Tuesday, December 26, 2006

2 Corinthians 5:19: Communion Meditation

2 Corinthians 5:18-21

AMPLIFIED: 19It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).

KJV: 2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

The Message 2 Cor 5:19: “God . . . settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.”

Illustration: Your rich uncle (Bill Gates) died, one who was your sworn enemy, and strangely left you gazillions, you don’t even know how much. You run to the bank and tell them you’d like to get the payoff on your mortgage and all your credit cards because you’d like to pay it right now because your uncle died and left you his fortune.

The banker asks you, “Who was your uncle?”
You answer, “Bill Gates.”
The banker says, “I’m not even going to bother to calculate your payoffs. I know you have the money.”
That’s what happened when Jesus paid your sin debt. The Father didn’t bother to calculate it. He knew Jesus could pay it all.

Contextual Note: Here Paul compresses into one sentence the form and force of the whole plan of redemption.

Exposition:

Reconciling world to Himself through ChristGreek katallage ἦν καταλλάσσων: “"the changing of places", ““to change from enmity to friendship”[1]

JFB: “The compound of “was” and the participle “reconciling,” instead of the imperfect (Greek), may also imply the continuous purpose of God, from before the foundation of the world, to reconcile man to Himself, whose fall was foreseen.” The Greek Katallasson implies “changing” or altering the judicial status from one of condemnation to one of justification.[2]

Matthew Henry: “Reconciliation supposes a quarrel, or breach of friendship; and sin has made a breach, it has broken the friendship between God and man.”[3]

d. Romans 5:8, 10-11 (AMP): “8But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin's dominion) through His [[a]resurrection] life. 11Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.(A)

Albert Barnes: “It was the offended party, not the offending, that sought to be reconciled; and this shows the strength of his love.”[4]

f. Proclaimed by angels at the birth of Christ: Luke 2:14: “14Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [[a]men of goodwill, of His favor].

Basic Accounting: Not counting men’s sins against thema. God, the ultimate Accounts Payable, has tremendous sin debts that must be paid because His character requires it. When Jesus makes the payment, the sense of the participle is that the Father didn’t even bother to calculate the debt once he knew who was paying it.

b. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople (349-407): “The Babe who rocked the world”: “What more shall I say of this mystery? I see a carpenter and a manger, an infant and swaddling clothes, a virgin giving birth without the necessaries of life, nothing but poverty and complete destitution. Have you ever seen wealth in such great penury? How could he who was rich have become, for our sake, so poor that he had neither bed nor bedding but was laid in a manger? O immeasurable wealth concealed in poverty! He lies in a manger, yet he rocks the whole world. He is bound with swaddling bands, yet he breaks the bonds of sin. Before he could speak he taught the wise men and converted them. What else can I say? Here is the newborn babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. With him are Mary, virgin and mother, and Joseph who was called his father.[5]

Committed to us the ministry of reconciliationGreek, “hath put into our hands.”[6]
b. Tyndale renders this: “and hath committed unto us the preaching of the atonement.” The meaning is, that the office of making known the nature of this plan, and the conditions on which God was willing to be reconciled to man, had been committed to the ministers of the gospel.[7]
MISSIONS: He has given us the office and mission of telling the good news. All of us are responsible to do it, not just some missions professionals somewhere. Lottie Moon CO.
Reconciled to God and with other peoples
e. Proclaim salvation and demolish racism
f. Faith and works

[1] Easton’s Bible Dictionary, “Reconciliation,” e-sword.

[2] Jameson, Brown, Faucett, 2 Corinthians 5:19, e-sword.

[3] Matthew Henry, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, e-sword

[4] Barnes’ Notes, 2 Corinthians 5:19, e-sword.

[5] John Chrysostom, Christmas Homily, 56, 392. Sermon excerpt from Journey with the Fathers: Year A, edited by Edith Barnecut O.S.B. (New City Press, 1993).

[6] JFB, 2 Corinthians 5:19

[7] Albert Barnes’ Notes, 2 Corinthians 5:19, e-sword.