“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.”
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
The fifth chapter of 2 Corinthians is a remarkable passage of Scripture for many reasons. Wecould reflect upon the logical way that the Apostle Paul develops his argument, or the content as thepassage as Paul moves from the contrast between what we are here in this world of sin, and what wewill be in glory, then there is the verse about believers being new creations in Christ. That surely isworthy of a long and careful reflection. What I want to spend a little time refl
ecting upon today is Paul’s
passion for the Gospel of Christ which shines through so powerfully here.Arnold Dallimore, in his biography of Charles Haddon Spurgeon has surely captured the passionof the Apostle Paul, whose Gospel was that which Spurgeon modeled his own life as a preacher upon,when he describes the preaching of Spurgeon in the following way.
“Almost every sermon contained, especially toward its close, and entreaty of this nature –
warning, begging, pleading, urging the sinner to come to Christ..... He did not ask people to walk tothe front of the auditorium, raise a hand, sign a card, or perform any outward action. But throughout each sermon and especially as he drew it to a close, he pleaded with unsaved hearers to believe onChrist,
and he expected them to do so then and there.” (Arnold Dallimore as quoted in Steven Lawson,
The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon, Reformation Trust, 2012)
Spurgeon was passionate about the Gospel because it was all about the Lord Jesus Christ. Tolive for Christ, to worship Him as redeemer and God, these were the very centre of the life thatSpurgeon lived. So too was this the life that the Apostle Paul lived. This burning passion becomesincreasingly evident as the fifth chapter of 2 Corinthians unfolds.
Paul’s’ passion that we be reconciled
to God in the Lord Jesus Christ is powerfully and passionately expressed in the closing verses of thechapter. The reason for this is not hard to find. Paul was passionate for Christ and His Gospel becausethis was the only way in which we could ever hope to be saved. He had seen the truth about life in theWord of God and it had the name Jesus. There really was no other choice for Him, or for us.What is it that you are passionate about? What excites you? What moves you, capturing yourattention, and motivating your thoughts? This thing, whatever it is, is your God. That is what youworship. Paul was excited about the Gospel, not because it was a persuasive message, but because itwas about God who became incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to redeem us. Because he lovedthe Lord Jesus Christ Paul loved the Gospel of Christ. What a wonderful message it is.
“God made Him
who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteou
sness of God.”
Nothing ismore exciting than this. Paul makes his appeal that we might come to the Lord Jesus Christ and bereconciled in Him. This is our only hope.
Paul’s love for Christ took practical form in his life in sacrificial service as a pre
acher of themessage of reconciliation. He went and made his appeal directly to sinners at great risk to himself. If