Part two of books, movies, or albums, can often be very troubling grounds. More often then not, the only reason for doing a part two or a follow-up is simply for the money. If the first book enthralls the readers, then we will make a sequel. If this movie captivates the audience, we will make a sequel, or we will follow the sequel up with a prequel to make up for the awful sequel. The opportunities are endless. However, one sequel or part two that I do truly love, is 2 Corinthians. The letters from Paul to the church in Corinth have always been a staple for me, and I will often read over them when I am looking for a refresh. Yet, there is one particular theme that has always stood out to me in Paul’s second letter, reconciliation.
In Paul’s first letter, he is imploring the church to turn from their sin and misguided ways, so that they will ultimately grow in their faith and knowledge of Christ. As he begins this second letter, he thanks them for heeding his words and for the change that he has heard is taking place within the church. Why is this so important to Paul? He understands that Jesus is in the business of reconciliation. Therefore, he is imploring that the church in Corinth do the same and make it a priority in their lives, so that they may be able to attest and be witnesses of Jesus Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Paul reminds the church of the new life they have in Christ. He explains this new life, by teaching them how they were redeemed and reconciled to God the Father, through the sacrifice of Christ.
As we begin this study on the book of 2 Corinthians, I want to encourage you to view it through the lens of reconciliation. Paul reminded the church of Corinth, and us as followers of Christ, that we are ambassadors for Christ. Therefore, as ambassadors of our Risen Savior, I want to encourage you to heed and remember the words of Paul. Not only have we been reconciled to God through the sacrifice of Christ, but we have been given the call and ministry of reconciliation. I pray that as you continue in your study of 2 Corinthians, this theme and continual reminder of reconciliation will challenge and encourage you as it does me.