Vision pt 1
He confesses that we once regarded Christ in this way. In his pre-conversion days he judged Christ using worldly criteria and came to the wrong conclusion, but after God revealed his Son to him, he had to say, we do so no longer. Prior to his conversion, like many of his fellow Jews, Paul would have dismissed claims that Jesus was the Messiah, because he, like them, would have regarded it as unthinkable that God’s Messiah could be crucified like a criminal
Paul sees others differently—that is, as persons in Christ. And the same reevaluation applies to the Lord himself. Formerly, as a Pharisee, Paul saw Jesus as a messianic pretender or false Messiah. Now he views him as King of creation and Redeemer from sin.
Christ, not Paul, is the new centre of Paul’s universe; egocentricity has given way to Christocentricity
Love was now the controlling motive (verse 14) in place of hate. Serving the one who died for him had taken the place of selfishness (verse 15). True understanding of Jesus, his identity and achievement, have replaced ignorance and error (verse 16).
The verb committed (themenos) denotes a divine appointment (Maurer 1972:157). This was a deliberate and carefully considered action on God’s part.
Reconciliation” may be the key word in Paul’s gospel, as I have argued elsewhere (see R. Martin 1989:3–6, 235–242). Paul used the term “reconciliation” (katallassō [2644, 2904]) to sum up the message he declared. This is essentially a term of relationships. It denotes the repairing of the broken relationship between God and humankind caused by human sin. Separation between God and humanity forms Paul’s backdrop against which his Good News shines brightly, since God has in Christ taken steps to restore the fractured relationship. This event is centered in the death of his Son, who took the sinner’s place and died to bring men and women back to God
The preaching of reconciliation has to be carried out and people must hear the call to be reconciled to God. Unless they respond to that call, they cannot actually experience reconciliation.
Reconciliation is both an accomplished fact (v. 18) and a continuing process (v. 19). Although it is a done deed as a result of Christ’s work on the cross, it nonetheless must be personally appropriated. This is where Paul and the gospel ministry fit into the picture. He, and those like him, function as God’s agents in proclaiming what has been accomplished. To use Paul’s language, God has appointed them to preach the word of reconciliation (v. 19) and so they proclaim: Be reconciled to God
the gospel minister’s job is not to bring about reconciliation but to announce what has already occurred. In a real sense, he or she is the town crier or herald proclaiming a news item of earth-shaking significance. In fact we take on the role of the herald each Christmas when we sing the well-known lines by Charles Wesley: “Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn king, / Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!
God’s purpose in sending Christ and his envoys has the same end—to put an end to hostilities and to bring about a reconciliation. God sends out envoys to continue to announce that now is the day of salvation and reconciliation.