I always look for the therefores in a passage of scripture. “Therefore” often leads me to to a conclusion that isn’t “natural” or “normal” from my original view. But the change is right. The change in my thinking is necessary.
The therefore in any argument are very important. You read something and there should be a response. The response is often a change in thinking, speaking and acting. Even in this short passage in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, therefore appears four times, building to change our thinking and actions:
1. Christ did not live for himself. He told his disciples that “the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” and that He came to be a servant not to be served. Therefore, to follow his example, we shouldn’t be living for ourselves. We live for him. We are his servants. (Luke 19:10; Matthew 20:28)
2. Our view of our Savior and our view of other condemned sinners changes. That is the second therefore. If Christ died for me and took the penalty I deserved in my place, I cannot help but want to regard Him differently. And I should start to view others in the same way He did.
3. The third therefore flows from that. I am not who I once was. Things I once counted as important fade in value. Others are not the enemy, they are people who need the same reconciliation I have received. Their most important need is trespass resolution and reconciliation.
4. This means, therefore, we become ambassadors. And so we must be like Paul: “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” There is nothing more important, more pressing or more loving than to follow through with the therefores. I do this on behalf of Christ.