Week Eight - Day Five
Supporting Transformation in Others
2 Corinthians 5:20 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his ap- peal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Galatians 6:1-3 - Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Hebrews 10:24-25 - And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains how Jesus’ example is coun- ter-intuitive to how the world works. The Corinthians equate high status and fame with righteousness, but Paul reminds them that King Jesus was gloriously exalted through his su ering and death on a cross. If we follow Jesus, we will have the same lot. We will experience trials but our hope is not found in high status or worldly things. Our hope is in the promise of Jesus’ work on the cross, to reconcile us to God, and his resurrection, confirming the promise of an eternal future with God. (Read 2 Corinthians, chapters 1-7 for the fuller story.)
Paul went on to explain how Jesus’ “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18) was given to us. This ministry applies to unbelievers and the call to bring them back into right relationship with God, but there is also a sense in which we act as “ambassadors of Christ” to our fellow believers. In Galatians and Hebrews there is a strong call to “restore” and “stir one another” toward our calling as Christians. This includes “bearing one another’s burdens” and loving them well, but also speaking truth into their lives to prevent them from being “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). This reminiscent of the language used in Acts 2 where early church relationships are described (Act 2:42-47). As Paul very clearly demonstrated in his writing to the Corinthians, loving others includes reminding them of the gos- pel; pointing others to God’s truth helps them follow Jesus.
- The motivation for pointing others to God is the work of Jesus. What scriptures reinforce this for you? Read the referenced Scriptures in the Learn section to gain a broader understanding.
- Today, how can you encourage someone who is discouraged toward God's love and truth?