Our Daily Bread 8th August 2020 Devotional – His Death Brings Life
TODAY’S TOPIC: HIS DEATH BRINGS LIFE
Bible in a Year: Psalms 74–76; Romans 9:16–33
Key Verse: If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:14–21 (NIV)
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Insight: Our Daily Bread 8th August 2020 Devotional
Various forms of the key New Testament word reconcile are found five times in 2 Corinthians 5:18–20. At the root of this term are the ideas of change or exchange. In the context of money, it signifies coins that were exchanged for others of equal value. Concerning people, the word denotes a change in the relationship from hostility to friendship.
In 2 Corinthians 5:14–21, the change in relationship is between God and people on the basis of the death of Christ. Romans also includes multiple uses of the word reconciled. In just one verse the past and the ongoing benefits of reconciliation come into focus. “For if, while 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!” (5:10).
Message: Our Daily Bread 8th August 2020 Devotional
During her ministry to men incarcerated in South Africa’s most violent prison, Joanna Flanders-Thomas witnessed the power of Christ to transform hearts. In Vanishing Grace, Philip Yancey describes her experience: “Joanna started visiting prisoners daily, bringing them a simple gospel message of forgiveness and reconciliation. She earned their trust, got them to talk about their abusive childhoods, and showed them a better way of resolving conflicts. The year before her visits began, the prison recorded 279 acts of violence against inmates and guards; the next year there were two.”
The apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). While we may not always see that newness expressed as dramatically as Flanders-Thomas did, the gospel’s power to transform is the greatest hope-providing force in the universe. New creations. What an amazing thought! The death of Jesus launches us on a journey of becoming like Him—a journey that will culminate when we see Him face-to-face (see 1 John 3:1–3).
As believers in Jesus we celebrate our life as new creations. Yet we must never lose sight of what that cost Christ. His death brings us life. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). By: Bill Crowder
Reflect: How has Jesus’ transforming work been evidenced in your life? What areas of your life are still in need of that “new creation” impact?
Today’s Prayer: Loving Father, thank You that, because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, I am a new creation. Forgive me for the times I return to the old things that need to pass away.
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