Best Bible verses to use in conversations with non-believers

2 Corinthians 5:21
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

When is it the right time to share this verse in a conversation with someone in your life who doesn’t know Jesus?

This is not the right verse to share when explaining our brokenness and need for God. Nor is it the verse to share when pointing out our guilt before God that separates us from him.

No, the time to share this verse is when you are explaining what the cross is all about. When you are explaining the spiritual connection God makes between the death of Jesus in the past and my faith in Jesus in the present, this is the verse to use.

We need righteousness to be right with God, but what we have is sin (guilt). Since we can’t undo our guilt we have a big problem and face God’s judgement. Jesus, on the other hand, had no guilt; he only had righteousness.

What this verse shares with a person trying to understand the gospel is that Jesus volunteered to take our guilt and give us his righteousness—an incredible exchange that could only come from a heart that loved us, even in our sinfulness, more than himself.

The verse tells us that God the Father accepted this sacrificial trade and “made him [Jesus] who had no sin [guilt] to be sin [guilty] for us, so that in him [because of his death on the cross that paid the penalty for our guilt] we might become the righteousness of God [we receive his righteousness and the good relationship with God that it brings].”

This is gospel, the good news: Christ died for us, in our place, because of his great love for us, and when we receive this gift—this great exchange—by faith, we start a relationship with God that changes our lives forever.

Use 2 Corinthians 5:21 to explain what Jesus did for us at the cross.