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Praying with Paul: Tell Everybody

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2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Tonight, we will continue [Praying with Paul], the subject of my message is, [Tell Everybody].
News is important. I remember as a child my dad loved reading the newspaper. The Oklahoman. When I was in high school, there was a few weeks that for some reason, the Oklahoman was not getting to our house.
Dad called the offices to make see the problem. The Oklahoman confirmed that dad had paid his subscription and could not figure out why he was not receiving his daily paper.
Finally, dad started getting up early and watching the driveway to see if the paperboy had delivered the paper and why it was missing.
One day, he watched and saw a neighborhood kid walking to school. He picked up my dad’s newspaper and proceeded to kick it down the road.
Dad hollered and tried to get his attention and the boy ignored him. Dad quickly got dressed and sprinted to catch up with the kid.
Dad finally caught up with him and explained, “you have my newspaper.” He looked at it and told him, “You kicked it pretty hard didn’t you?”
I suppose that scared the boy and from that point forward, no one ever messed Terry Tidmore’s newspaper.
Newspapers have been common in the US since the early 1700s. When something happens there are those who tell us what happened.
Now, we have newspapers, social media, and TV where we can hear what is happening in our world. It is not just important news that we want to hear, we like to know what is going on and if there is something we need to know.
I thought about this as I read our text in 2 Corinthians 5. Paul shares the best news possible:
2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
God promises to give us a brand new life.
Christians are not:
we are recreated
We are born again, a new creation in Christ Jesus.
This right here is the best news possible. To think that God took us as we were, consumed with sin and wickedness and forgave us to make us new.
That is hands down the best news ever. But, since we know what God can and wants to do, we have a responsibility to tell everyone what Jesus can and will do for them!
Matthew 28:19 NKJV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mark 16:15 NKJV
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Acts 1:8 NKJV
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We are to tell everybody. Let’s look at this idea in three parts, [Our Task], [Our Title], and [Our Triumph].
Let’s begin
1. Our Task
2 Corinthians 5:18–19 NKJV
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
There is an important word in these two verses—reconciled.
One definition for reconciled that I like is, the exchange of hostility for friendly relationship.
Who has ever had a disagreement with someone?
One were things got a little heated and comments were made that are difficult to take back?
Then, who has ever reconciled with that person?
Apologies were made. Offenses were let go. Reconciliation came.
That word, reconciliation, puts a different spin on what God did for us. Because of Jesus, we can become a new creation. But what was the old person like?
We were lost and in sin. Our sin separated us from God. We needed to acknowledge our sin and accept that Jesus is the only way to become a new creation.
Paul explains, we are reconciled with God, but now God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
That does not mean that we want people to reconcile with us. No, that means that God wants to use us to tell everybody— there is a better way!
Notice in verses nineteen where Paul shows that when reconciliation happens, God stops imputing our trespasses. One version says counting people’s sins.
The word counting was used in Paul’s day of calculating someone’s debt.
God has stopped tallying the debt we owe Him, for Jesus paid the debt and we are reconciled to Him.
Talk about good news, no wonder it is our task to share with others the promise of reconciliation.
2. Our Title
2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJV
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
God has tasked us the ministry of reconciliation, but he also gave us credibility with the title of ambassador. An ambassador is a legal representative of one nation to another.
When ambassadors speaks, they do not speak for themselves, but for the one they represent.
Let me first ask, how can an ambassador know what to say if they never speak to their governmental leader?
If we hold the title of ambassador, how can we truly represent Jesus if we do not pray, listen to Him, or get into the Word?
God has given us the information we need to know how to be ministers of reconciliation.
So we need to tell everyone, WE IMPLORE you to be reconciled to God, make the exchange of hostility for friendly relationship.
Our task is to be ministers of reconciliation.
Our title is ambassador.
But here is...
3. Our Triumph
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
We see that we are new creations.
We know our task and our title, but what give us the ability to tell everyone about Jesus?
Just saying I am an ambassador does little unless I represent someone who has credibility.
Does Jesus have credibility?
Absolutely! God made Him, who was sinless, to be the offering of sin for us! Now, because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we can be made right with God!
Galatians 3:13 NKJV
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
We are redeemed, bought back from the hands of the enemy, and now we have moved from hostility to friendship with the Almighty!
2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
Paul already prayed and thanked God for this triumph. But let me emphasize, the mere fact that Jesus is alive changes everything. God enables us to overcome the enemy because Jesus overcame death.
So we have good news to tell everyone. And the news itself enables us to triumph and live a victorious life.
As a minister of reconciliation, we should never cower in fear to tell everyone we know about Jesus. Why? Because He will enable us to triumph!
If Jesus triumphed over Satan, He will enable us to as well.
Our task— ministers of reconciliation
Our title— ambassadors
Our triumph—Jesus’s triumph
I want to look at one more aspect of being an ambassador and a minister of reconciliation.
Ephesians 6:18–20 NKJV
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Because we are ambassadors, we are to pray always so that we might speak what God has for us. But notice, nothing can stop an ambassador, for Paul said that he was an ambassador in chains.
When it comes to telling everyone that we can find reconciliation with God, nothing can stop or hinder us, except ourselves.
Paul could have let the burdens and circumstances of life stop him. But he realized the shear irresistible force of the Kingdom of God.
We have to remember the same truth, God’s message is irresistible and Satan CANNOT stop the Kingdom of God!
Who was the last person we told about Jesus?
But our words hold little weight if our lifestyle does not align with our message. So we must be people of prayer who will ask God to enable us to fulfill our task and tell everybody about Jesus.
I want us to pray about who God wants us to tell about Him!
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