2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
If any man be in Christ. It is one thing for Christ to live in our heart, as the Bible says in Colossians 1:27, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” and it is an entirely different thing for us to be in Christ.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, He comes into our heart and lives there. However as we walk with the Lord and mature as children of God we reach spiritual adulthood. Through process of time and experience, we reach a place where Jesus not only lives in our heart but He also assumes more and more Lordship in our life until we reach a place where we are spiritual adults. As the great Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
So Paul is telling the church at Corinth that if you are mature and if you’ve grown to the place where you should be a spiritual adult, then forgive and forget the past. You have been given the ministry of reconciliation as Jesus demonstrated for us so be spiritually mature and demonstrate that by forgiving and reconciling with your own past and with one another.
I was the one who was wrong and yet Jesus was the one who paid the price for my reconciliation to Him. What a strange concept to the human senses. In our humanity we feel like whoever has done the wrong should be the one to pay the price. Not so when you become spiritually mature and not only is Christ living in you but you are living in Christ. It is when we reach spiritual maturity that we can assume the ministry of reconciliation that has been entrusted to us and move forward in the love of God that would send His only begotten Son to die in my place.