Tuesday, May 19, 2009

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION - PART 1



The title of our study will be "The ministry of reconciliation". The title means in service to the gospel of Christ which I will explain in some depth in our study.

Let's read our text, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2 Corinthians 5:19
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Today we will look at verse 17:

Ephesians 5:17
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

This is referring to the "born again" experience.

When one is born again - which is an act of God by His Word given and accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit: the born again sinner will see that up to that point, everything that they had done in their life in regards to God was evil.

It takes the light of the gospel in the hands of the Holy Spirit to reveal to an elect sinner that their works cannot save them or make them right before God, and that Jesus Christ is "The way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

Until we are born again (or born from above) we may be religous, we may be sincere, but we have to admit that we did not know that we were "in Christ" (verse 17).

To be in Christ means that through the new birth one comes to see that salvation is conditioned only on Jesus Christ alone!

What He has done for His people in His life, death, and resurrection.

Let's look at some verses to help understand our text: Until we are born again, until we realize we are in Christ and become a new creature (new creation), all we can do is bring to God our dead works which does not profit:

Romans 7:5
For when we were in the flesh (not born again), the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members (ourselves) to bring forth fruit unto death.

Until we come to believe in CHRIST ALONE for ALL our salvation (to know that we are "in Christ") - everything we did until then was dead works, fruit (efforts) unto death - evil.

But there is good news for sinners who look to Christ:

Romans 7:6
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

This means that if we find ourselves "in Christ" (quoted in our text) we no longer serve God in dead works, we no longer serve Him in a false religion or false gospel, but by the Holy Spirit.

Our text says if we are "in Christ" all things are new, all old things are passed away.

Does the "all" here mean everything?

No!

A born again sinner is still a sins, we still have to work and pay taxes!

All things new means all things SPIRITUAL are new, for we quit looking to our works or a religion or denomination, and see that to be "in Christ" - to look to Christ alone is salvation!

Are you "In Christ"?

Are you trusting in Jesus Christ + nothing else or no one else for salvation?

If so praise God for we experience being "In Christ" when we come to believe on Him.

But God tells us that His elect were "In Christ" before the world was formed; He is just pleased to reveal it to us in His time:

Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

(there's our text "in Christ")....but when?........

Ephesians 1:4
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

All praise and glory to God for He alone is the author of salvation!!!!!

By Craig Miklosik

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