“Set In Legacy” ( 2 Corinthians 5: 19 – 20, WYC, KNOX, KJV, ESV ) by Carley Evans


ImageApparently, Paul recognizes he and the other apostles are the personal property – the legacy – of God. Christ the Son presents them as gifts to God the Father. Christ reconciles them to God through His death and resurrection. As a direct result, God “puts in” them the Word of Reconciliation. Therefore Paul and the other apostles know firsthand what it means to be forgiven, to have sins, trespasses, and debts no longer counted against them.

Paul writes to the church at Corinth, “We are ambassadors,” and as such, “we implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 KJV

“Reconciled” ( Genesis 33: 8, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Jacob sees Esau coming toward him with 400 men at his side. Quickly Jacob arranges his children among Leah, Rachel, and two slave women, perhaps in an effort to protect as he puts Joseph in the rear position. He goes on ahead, bowing seven times as he approaches his brother, Esau. Jacob, by bowing seven times, is telling his brother that he sincerely regrets earlier deceptions and is ready to submit to the older of the twins.

But Esau surprises Jacob, hugging and kissing him. Together, they weep as they reconcile.

When Esau sees the women and children, he wants to know about “this whole procession” and what it means. Jacob answers that his intention is to “find favor” with his brother. (Genesis 33:8) Esau tells Jacob to “keep what you have.” He says that he “has enough, my brother.” (Genesis 33:9) Jacob says he has seen “God’s face” in the face of his brother and so pressures Esau to “take my present” “since you have accepted me.” (Genesis 33:11, 10) Esau relents and accepts the gift Jacob brings him — now, what is this gift?

I suspect it is the two slave women and their children who are first in the procession. Jacob gladly gives these persons to his brother so as to appease him and show his gratitude for his forgiveness. We know Jacob does not give away Rachel or Leah or his children by them; but he gives Esau something of value, something Esau sees. “What do you mean by this whole procession I met?” (Genesis 33:8) Esau even attempts to leave some of his own people with Jacob, in a kind of tit-for-tat exchange, but Jacob protests, “Why do that? Please indulge me, my lord.” (Genesis 33:15)

So, they part reconciled; Esau going back to Seir and Jacob going to Succoth.

“Of No Effect” ( Ephesians 2: 15, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Jesus “makes of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He may create in Himself one new man from the two [groups – Jews and Gentiles], resulting in peace. He does this so that He may reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it.” (Ephesians 2:15-16)

Jesus puts “the hostility to death.” He makes Gentiles “no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household.” (Ephesians 2:19) Today, it is easy (at least in the western world) to forget that the Jewish people are the chosen people of God. He selects one individual to favor — Abram, and through his offspring, one people. Everyone who is not of Abram is rejected; that is, until Jesus.

Once Jesus reconciles the Jew and Gentile, there is peace. Up until that event, there is violence. “When the Messiah comes, He proclaims the good news of peace to you who are far away and peace to those who are near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:17) “The Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (Ephesians 3:6)

This peace — this reconciliation — emerges from the law having lost its effect — the law no longer provides the means to pleasing God, reaching God. Only grace permits entrance to the Holy — only through “the incalculable riches of the Messiah” (Ephesians 3:8) do we stand justified before God. The law is of no effect.

“Now Is The Favorable Time” (2 Corinthians 5: 21, ESV) by Carley Evans


God, for our sakes, makes Jesus — who knows no sin in Himself — sin. God does this so that we — who know sin so intimately — “might become the righteousness of God.”

Who becomes the righteousness of God? We do. How do we become this righteousness? Through Jesus Christ, who “is reconciling the world to Himself, not counting [the world’s] trespasses against [it].” (2 Corinthians 5: 19)

The message to the world and to us is this: “Behold, now is the favorable time: behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6: 2) “Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5: 20)

Our reconciliation comes through Jesus who “makes peace by the blood of His cross.” (Colossians 1: 20) Jesus presents us — in His body and through His death — to God the Father as “holy and blameless and above reproach.” (Colossians 1: 22)

Paul encourages us with this truth: “For if while we are still enemies we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now receive reconciliation.” (Romans 5: 10 – 11)

Rejoice in the Lord’s mercy for He saves you from yourself.

“All This From God” (2 Corinthians 5: 19 – 20, ESV) by Carley Evans


Sometimes we seem to forget that God reconciles the world to Himself via His Son, Jesus Christ. We seem to be under the impression that somehow we individually reconcile ourselves to God through Jesus Christ, His Son.

“All this is from God,” writes Paul, “who through Christ reconciles us to Himself.” (2 Corinthians 5: 18)

Paul does not write, “All this is from you, who — through Christ — reconcile yourself to God” as if Christ’s sacrificial work is secondary to your effort.

If we love God, it is only because He loves us first. In a way, it is as if God loves Himself via His Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

Paul’s message to us is one “of reconciliation, of “God not counting [our] trespasses against [us].” If God decides not to hold our sins against us, why are we so keen to hold them against each other? Why do we forget our sins are nailed forever on the Cross of Calvary?