This first section is out of Thomas Watson's book "A Plea For the Godly
"There is a righteousness imparted, which is infusing the seed and habit of grace in the soul, making a person internally holy. And so he is said to be righteous who has a change of heart wrought in him and is transformed by the renewing of his mind, Romans 12:2. Such a one, though he is not another man, yet he is a new man, 2 Corinthians 5:17. The faculties are not new but the qualities are, as the strings of a violin are the same but the tune is altered."
2 Cor. 5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
What grace has been lavished on those who are saved. There is a double transfer that has taken place;
1.Christ, who was sinless, was made to be sin.
2.We, who were never righteous, were made to be righteous.
Paul encourages the readers to remember where this gift comes from, what the purpose of the gift is and then to whom the gift was given.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So Christians are chosen, by God, to be messengers, to the world, that Christ has come to reconcile the world to Himself. But why would He choose us to be the messengers? When we are forgiven and made righteous there should be so much joy and gratitude in our hearts that it spills over into every part of our lives.
If you have just watched an amazing movie, eaten the best food you have ever tasted or whatever else you want to put into this category, you always want to tell someone else about it. The telling doesn't have to be forced on us, you want to share the good thing you have just experienced. Well, if we can get excited about a movie, good food or whatever else, should we not be infinitely more excited about Christ's ministry of reconciling us, who were once His enemies, to God? And if we are excited about the telling, this should be a great vehicle for the message to go out.
Even though we spend lots of money on advertising, at PG our greatest form of advertisement is through word of mouth; a referral from someone who has already seen how good of a job we have done and they are excited to share what they have found with others. Well, it seems like we should be the excited, "previous customers" that can't wait to tell others about what God has done for us, and wants to do for others. Why do we get more excited about the trivial things of this life then we do about the best gift that has ever been given?
I like the line at the end of the first quote from Thomas Watson, "The faculties are not new but the qualities are, as the strings of a violin are the same but the tune is altered." It reminds me that we are the strings that need to be tuned with a Heavenly tune and by the Heavenly Tuner. Without God granting an interest for us to be tuned to His Word and the eternal things, we will have no interest. We need to ask Him to tune our hearts to the things of Heaven and then to give us a love and excitement for eternal things, and to make "the things of earth grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."
A side note here; A fiddle and a violin are the exact same instrument but played totally different. Yet there are many who like fiddle music that don't enjoy the violin, and vice versa. This seems like a good analogy, that maybe we were once fiddles, but the orchestra of Heaven has violins, and so we are being "tuned" to different music.
I want to have my heart tuned to eternal, Heavenly music and to be singing the praises of the One who reconciled me to Himself, who took my sin that I might be righteous and who loves to hear the praises of the redeemed.
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.