2 Corinthians 5, Part 2: Who Wrote the Book of Love?
In verse 14, Paul tells us what compels him, what motivates him and gets him up every morning- “Christ’s Love.” We know the Bible tells us God is Love. The song recorded by the Monotones asks the question: “I wonder who, who wrote the book of Love? I’ve got to know the answer was it someone from above? “The Bible is God’s Book of Love- all 66 books. And the Monotones sang: “I’ve got to see this book of love and find out why it is true.” The Bible is a love story, a book of love about a God who so loved the world He gave His only Begotten Son. He loves us with all His heart and He says we will never, never, never, never, never going to part.
Paul is convinced of who wrote this book and knows that is true. He tells people everywhere the good news, the news of peace with God through the process of reconciliation. This is a love story above all other love stories. A story of mystery, death, betrayal, mercy, love, hate, truth, lies, war and peace. It is the all-time best seller of all books.
Paul presents the Gospel in a very succinct manner here. One (Jesus Christ) died for all and therefore all died. (He explains this in more detail in Romans 5) He died for all of us, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him. This is how we ought to live. And this is where the battle is each day- old nature, the flesh and the new nature, the Spirit.
Paul also tells us we are not to regard people from a worldly view any more. We all know what the worldly view is, man looks on the outside: physical appearance, dress, smile, hair, clothes, cleanliness, etc. Rich or poor- liberal or conservative- and mover and shaker or nobodies. Today we live in the most divided times since this country’s civil war. Daily we see the outrage of this group against that group and on and on it goes. Yet God has declared peace and we are living in the time of grace, of His Favor, the time of acceptance. Let’s go back to when the story of God becoming flesh began in Luke 2.
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” This is the first words spoken by angels to shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. It announced the arrival on earth of the Savior of the world, Christ the Lord. And it was a message which proclaimed: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men on whom His favor rests.” (Luke 2) Did you notice the good news is for all the people? Did you notice the news is about peace on earth with the One who created earth and everything in it and on it? Did you also notice who God chose to reveal this great news to? Shepherds. Not the High Priest who looked on this shepherds as; people of no regard, uneducated, powerless, and of no importance. God chose these nobodies to first reveal the good news of the Gospel.
The very first message from these angelic messengers is a message of reconciliation offered to sinful man by a loving God who is not willing that any should perish, but all come to repentance. It a declaration of Peace on Earth.
The Word became flesh; God became a man, born a babe in Bethlehem. Notice God declared peace not war. The Lord Himself had come down from heaven into time and space and into the flesh and blood body of a human. He came to reconcile us to a Holy God. Man was created by God and for God. He was created to worship God and glorify Him. In the Garden before the fall, man was in perfect fellowship with God and man and God stood face to face. But when man, the first Adam sinned, he turned his back on God. And since God is Holy and Just, He turned His back on mankind. All of mankind was born alienated from God, their backs turned away from God. But God had a plan, the plan of redemption. And when the Lord Jesus came into the world, He came not to be served but to serve. He came to save us, to redeem us at great costs. The plan of redemption was put in place at Calvary. There God turned His face away from His Own Son in order for Holy God to be able to turn His face toward man again. And thus the message of the angels on that night became true. Good news of great joy to mankind. Peace on earth and good will toward man was made possible in this singular act of reconciliation. It had been made possible by the Last Adam which Paul explains in Romans 5. The message was you can now turn your face toward God, but you must turn from your sins, turn around and look full in His wonderful face. This is reconciliation which comes from godly repentance. This is the good news of great joy to all the people. God is not saying I have declared war on earth. He is saying I have declared peace on earth and good will toward men. We still live in this age of grace, God’s favor and time of acceptance and God will not declare war on earth until the fullness of time is completed. Then we read of the Wrath of God which will be poured out on the world in judgment of sin in the book of Revelation. But now we are ambassadors bringing the good news, that God has judged the sins of the world and by accepting His forgiveness made possible by Christ’s sacrifice we are declared justified, not guilty and can turn and face God. But the urgency of this message is upon us, for ‘NOW is the accepted time. There will come the day in each person’s life who has not accepted the terms of God’s eternal covenant of peace based on reconciliation, when they will no longer be able to accept the truth and will come to believe a lie. That Day is coming soon, as we are told what signs to look for which tell us of its soon arrival. We do not know the day or the hour, but we can see the signs it is coming soon. The end of time of grace is the end of an era in which God welcomed with open arms and encouraged mankind through us believers who are His ambassadors to accept this peace treaty which God has enacted.
THE TERMS OF AGREEMENT
To understand how this has taken place means we must understand these terms: Imputation, Reconciliation and Regeneration. We must embrace these terms of the agreement.
Imputation: This is a key concept and truth to understand. The word is borrowed from the world of banking terms and it simply means to “put into one’s account.” When you deposit money in the bank, the teller puts that amount in your account, to your credit. When Jesus died on the cross, all of our sins were imputed to Him- put in His account. “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Not only did God impute our sins into Jesus’ account, He also imputed or placed in our account, Christ’s righteousness. So He is our righteousness. This is the Great Exchange. The result in God’s eyes is all our sins are paid for and God no longer holds them against us, because we have trusted Christ as our Savior.( If you have not trusted Christ as your Redeemer, you are accountable for the payment for you own sins. The wages of sin is death. )
Reconciliation: Because of the rebellion of man, man was the enemy of God and out of fellowship with Him. Through the work of the cross, Jesus Christ has brought man and God together again. We have peace with God. God has been reconciled and has turned His face in love toward us and the whole world. To be reconciled is to be changed thoroughly. He loved us and forgave us while we still yet sinners.
Regeneration: Re-gened, reborn, born again are terms used to describe this process. Jesus in his conversation with Nicodemus in John 3 told him he must be born again. This new birth is a spiritual birth that results being made alive spiritually. Man in his natural state is dead in sin and trespasses. Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘flesh gives birth to flesh, and the Spirit gives birth to spirit. Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of heaven or see it, for sinful flesh cannot stand in the presence of God. Regeneration occurs at salvation along with being sealed; adopted and reconciled. Before we were children of wrath, now we are children of God. The ongoing process of sanctification begins as we learn how to live out our new identity. Now some would wonder like Nicodemus did, how can I be born again? Let’s consider what we now know about the Book of Life. The Book of Life is a science book written by God in scientific language which it has taken man centuries to figure out and be able to comprehend. What is the Book of Life? It is DNA, the genome, a complete book of instructions on how a physical life is built. It contains the equivalent of a 200, 500 page phonebooks. It now tells us a new creature is formed when the sperm fertilizes an egg. This occurs in 1 second. Within 30 minutes, it has sealed itself so no other sperm can enter. A unique, new creature has been created with all of the instructions of this new life which began at conception now begins the nine month process of developing in the miracle which will appear nine months later, a new life, fearfully and wonderfully made. This is what happened when we were born again, the Holy Spirit entered our lives and sealed us and a new life began. Our book of instructions is the Bible, God’s Book of Love. This human genome, the genetic code of life is in each cell of our bodies. We have approximately 10 trillion cells in our human bodies. If each of these tightly coiled strands of DNA were uncoiled and stretched out they would reach 744 million miles!! The God who wrote the Book of Love also is the author of the Book of Life. Nothing is impossible for Him!
THE NEW DEAL
We have now entered into a new relationship with God. Let us consider what this new deal entails:
- New Master. He is now our King. We are to live for Him, and not self.
- New Morality. His word defines our new morality. He tells us right from wrong and also empowers us to choose right over wrong. The enemy has said we have the right to decide what is right and wrong in our own eyes. The enemy is a liar, a thief, a murderer, and a deceiver.
- New Mind. Let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus. Our minds are to be transformed by the Word of God. When we abide in the Word and the Word abides in us we will know the truth and the truth will set us free from the lies the enemy uses to destroy us and alienate us from Holy God.
- New Mandate. We now have new goals in life, a new agenda, God’s agenda and plan for our lives. God tells us He knows the plans He has for us to give us and future and hope.
- New Positions. We are now a royal priesthood. We are ministers of the new covenant and ministers of reconciliation. We are Ambassadors for Christ bringing the message of reconciliation to the lost world.
OUR NEW POSITION- ROYAL AMBASSADORS
The enemy, Satan, has being tearing this world apart since the Garden of Eden. Man was separated from God in the Garden of Eden.
God sent His Only Son to earth as a man to put back together what the enemy has torn apart.
God did not declare war on the world at Calvary. God declared peace on earth and gave us the way to be reconciled with Him. He made a way where there was no way. Jesus said I am the Way.
God is saying to us here is your message of first importance- the good news of the Gospel. “Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; was buried and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures and was seen by over 500 witnesses.
Bring this message as the message of first importance, for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe. This is not to say, God is soft on sin, or that sin does not matter to Him. He is saying I have already judged sin. I want to you know all of your sins are forgiven if you place your faith in Jesus. If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God has raised Him from the dead you shall be saved.
It is a message of God’s grace. “For by grace are you saved by faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. “
It has all been done. God gives you the gift of faith with which to believe. You must accept the gift. It is voluntary acceptance.
As Ambassadors, we bring a peace treaty which God has enacted. The only ones who are not covered by it and face judgment of God are those who do not accept God’s judgment of sin He poured out on Jesus at Calvary.
God is saying to lost man, I am not willing that any should perish but all would come to repentance. Jesus wept over lost humanity as He professed with tears running down his face, how he longed to gather the lost like a mother hen would her chicks, but they would not let him.
Our message of first importance is the gospel of grace. As an ambassador I can tell those who are lost and hurting, my story. For I once was lost and hurting, longing for something to fill my longing.
God sees mankind’s loneliness. He sees our emptiness, which we are so busy trying to fill with the things of this world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. He sees each of us and looks not on the outside but in our hearts where He sees we long to be something different.
Do not mistake God’s longing for us not to perish as being soft on sin. God is very concerned about sin and human evil. He hates sin because He knows it destroys us. In fact God is so concerned by sin; He has done something about sin at tremendous cost to remove the problem of sin. He gave His only Son, who knew no sin to be sin for us. And then God poured out His wrath and punishment on His own Son. Now consider the fact, that Jesus told us He and the Father are one and realize God gave us His own self, a king who paid the price for our sins with His own life.
This message of reconciliation is what the world needs to know. This offer made freely by God has to be voluntarily accepted by man.
In the first two verses of chapter 6, Paul speaks to us as Gods’ fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation, I helped you. “ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, and now is the day of salvation.”
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe in Him, stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s only begotten Son. This is the verdict, light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3)
There comes a time in everyone’s life, when the time of God’s favor will no longer be available to a person who has so hardened their hearts to God’s favor they can no longer be convicted and are lost. Paul says the day is coming when this will occur. Now is the time, now is the Day of salvation. Darkness is coming.
Let’s review some Scriptures:
Acts 4:12; I Timothy 2: 5, Romans 10:9-13
I called on His Name on September 16, 1977. And in one second I was born again. The process had begun.
The Author of the Book of Life was now becoming known to me as the Author of the Book of Love.
I now know who wrote the Book of Love and have found out why it’s true.
In chapter 1 He told me He loved me with all his heart.
In chapter 2 He told me – we are never, never, never, never, never going to part!
It is the best, most wonderful book I have ever read and continue to read. For it is a never ending story of His never ending love.
There is one other book which is a very, very important book. Your name must be found there, for it is called the Lamb’s Book of Life. To have your name written there, “you must look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12)
Let me tell you Who, Who wrote the Book of Love- God.