Sunday, January 3, 2016

All things new

We've all been there.   Someone gets engulfed in a rage that someone brought up their past.    The words fly out like weapons, daggers even, only God can judge me!!!

Here's a fine example of the feeling a few minutes after baptism for some folks, with some pretty American choral hymn singing too.

What they cut out is the part where Everett reminds Pete that getting square with God does not get him square with the state of Mississippi. Pete, like many, was laboring under that delusion.   The following passage is one of the places that it comes from.   The author, the apostle Paul, had a good deal to gain from this idea.   He'd persecuted the church, and not by saying happy holidays instead of merry Christmas. We're talking about matters of life and death, mostly death, for the early church, prior to his conversion.   Bear in mind that the Church was terrified of him for a while, and whisked him away to calm down and get over that (lovely) new Christian enthusiasm before they took him out in public again.  No one magically forgot what he'd done.   

2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2
16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
This is the part people lift out to make you forget they hurt you and their kids and knocked over a pigley wiggly.

Here's the meat:
18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
6As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of Jim God in vain. 2For he says,
At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 
For the love of God, (seriously) take this seriously.   Don't screw this up, don't let it be for nothing.  Know that God loves you, that he paid a terrible price for that love, and he is making you over in the most dramatic way possible.   We're not talking about cutting your hair, we're talking about brain surgery. 

If you're not ready for that, God will wait.  But don't take too long and remember that he has judged you.  He took that judgment on himself and bore it for you, so you could be redeemed from the things you've done.

And you're still not square with Mississippi.

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