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Experiencing God 06 - God pursues a loving relationship with you

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Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5:18 (NIV)

I.   God Pursues us

     A.  More than Just a doctrine

           1.  We hold to the doctrine of election.

                 a.  This is the biblical teaching that God chooses us so that we can choose him.

           2.  It all can seem a little cold and academic.

                 a.  We debate this as if it were some problem in geometry class.

           3.  But what this means is that God takes the initiative — he pursues us.

                 a.  God chases after us till he catches us.

     B.  God is quick to Forgive

           1.  God is slow to anger and abounding in love

                 a.  This had Jonah angry — Jonah wanted the Ninevites wiped out.

                 b.  This is the Bible’s description of God

           2.  God prefers to forgive than to punish.

                 a.  God isn’t a cosmic policeman, ready to jump on the slightest infraction.

                 b.  God wants to forgive us so that we can return to him
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Is. 44:22

     C.  God wants a relationship with You

           1.  He gives you is His love

                 a.   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son . . . (John 3:16)

                 b.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)

           2.  What he wants most is your love

                 a.  Love is a relationship, not mere duty.

                 b.  Neither mere rituals, habits or verbiage.

II.  Salvation is for Reconciliation

     A.  Reconciliation is the Message

           1.  This is the Gospel: God is reconciling us to himself; so be reconciled.

                 a.  Righteousness is the fruit of this reconciliation, not a prerequisite.

           2.  It’s not so much about escaping Hell as it is about finding God.

                 a.  God made us for relationship with Him

                 b.  Our souls are restless until they find their rest in Him — Augustine.(?)

           3.  Reconciliation is the point of Salvation
For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Rom5:9)

     B.  The Cross Fixes a broken relationship

           1.  Our sin makes us enemies with God.

                 a.  Sin is more than a description of a really good desert.

                 b.  To sin is to offend God.

           2.  Jesus took all our sin upon himself and defeated it.

                 a.  He absorbed all that poisons our relationship with God.

                 b.  He neutralized the poison and removed it from our system.

           3.  “In him.” we are recreated. (v.17)

                 a.  To be “in Christ” is to be united with Him—to be in relationship with Him

                 b.  This is how we become “the righteousness of God” (v.21)

     C.  Do you Love me?

           1.  Jesus asks this of Peter who sinned against Him by denying he knew him.

                 a.  Not: “do you promise to try harder next time.”

           2.  This is the question God asks us.

                 a.  Do you love God?

III. God gives us His Ministry

     A.  We are a new Creation

           1.  We aren’t supposed to be living for ourselves anymore (v.15)

                 a.  We’re new now. We live for Him

           2.  We are no longer the worldly people we once were (v.16)

                 a.  And we are supposed to treat each other as new creations.

           3.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph. 2:10

     B.  We are Ministers of reconciliation

           1.  We who are reconciled have the ministry of reconciliation (v.18)

                 a.  This is God’s ministry, but ours too!

           2.  The ministry of reconciliation is to spread the message of reconciliation (v.19)

                 a.  “God loves you and wants your love”

     C.  We are Christ’s Ambassadors

           1.  An ambassador is a citizen in a foreign land representing his/her country of origin.

                 a.  Where is your country?

           2.  As ambassadors our task is to carry God’s message.

                 a.  Not change it

                 b.  Not make up our own.

           3.  God’s message is this: God loves you and wants your love He stands ready and eager to forgive your offenses against Him through Jesus and embrace you forever as His dear child.

The Bottom Line:

Love God who loves you so Deeply and Spread the news of his love!

R#24 O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus v.3

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