Copr. 1998, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All Scripture references are to

the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984

International Bible Society,  unless otherwise noted. Quotations

from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes

the teacher uses a blackboard. This lesson can be found at:


INTRODUCTION: Has there been a time when someone close to you was

mad at you?  Your spouse, your children, your friend, your boss?

It feels bad doesn’t it?  When you work out your differences and

once again are on good terms it feels very good, right?  Overcoming

differences and being close again is called reconciliation.  That

is our subject of study this morning.


     A. We stopped our discussion last week at the
point where we
decided we had a “new view.”  We now
would fix our eyes on the
eternal instead of the temporary.  This
new view changes how
we look at Jesus, life’s problems and others. 
We become a new
creation with a new view.

     B. Let’s charge on with Paul’s argument. Turn
with me to 2
Corinthians 5:18-19. Read. Who makes us a
new creation with a
new view? (Paul says (v.18) “all this” is
from God.)

          1. How did God
do it? (He did it through Jesus.)

          2. Paul tells
us that as new creatures we are
to God.  Was God mad at us before?

a. Someone read Ephesians 2:3-5. This says we were
“objects of wrath” who were for all purposes dead.
This sounds like God was so angry with us that He
was going to kill us.  Is that how you understand

b. Someone else read Matthew 18:12-14. This says
that God does not want to lose a single sheep, that
He searches for all those who are lost and is happy
when he finds the lost sheep. Is that how you
understand this?

c. Tell me how you “reconcile” Ephesians 2 with
Matthew 18? How can you understand both of these
texts? (God hates sin. He is going to destroy it.
However, He loves us.  He loves us even when we are
sinners. Like the shepherd looking for the single
lost sheep, He went to great lengths to save us.
The height of that pursuit of us occurred when
Christ came to earth and died in our place. It
continues today through the work of the Holy

     C. Let’s look again at 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.
What job do
these verses say that we have? (The ministry

          1. How do we
do “our job?” (Verse 19 says that we have a
“message of
reconciliation” that God does not count our
sins against
us.  This means our job is to tell people
that, because
of our sins, we were “dead meat.”  But God
has taken heroic
steps to save us — each one of us.  Our
job is to talk
about Ephesians 2 and Matthew 18!)

     D. Read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21. What is your
job title?

          1. How is your
job like the job of a United States
Or the ambassador of any country? (An
ambassador lives
in a culture that is not his, it is not
his home. 
He is there to represent his country even when
he may get an
unfriendly reception.)

          2. Our lesson
has a “teacher’s comments” (p.69) which
says, “Sin reigns.
Sin hurts. Sin isolates and places us
in a state of
rebellion, depression, and despair.” Do you
Is that the “culture” in which we work as

a. Do you find that you have to be an “ambassador”

to yourself sometimes?

(1) If you say, “yes,” how can you be an
ambassador if you have a rebellious heart?

b. Are you an ambassador to your family?

     E. You have a message of reconciliation. 
Can you put your
message into words for me? (Paul puts it into
words in 5:20b-
21: “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be
reconciled to God.
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for
us, so that in Him
we might become the righteousness of God.”)


     A. Read 2 Corinthians 6:1-2. If we have this
mental picture of
God looking for us as a shepherd would look
for a lost sheep,
how can we “receive God’s grace in vain?”
Is this even
possible? (Paul clearly indicates here that
we can receive
God’s grace, yet be lost.)

          1. How does this
work as a practical matter? How can we
receive God’s
grace, yet be lost? (Someone read Matthew
7:21. Do you
see that receiving God’s grace, being an
ambassador is
not mere words.  Receiving God’s grace
means that our
lives become changed.  We do the will of
our Father in
heaven. Note that we need to be careful in
our understanding
of this.  One extreme is to think that
by mere words
we receive God’s grace.  The other extreme
is to believe
that by keeping the law we will be saved.
See Galatians
5:4. The correct path is this: God’s grace
converts our

     B. Friends, God our Shepherd is looking for
you right now. He
is diligently searching and He wants to find
you to save you.
When does Paul say that we should “get found?”
(2 Corinthians
6:2: Now!)


     A. Read 2 Corinthians 6:3-10.  How is
this for working
conditions as an ambassador?

     B. What contrasts do you see in these verses

          1. Notice v.3. 
Does Paul have “stumbling blocks” in his
way?  Does
he put them in the way of others?

a. If you were to formulate a “policy” about
stumbling blocks in your life based on these
verses, what would it be? (Expect obstacles in your
Christian walk, but do not be an obstacle to the
walk of someone else.)

          2. Notice v.
8: “genuine, yet regarded as impostors.”
What kind of
problem does this indicate that Paul faced
in his ministry
of reconciliation? (People are lying
about what kind
of person Paul is.  They are calling him
a fake.)

a. Can you expect similar problems?

          3. Notice v.
9: “known, yet regarded as unknown.” I often
read that people
want “respect.” It is natural to want
others to think
well of you. What kind of “respect” is
Paul getting
if he says that people know him, but act as
if they do not?

          4. Notice v.
10: “poor, yet making many rich.” How is
Paul making
others rich if he is poor? (Through his self-
sacrifice he
is revealing the gift of eternal life to
This is the ministry of reconciliation.)

          5. Notice in
v. 10 Paul also says: “having nothing, yet
possessing everything.”
How can that be? (His view of
“things” is
obviously different than the world’s view of


     A. Read 2 Corinthians 6:11-13. Have you ever
loved someone
when they did not love you back? Have you
ever been kind to
someone and they were not kind to you in return?

          1. How did you
feel about that?

2. Was the other
person being fair to you?

          3. What kind
of attitude do the Corinthians have towards
Paul? (He is
saying that he has opened his heart to them,
but they have
not opened their heart to him.)

          4. Can the same
be said of you?  Jesus has opened His
heart to you. 
The message of reconciliation is (2 Cor.
5:21) that Jesus
became sin “for us.”  He was taunted,
humiliated and
tortured for us.  He died a cruel death
for us. 
He opened his heart to us.  Are we, as a “fair
exchange” (6:13),
opening our heart to Him?

a. Are we doing our job as ambassadors with this
message of reconciliation?

V. NEXT WEEK: “COMMITMENT FOR MINISTRY.” Study 2 Corinthians 6:14-

bsp; He died a cruel death
for us. 
He opened his heart to us.  Are we, as a “fair
exchange” (6:13),
opening our heart to Him?

a. Are we doing our job as ambassadors with this
message of reconciliation?

V. NEXT WEEK: “COMMITMENT FOR MINISTRY.” Study 2 Corinthians 6:14-