2 Corinthians 5:16-21
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. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 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. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The following is a prayer from The Valley of Vision.
Lord God Almighty,
Thou art beforehand with men
for thou hast reconciled thyself to the world
through the cross,
and dost beseech men to accept reconciliation.
It is my responsibility to grasp thy overtures of grace,
for if thou, the offended part, act first
with the word of appeasement,
I need not call in question thy willingness to save,
but must deplore my own foolish maliciousness;
If I do not come to thee as one who seeks thy favour,
I live in contempt, anger, malice, self-sufficiency,
and thou dost call it enmity.
Thou hast taught me the necessity of a Mediator,
to be embraced in love with all my heart,
as king to rule me,
as prophet to guide me,
as priest to take away my sin and death,
and this by faith in thy beloved Son
who teaches me
not to guide myself,
not to obey myself,
not to try to rule and conquer sin,
but to cleave to the one who will do all for me.
Thou hast made known to me
that to save me is Christ’s work,
but to cleave to him by faith is my work,
and with this faith is the necessity of my
as a mourning for the sin which Christ
by grace has removed.
Continue, O God, to teach me
that faith apprehends Christ’s righteousness
not only for the satisfaction of justice,
but as unspotted evidence of thy love to me.
Help me to make use of his work of salvation as
the ground of peace,
and of thy favour to, and acceptance of me
so that I may live always near the cross.
Arthur Bennett, ed., The Valley of Vision: a Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions (Edinburgh, Scotland: Banner of Truth, 1975), 294-295.