Friday, October 6, 2017

2nd Corinthians, part 2, Its Link to Leviticus

A Ministry of reconciliation. 

Read 2nd Corinthians 5: 17 – 21:
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: 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 for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Why is this important? Because it matches up to the first gimel book, Leviticus. See Leviticus 16:32 – 34:

32 The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement. He is to put on the sacred linen garments 33 and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the tent of meeting and the altar, and for the priests and all the members of the community.
 34 “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”
   And it was done, as the LORD commanded Moses.
In Leviticus it was the priest’s duty to make atonement and reconcile the people to God. The entire premise of the book of Leviticus is instructions for the priests (the Levites). But now in the New Testament we have Christ doing the work of the priest – once and for all. Hooray! Or rather, halleluiah!
And there’s more. Keep reading and you’ll find this ministry of reconciliation blossoming into a ministry of the Spirit. 2nd Corinthians 3: 3 – 9:
3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
 4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
 7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
They didn’t have this ministry of the spirit in Leviticus, but rather it was all about ministry of the priests – the burnt offerings, the sin offerings, the meat offerings, the trespass offerings, and so on. (See Leviticus 7: 35 – 38.)
Something to remember if you witness to someone: 2nd Corinthians 2: 14:
 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.
Pretty, isn’t it? What gloriously creative imagery there is here. Can you see yourself as a “captive” of Christ? Can you see yourself led away in a “triumphal procession?” The two ideas seem dissimilar. Yet there is an “aroma” of the knowledge of Christ that should follow you. Will you let it?
There are verses in 2nd Corinthians that encourage those who may be discouraged. When you are feeling down meditate on these verses:
2nd Corinthians 4:8; 4:16-18:
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Last thing, it is in 2nd Corinthians that we find a warning not to marry a non-Christian. 

Read 2nd Corinthians 6: 14 for yourself to learn why.

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