Emmanuel Church Canterbury

Talks

Talk
2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2 - The Aim of Authentic Ministry
Authentic Christianity
Bible Passage

Isaiah 49:1–13 (Listen)

The Servant of the Lord

49:1   Listen to me, O coastlands,
    and give attention, you peoples from afar.
  The LORD called me from the womb,
    from the body of my mother he named my name.
  He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
  he made me a polished arrow;
    in his quiver he hid me away.
  And he said to me, “You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”1
  But I said, “I have labored in vain;
    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
  yet surely my right is with the LORD,
    and my recompense with my God.”
  And now the LORD says,
    he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
  to bring Jacob back to him;
    and that Israel might be gathered to him—
  for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,
    and my God has become my strength—
  he says:
  “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob
    and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
  I will make you as a light for the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
  Thus says the LORD,
    the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
  to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
    the servant of rulers:
  “Kings shall see and arise;
    princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
  because of the LORD, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

The Restoration of Israel

  Thus says the LORD:
  “In a time of favor I have answered you;
    in a day of salvation I have helped you;
  I will keep you and give you
    as a covenant to the people,
  to establish the land,
    to apportion the desolate heritages,
  saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
    to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
  They shall feed along the ways;
    on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10   they shall not hunger or thirst,
    neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
  for he who has pity on them will lead them,
    and by springs of water will guide them.
11   And I will make all my mountains a road,
    and my highways shall be raised up.
12   Behold, these shall come from afar,
    and behold, these from the north and from the west,2
    and these from the land of Syene.”3
13   Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
    break forth, O mountains, into singing!
  For the LORD has comforted his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted.

Footnotes

[1] 49:3 Or I will display my beauty
[2] 49:12 Hebrew from the sea
[3] 49:12 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Sinim

(ESV)

2 Corinthians 5:11–6:2 (Listen)

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.1 The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling2 the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

6:1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

  “In a favorable time I listened to you,
    and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Footnotes

[1] 5:17 Or creature
[2] 5:19 Or God was in Christ, reconciling

(ESV)