Scripture Reference: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Today we focused on three beliefs and studied 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
I believe I am significant because of my position as a child of God.
I believe everything I am and everything I own belong to God.
I believe there is a heaven and a hell and that Jesus will return to judge all people and to establish his eternal kingdom.
We learn from Paul and our own experiences that humans are opposed to God. Like Jonah in the Old Testament, we run away from the incredible love God has for us. Without Jesus, we would die in our sin and remain eternally separated from God. The good news is that God has made peace with us through Jesus. We call this “reconciliation.” He has started a new creation and offered to re-create us in his image by surrendering to Jesus. He also calls us to reconcile– or make peace– with God.
Our problem is that even as believers, we fall back into the same habits that we had before we became believers. We struggle with the “first Adam,” as David Brooks describes it. These are the old attitudes, anger, blame, and shame that came as a result of our rebellion. We give into the old voices in our heads that say we are not worthy, or that we have done so much wrong in our past, that we can never receive God’s love.
Jesus offers us a different path and a new identity. To get there, we go travel downward, into our hearts, to spend some time in the “belly of the fish.” Like the prophet Jonah, we admit what we’ve done, confess these wrongs to God, and recognize that we personally cannot fix this. We learn to die to ourselves and trust him for the new life to come. When we do, a whole new life in Jesus awaits. But first, we must trust the journey of healing that comes from reconciliation.
Today, we celebrated that reconciliation to God with the Lord’s Supper. I hope this week you can experience God’s peace that comes because we are no longer God’s enemies. Jesus has offered us peace.