In every one of his letters we have read thus far, we have seen Paul state the gospel in some form or fashion, usually in a way that fits the context of the people he is addressing. 2 Corinthians 5 is the “gospel chapter” in this book.
If anyone is in the Messiah, there is a new creation! Old things have gone, and look — everything has become new! . . . God was reconciling the world to himself in the Messiah, not counting their transgressions against them. . . . The Messiah did not know sin, but God made him to be sin on our behalf, so that in him we might embody God’s faithfulness to the covenant. (5:17, 19, 21)
Personally, I love this version of the gospel message.
Now, it is our job, given by God, to be God’s “ambassadors, speaking on behalf of the Messiah, as though God were making his appeal through us” (5:20). We have been given this “ministry of reconciliation” (5:18).
What motivates us to do this? Paul mentions two things in this chapter:
So we know the fear of the Lord: and that’s why we are persuading people. (5:11)
For the Messiah’s love makes us press on. (5:14)
If we choose to believe the words of the Bible, the reality is that there are people who do not know Jesus, yet will come before God in judgment (5:10). We share the gospel out of fear of what will happen to people if we do not. We are also “beside ourselves” (5:13) with gratitude and honor because of the reality that the Messiah loved with such a depth that he died in our place so that we would be reunited with God. That is an astounding message that needs to be shared.