ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 168



156
IMMERSE

MESSIAH
5:14–6:13
it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe
that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer
live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was
raised for them.
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At
one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How
differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to
Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself
through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to
him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer
counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his
appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to
God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our
sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s
kindness and then ignore it. For God says,
“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one
will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are
true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and
calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced
angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone
without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our
patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere
love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use
the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand
for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether
they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We
are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we
are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts
ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to
others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and
our hearts are open to you. There is no lack of love on our part, but you
have withheld your love from us. I am asking you to respond as if you were
my own children. Open your hearts to us!





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