(This is the last point from Pastor Larry McKnight’s 8/16 teaching)
Part Four: Articulating a Gospel of Reconciliation
“My first attempt at articulating the gospel sums up in this point: Every person was reconciled to the Father by Jesus work on the Cross-His death. We are called to believe that-literally to believe Him; the one sent from God. One challenge to believing this-to believing in Him is that it sure doesn’t seem like everybody is living like a reconciled person. And so, if that observation from out here looking at the people around me in the world is accurate, I would expect it to be confirmed from the inside of this Word too-and it is! 2 Cor. 5:14 states, ‘…one died for all, therefore all died.’ How many of you believe that you died to sin, with Jesus? I believe that. I believe that based on this: ‘…one died for all, therefore all died.’ But, if I’m going to believe that about me I also have to believe it about the person out there, or the person in this room who hasn’t yet accepted Jesus. Because, your acceptance of Jesus, or my acceptance of Jesus, has no capacity to create or negate or to govern what Jesus did on the Cross. Correct? He did it before we had the chance to believe in it. That’s just the passage of time – He did it awhile ago.
“In verse 14 (2 Corinthians 5:14) Paul says, ‘We judge thus…’ What he is saying is something like this: We determine in our mind, we look at the facts, and we render a judgment like this: ‘That if one died for all, then all died. And He died for all, that those who lived should no longer live for themselves but for Him Who died for them and rose again.’ You can interpret that, like I did most of my life, to say that now that I have come to know that Jesus died for me, I need to quit being selfish and living only for myself. But I don’t think that is all it says. There are other places where Scripture talks about not living for yourself, but this means, you shouldn’t live for yourself, like you’re the standard of your life, you’re the middle of it-the center. Granted, don’t live selfishly-but don’t live in a self-centered, self-conscious, self-measured way, either. Because, he (Paul) goes on immediately to say this: ‘…and He died for all that those who live should no longer for themselves but for Him Who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard…’-who?-‘no one according to the flesh, even though we have known Christ according to the flesh yet now we know Him thus, no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us, we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.’ (2 Cor. 5:14b-20)
“When we hear and believe this Gospel, not only are we saved, but we’re delivered from all those other forms of the gospel and from the confusion they create.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. New American Standard Bible
“That’s good news. That’s the Gospel!”