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Christ alone, again

November 13, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

Pastor Chuck DeVane

Special to The Sentinel-Record

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

-- 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Christ alone has made us a new creation

"In Christ" is a well that runs very deep, but pulling a pail of water out here simply states that if you are there, "in Christ," you are a "new creation." In other words, you are a born-again Christian, and Christ alone made you that way.

We are born fallen creatures because of inherited sin and depravity. We are dead (ref. Ephesians 2:1), doomed (ref. Romans 6:23a), and danged if we can change it on our own (ref. Romans 3:10ff). We do not come to Christ until Christ, and Christ alone, comes to us and saves us.

When this happens to us, "the old has passed away," meaning the old nature's dominance with its pride, greed, and lust. The "old" curse is gone, too, and Hell has no sway over us anymore. "The new has come," meaning new life, the new presence of God's Spirit, and new love for God, God's people, and the things of God.

Christ alone has reconciled us to God

Most people do not see themselves as enemies of God. But "we were enemies" (ref. Romans 5:10) before we were Christians. God is against the collective ungodliness in this present world system, and He has it surrounded. It advances to the end when, as is written in the book of Revelation, evil and sin and all who are enemies of God will be utterly destroyed the rider on the last white horse, by Christ, and Christ alone.

But Christ, alone, also saves the lost, by grace through faith in Him. This not only makes us new creatures, Christians, it reconciles us to God. We become friends of God. Even more, we become children of God with an unfathomable inheritance.

Christ alone has made us his ambassadors

A United States ambassador to another country gets to live in luxurious and secure quarters and gets wined and dined almost every night. It's quite a gig. Guess who gets it? Friends of the president, that's who.

Since in Christ you have become a new Christian and a friend and child of God, God has also appointed you as His ambassador. You are an ambassador of the King and the kingdom of God, and you have a specific, God-given assignment on earth (ref. Acts 1:8).

As an ambassador for Christ, Christians should not be too concerned with what is around them (material possessions) but instead on who is in them, namely Christ. Live for Him, in worship and in work. Live like Him, in spirituality and simplicity. Live with Him, in joyful fellowship and serious witness. Live in Him, in Christ, and Christ alone.

Christ alone has made a double imputation for our salvation

So far the text has taught us what Christ, and Christ alone, has done for us. He has made us new, reconciled us to God, and appointed us as His ambassadors. The last verse (vs. 21) tells us how He has done it.

This is the doctrine of double imputation. When God saves you, by grace through faith in Christ, two things happen which are the work of Christ for you, not any work you have done for Christ.

On the one hand, and at the moment the Son was forsaken by the Father, all of your sin was put on Christ to bear in His death. Your sin penalty was imputed to Christ, and Jesus paid it all. On the other hand, when His life on earth was done, Jesus Christ had perfectly obeyed every commandment, every order, every whim of the will of Almighty God. He died perfect. He died righteous. And, by grace through faith in Him, this perfect righteousness is imputed to you, so that you can stand righteous before the throne of God.

That's double imputation. That's salvation. That's grace, alone, through faith, alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, and Christ alone!

Chuck DeVane is the pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs. Call him at 501-525-8339 or email [email protected]

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