Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation...
— 2 Corinthians 5:16-18 NASB

what reconciliation means for us

The verse says that if we are in Christ, then we are a new creation. No longer are we fleshly beings, but we are a new creation and have been reconciled to God. I didn't really know what the world 'reconciled' meant so I looked it up. The Greek word here that is used means to restore to a divine favor. Because of Christ in us, God looks on us with favor. In turn, we have now been given the gift of a ministry of reconciliation.

It can be easy for me to take the good news of these verses and miss the full point. I can celebrate the good news of having restored favor with God and being a new creation, but I can't miss what that means for me. Now that we are new creations in Christ, we no longer look at people from a fleshly perspective, but we are to see them as Christ regarded us. Since Jesus had a ministry of reconciliation, we should look on others in the same light. Jesus was favorable to us (while we were yet sinners according to Romans) so we now must regard others with favor. Paul tells us that we do this because we no longer know Christ just in the flesh implying that we now have a greater knowledge of Christ through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We are empowered to a ministry of reconciliation only because God inside us empowers us to do so.

some practicals 

Now the practicals of this can seem daunting. We seem to be much more naturally inclined to judge others instead of having compassion for others as Christ did. It can be tough to favor others like Christ did when they wrong us. Therein lies the key: we must look to Christ living in us in order to look at others as He does. Instead of looking to ourselves to "figure people out," we must look to God to see a Godly perspective on others. How do we do this? To me, the answer is as simple as it is complex. We pray and we listen. I challenge you to ask God today how He sees the people you'll be surrounded with.


One simple prayer that you can pray continuously throughout the day is this: "God, how do You see this person?" Try doing this with everyone you interact with. You'll notice how challenging it is to think that first, but it will train you to take the habit to looking to God to tell you about people before trusting your flesh.

-Daniel Bailey