13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.20 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.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
My thoughts -
I've written before about how crazy what we believe really is. Paul says here that some of the church in Corinth are saying that he is "out of (his) mind" for preaching it. Honestly, to me that seems like fair criticism. This is also not the first time Paul has been criticized in this way. Remember how he was told that his "great learning is driving you insane" by Festus in Acts 26.
I would think that being called crazy would be the least you would expect for preaching this Gospel, summed up well in verse 21 here:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We can't preach this enough. We can't proclaim this enough. In this Advent season we still find ourselves in need of a Saviour. We still find ourselves in need of a Messiah. We still find ourselves in need of Jesus. The Jesus who was and is God Incarnate, who was sent as an offering for our sins despite knowing no sin, and who was killed so that we can be reconciled to God. If you don't think that sounds crazy then maybe you haven't really considered it enough. God died for us. Life itself became death. Righteousness became sin. Black became white, day became night. The whole universe was turned upside down just to reconcile us, God's enemies, to God.
So be reconciled to God! Jesus did the hard work. Jesus died so that we may all die to our sins and, through the Grace we have in Jesus, chose righteousness. All we have to do now is accept that our way isn't working and follow his.
To die to our sins sounds a little crazy, too, now that I think about it. We who are alive in this world wish to avoid death, but death comes eventually for us all. Let us die together, to our sins so we are free to live in Christ both in this life and the one to come.
If we are dead to sin then, as Paul says in verse 17, the old is gone. We are a new creation. We're approaching the end of the year. We're in the Advent season. Christmas and the new year are right around the corner. Our Deliverer is coming. What better time than now to accept reconciliation to God through Christ and to become a new creation?
Often I feel like I have to do this each day, that God shows me just enough Grace to get me through this one day and then when I wake up the next morning I see just enough for it. Is it crazy to read the Bible every day? Is it crazy to make time for devotion every day? Is it crazy to seek out God's will every day? Maybe, but quite honestly, for me, it's the only thing that keeps me going. It's what keeps me just sane enough to make it through one more day.
If you're anything like me I recommend you try it.