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November 25, 2015

PERSUADE GENTLY

by Leslie John

Leslie M. John
(Meditation from 2 Corinthians 5:11-21)

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences” (2 Corinthians 5:11)

The advices of Apostle Paul and Timothy are applicable to us today even as they were to Corinthians then.

With the message that God is reconciling men to Himself through Christ, Paul implores us to show to the world that God is love. Their plea is that while we proclaim to the world God’s love the method we employ to bring people to the knowledge of the Truth is not by causing tremendous fear in their minds or by becoming enemies of people; but by persuading to get rid of the judgment they would face, and the serious consequences that follow if they rejected the truth.

The truth is that Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died a substitutionary death on behalf of us and whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Paul says that even as they knew that Jesus is the Lord and Savior and persuaded men to know this truth we must also employ similar ways to let people know of this truth. It is not by reaping their enmity; but it is by persuading that we earn souls for the Lord. Our aim is to let the people know of the blessings in believing Jesus as Lord, and the consequences of not believing Him as the Lord. The Lord will judge every sinner and unrighteous; and this fact should be proclaimed in love without causing enmity. God knows who we are and what our thoughts are like and He deals with every man according to man’s thoughts.

Paul and Timothy said they would not present themselves again to Corinthians but would give them cause to boast about them before those who boast of their external appearances. Their life was exemplary and it provided a cause for Corinthians to counter the argument about excellent outward appearance in comparison to the inner beauty. It is by proving their excellent inward beauty that we provide the knowledge of the living God to men.

Just as the love of Christ controlled Paul and Timothy it controls us as well. Thus we project our inward beauty which in turn projects our excellent outward appearance as well. Christ died for all. The purpose of His death was to see that those who believe in Him should have eternal life. While we live on this earth our aim is not to live for ourselves but for Him, who died for the sake of all of us and was raised from death.

We desire that everyone may receive spiritual life and none according to their carnal desires. Our desire may be that Christ would live physically with us; but it is a wrong desire. Christ had to be at the right hand side of the Majesty and plead on our behalf and that is the reason why He said He would plead with the Father to send Holy Spirit to be with us and in us always. Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and helps us to be away from sin. He helps us to pray to the Father to forgive us our daily trespasses.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”(John 14:16)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away and the new has set in him. All this is done from God, who through his Son reconciled us to Himself and entrusted us the ministry of reconciliation.

We are chosen to be the ambassadors for Christ on this earth and God is appealing all men to come to Him through the message of reconciliation that we proclaim. Lord Jesus Christ was made sin for on behalf of us in order that we may be made the righteousness of God.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

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