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Thursday, March 28, 2019

2019.03.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Corinthians 5:9-21

Questions for Littles: What does the apostle aim at, whether present in the body or absent from the body (2 Corinthians 5:9)? Where must we all appear (2 Corinthians 5:10)? What will we do there? According to what will we receive? What did the apostle know (2 Corinthians 5:11)? How did the apostle respond to that terror? To whom was he well known (i.e. as one who would receive good at the judgment seat)? Whom else did he trust could see that? According to 2 Corinthians 5:12, why was he reminding the Corinthians of that? What did others boast about? What did he want them to boast about? If others thought they were crazy, who would be glorified anyway (2 Corinthians 5:13a)? If others thought they were wise, whom would this help (2 Corinthians 5:13b)? What compels (constrains!) the apostle (2 Corinthians 5:14a)? Who died in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14b)? So, if the “us” that lived for ourselves is dead, for whom does the “new” us live (2 Corinthians 5:15)? What believers do we regard according to what they were before Christ’s resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:16)? Whom else do we not regard according to His pre-resurrection status? Where can we already see the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17a)? How certain is it that this work will be finished (2 Corinthians 5:17b)? From Whom has all of this come (2 Corinthians 5:18a)? How has He accomplished this (2 Corinthians 5:18b, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:19ab)? And how is He applying this accomplished work (2 Corinthians 5:18c, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:19c)? What does the reconciliation-applying ministry of the Word sound like in 2 Corinthians 5:20? What did God do to Christ in order to reconcile us (2 Corinthians 5:21a)? What does God do to us in order to reconcile us (2 Corinthians 5:21b)?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we find the working out in the apostle’s life of his confidence that he will at last come to a full experience of Christ’s glory in the resurrection. He knows the terror of the Lord—what it would be like for him if he appeared at the judgment outside of Jesus and having done no works of faith at all. And this has a profound effect upon him in two different ways.

First, it means that he doesn’t belong to himself. The self that belonged to him died at the cross. The self that lives now belongs to Jesus and is constrained by the love of Jesus.

Second, if Jesus’s love is pressing him into all that he does, the knowledge of the judgment makes him all the more urgent with sinners—not so much desiring their favor as he is hoping that the Lord will give them spiritual life so that they will come to view his faith in Jesus as the display of a truly sound mind.

How does Jesus bring them to such life and faith? By the ministry of the Word of reconciliation. What does that ministry look like? Pleading. Imploring. Earnest speech declaring the wonderful reconciliation of God to sinners in Christ, and urging sinners therefore to trust in Christ, die with Christ, be forgiven in Christ, rise with Christ, live for Christ, and behold the glory of Christ!
What would it look like for your life to be compelled by the love of Christ?
Suggested songs: ARP51B “God, Be Merciful to Me” or TPH465 “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”

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