“Our scars become conversation starters for the gospel.”
I loved those words shared by Pastor Andy Coats at the start of his message yesterday at Trinity Baptist Church on “Beautifully Broken: 5 Lessons We Can Learn From 2 Corinthians 5:17-21”.
We all have brokenness in our lives. We are busy people who have been hurt by others. We have suffered heartache. We are selfish or have been the brunt of hurt from the selfishness of others. When we lean on our own ways, we tend to turn away from God and towards sin in an effort to find answers to our pain.
Once we realize life isn’t about us, it isn’t about advancing our careers, it isn’t about building a family, and it isn’t about impressing our friends, things make more sense. Life is about advancing the gospel through Christ and living out the greatest commandment.
**** Matthew 22:36-39 ****
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
So why does brokenness happen in our lives, and what does 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 teach us about how we can use it to glorify God?
LESSON 1: Forever Changed
In Christ, we are a new creation.
**** 2 Corinthians 5:17 ****
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
God sees us through the eyes of Christ, not through the way we see ourselves. God forgives us of our past transgressions.
God allows the shadows from your past to follow you, but his reason for doing so is different than Satan’s reason.
The enemy wants you to turn back to your old ways in times of stress and when the pressure seems too strong. So he constantly reminds you of the temporary pleasure of your former addictions … or he allows you to stay stuck in the heartache and pain. He wants you trapped there.
God wants you to remember your past so you can share with others how the gospel changed you. Where you were once destined for an eternity in Hell, you now have a new eternal destination. You are no longer the object of God’s wrath … instead, you are a child of the King.
LESSON 2: From God
God gave us the ability to reconcile with others.
**** 2 Corinthians 5:18 ****
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
God forgave us of our sins and forgave us for our faults. He loves us despite our continued sins and transgressions, so long as we ask for forgiveness and truly try to live like Christ. We are called to do the same to others.
We also have to recognize that reconciliation without Christ at the center isn’t reconciliation. You cannot transform or change anyone’s heart, only God can.
LESSON 3: For the World
When God sent Jesus to the world, He had of plan for hope for reconciling relationships.
**** 2 Corinthians 5:19 ****
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Sin separated us from a relationship with God. In Christ, God reconciled the world to himself. Because of this, nothing outside of God will ever satisfy you.
Remember that broken things do not fix broken people. Drugs, alcohol, sex … name your addiction … it will never fill the void that’s created your brokenness. But the hope you’ll find through Christ will create a fulfillment like you’ve never dreamed of finding.
LESSON 4: For a Purpose
All Christians are broken people. All have walked through tough times. All have sinned and made mistakes that they’re not proud of making.
**** 2 Corinthians 5:20 ****
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
The good news is, the stories of our brokenness and how God led us through those times are what make us amazing ambassadors for Christ. We are called to share the story of our reconciliation with Christ and the message of our salvation.
It’s not our job as Christians to save people from Hell. It’s our job to share the power of the things God has done in our lives with others and then let the Holy Spirit go to work within them. People will argue with you … but recognize it’s not YOU they’re arguing with. They’re arguing against the hope that only God can bring … the hope that your story can inspire.
Your story holds the key to unlocking the prison someone else is trapped inside. Don’t be afraid to tell your story!
LESSON 5: For His Glory
Never forget that Jesus died on the cross to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.
**** 2 Corinthians 5:21 ****
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Remember the brokenness you walk through along your journey, at the end of the day, is all for God’s glory. As you overcome the brokenness, you’re able to go back into the broken world and share God’s message of hope with those who have not yet truly come to know Him!!
Click here to watch the full message.