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  • 📖 2 Cor 5:17 | Ambassadors: From Genesis to Revelation

📖 2 Cor 5:17 | Ambassadors: From Genesis to Revelation

PLUS: A simple reflection prompt for your day & community spotlight

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Happy Thursday! This is a good one - enjoy!

If you missed any of this week’s emails, you can click here (and scroll down after clicking).

📧 In today’s email…

  • ✝️ Reconciled → New Creation → Ambassadors

  • 📖 Connecting 2 Corinthians 5 to the broader story of Scripture

  • 🌤️ A simple reflection prompt for your day

  • 🔦 Community spotlight!

 🧠 Memorize

see if you know what words go in the blanks

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

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.)

Reconciled → New Creation → Ambassadors 🌎️ 

Let’s look at the flow we see in this section of 2 Corinthians chapter 5.

Then, we’ll connect it to the broader story of Scripture.

→ Paul says that we are a new creation (v17)

We experience a transformation much like how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. We have the same DNA as before we were in Christ, but at the same time, we are brand new.

→ Being a new creation flows from the fact that we’ve been reconciled to God (v18)

(more on this below)

→ Because we are reconciled, God entrusts us with the message of reconciliation and calls us “ambassadors for Christ” (v19-20)

Reconciliation & Ambassadors: Genesis to Revelation 🌇 

To reconcile is to restore a union that was once there, but is now broken.

Which in many ways, is the story of Scripture.

In the Beginning 🌳 

In Genesis, we see the original creation.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

Genesis 1:26a

In the Garden of Eden, we lived in perfect union with God and we had no need for reconciliation.

Our original role was to be God’s representatives to the world - his ambassadors - to take what God Created and steward it:

28  And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 1:28

But that union was broken by sin.

And our ability to be God’s ambassadors in the world was damaged.

So now, there was a gap between God and us.

And there was a gap between who we were created to be (God’s ambassadors) and who we were (humans infected by sin).

23  therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

Genesis 3:23
Tree in green wheat field
In the Middle ♻️ 

In many ways, the rest of Scripture tells the story of God pursuing reconciliation - restoring both our relationship and our original role in His creation.

God is the Creator God. He doesn't want to say, "Okay, creation was very good, but I'm scrapping it." He wants to say, "Creation is so good that I'm going to rescue it."

David Guzik

In Genesis 3, sin enters the world and breaks the union between God and humanity.

But in Genesis 12, God partially reveals his plan to restore that union.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.'

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Genesis 12:1-3

In other parts of Scripture, God continues to hint at what he is doing:

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:19

Eventually, God writes Himself into the story in an unexpected way.

And in Jesus, He does the work required to reconcile humanity to Himself.

Cross and sunset

Because of sin, we owe an infinite debt. And when it comes to debt, there are only 2 possible resolutions. Either:

  1. The person who owes money pays the debt, OR

  2. The person who is owed pays the debt themselves

Human history shows that Option 1 is not possible - nothing we do could ever pay the infinite debt we owe.

Which leaves Option 2 as the only way God could reconcile us to Himself.

God paid our infinite debt by dying as a substitute, in our place.

This is what we see in Jesus’ life and ministry, and on the cross.

When Jesus says, “It is finished” (John 19:30) the word there is teleō (tetelestai) which can also be translated, “It is paid in full.”

This is the same word that was stamped on the top of financial documents at the time when a debt was finally paid.

God paid our debt. And it is paid in full. 🙏 

In the End 🌆 

Through Jesus, we have been reconciled to God. And through the power of God’s Spirit, we are a new creation.

And we’re headed for a time when we’ll get to experience these realities in fullness:

  • Our perfect union with God will be fully restored

  • And we’ll finally live into our calling to steward God’s creation and be the ambassadors we were created to be

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.

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 21:3a, 5

But in the meantime:

As Paul says, God entrusted us with the message of reconciliation.

We have a message to share and work to do!

Reflect: The Story You’re Living In 🤔 

The Scottish Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre once said:

“I can only answer the question 'What am I to do?' if I can answer the prior question 'Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?'”

As you reflect on the larger story of which we are a part (the story we just walked through above), what does that stir in you?

  • Gratitude?

  • Hope?

  • Wonder?

Go about your day today with this story as the backdrop.

🗣️ Bonus: Share the message and story of reconciliation with someone today.

💡 Tomorrow, we’ll talk about practical ways to live out your life as a new creation.

Community spotlight 🔦 

This is a new section where you can expect to see prayer requests, shout outs, amazing things people in this community are up to, sponsorships to help us continue to operate, and examples of how God is moving in the lives of other believers in this community.

Shout-outs 📣

  • Shout out to Steve and Tony for sharing Malachi Daily with 2 friends!

  • HUGE thank you’s to Terri F, Lisa M. and two anonymous subscribers for choosing to pay-it-forward so we can help more people memorize and learn about God’s Word!

Feedback ❤️ 

Well taught, it inspires me to dig in more! I missed it during our off week and a smile came on my face this morning when I got your email. I’ll donate - it’s worth it!

K.R.

We homeschool and we’ve been using these lessons with our kiddos! (ages 7-12). We are loving it and the kids love memorizing Scripture and learning the lessons together! Thank you!

Sam J.

This community has grown to more than 13,000+ subscribers very quickly - we have so much planned to continue serving you in 2024!

Thank you so much to everyone paying-it-forward to help us keep operating! 🙏

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

Have a blessed Thursday ✌️ 

Best,

Kieran & Isaac

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