (see 1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 1:17; 3:21-22;9:30-32; Philippians 3:8-9)
18. Has anyone ever thought you were "crazy" or too passionate about your commitment to Jesus and the gospel?
19. What is the primary motivation in your life?
20. Have you become a "new creation", and if so, how do you see people and Jesus differently from before?
21. What situation in your life needs the ministry of reconciliation to heal it?
22. What in your life do you resist letting God transform into something "new"?
23. Who in your life do you still see through a "worldly point of view"?
24. What would have to change in your life if you were to commit to being an ambassador for Christ?
25. Ask God to make you willing to be submissive to his love and his
discipline. Ask him to reveal to you the things he wants to heal and change
in your life. Ask him to pour out his Spirit of adoption into your heart
and to assure you of your position in his heart and family. Ask him to live
his life through you and to equip you to be a minister of reconciliation
Copyright (c) 2002 Graphics Studio, Redlands,
CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted April 6, 2002.