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🌎️ 2 Corinthians 5:17 | 3 Simple Ways to Be Ambassadors

PLUS: A review of what we've learned, the first fruit of new creation, and in case you missed it..

Happy Friday! Last email of the week!

If you missed any of this week’s emails, you can read them here (be sure to scroll down after clicking).

📧 In today’s email…

  • Putting together everything we learned this week ⏩️

  • Did you know this about Jesus? 🤯 

  • 2 simple ways to represent Christ to the world ✝️ 🌍️ 

  • In case you missed it.. 🧐

 🧠 Memorize

see if you know what words go in the blanks

_________, if _______ __ __ ______, __ __ _ ___ ________. The ___ ___ ______ ____; behold, ___ ___ ___ ____.

2 Corinthians 5:17

(Answer key below. You can also use our free web app to memorize in your favorite translation. Set up instructions are linked at the bottom of this email.)

A review of what we’ve learned 🤔 

Here’s what we learned about 2 Corinthians 5:17 this week:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Paul planted the Corinthian church (Acts 18) in a city known for wealth, commerce and sexual immorality

  • He receives a report of quarreling, sexual immorality and other issues within the church (1 Corinthians 1:11)

  • Paul writes his first letter correcting the church (1 Cor)

  • Some reject his teaching authority as as an apostle

  • Paul visits them to correct them

  • Most people repent and listen to Paul

  • Paul writes the second letter, which brings us to the passage we’re memorizing this week

  • We discussed how when Jesus died on the cross, it was not just Him that died..

    • Our sin and our “old self” was crucified with Him

    • And through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to be born again and live as a new creation - much like a caterpillar’s transition into a butterfly

As Pretty As It Is #butterfly
  • The Ministry of Reconciliation & Ambassadorship

    • Lastly, we saw how the broader context of 2 Corinthians 5:17 connects to the overarching story of Scripture:

      • God reconciling us to Himself and restoring our relationship, despite our sin

    • And because we have been reconciled, God entrusts us with the high calling of carrying this message of reconciliation into the world as ambassadors for Christ

The First Fruits of New Creation 🍇 

In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul wrote:

19  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 

21  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:19-21

Did you know that Jesus died on the day of Passover?

  • Passover was the festival in remembrance of God’s delivery of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

    • Lambs were slain and Israelites who had the lambs’ blood on their doorposts were “passed over” by death

  • Passover points to Jesus, who John the Baptist calls “The Lamb of God.”

    • Jesus was the Passover lamb, killed instead of us so that we could be freed from slavery to sin.

Spring Time

Did you know that Jesus’ resurrection happened on the Feast of Firstfruits?

  • This festival served as a reminder to the Israelites of God’s provision in the Promised Land.

    • For ancient Israelites, the Feast of Firstfruits during Passover was an opportunity to show thanksgiving to God for all the ways He provided for them.

    • For us, we can see that it was a foreshadowing of what Christ has done in redeeming creation, and what He will do when He returns!

Again, read what Paul says again through that lens:

20  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:19-21

The firstfruits.

Jesus is the first fruit of new creation.

Jesus’ resurrection was the inaugural act -

- the first demonstration of God’s creation being redeemed and made completely new.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus is the reality that will one day be applied to every square inch of God’s creation.

4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:4

Praise God for that future hope! 🙏

3 Simple Ways to Be Ambassadors for Christ ✝️ 

Here are a few simple ways to live into our call as ambassadors:

  1. 🙏 Start with your relationship with God: It’s hard to represent someone you don’t know very well. Just as Jesus did, create a rhythm of spending time with God in solitude.

  2. 👀 Look at people around you as fellow image-bearers: Judging others and putting them into worldly categories is easy (us vs. them). That’s what the rest of our culture does. Naturally, to represent Christ will be counter-cultural. When you see enemies, remind yourself that they are image-bearers.

  3. 🗣️ Share your story: You used to be far from God until you received the gift of reconciliation. Share with a friend who doesn’t know Jesus what that was like and how you’ve become a new creation (what changed about you, your desires, your habits?).

Practice: Pick 1 ☝️ 

Pick one of the above areas to focus on (and invite a fellow believer to join you in focusing on it for the next week).

Resources to help you earnestly seek God 🙏 

In case you missed it, here’s this week’s round-up of recommended resources to help you live as a new creation:

💻️ We spent hours turning our lessons on John 15:5 and Psalm 63:1 into a 14-Day Scripture Memory eDevotional.

If you want to support our work, have a printed version of our content for yourself, or if you want to easily share it with a friend, check it out!

→ Malachi Daily subscribers get 50% off automatically 🙃

Inner Circle supporters get it for FREE 🙂 

Answer key  

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Our hope is that you took one step further into your identity as a new creation this week 🙏 

We’ll start memorizing our next verse the week of March 17th! 

Invite a friend to join you, and have a great weekend! 🎉

Best,

Kieran & Isaac

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