Wednesday, May 20, 2009

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION - PART 3



In the third part of our study titled: 'The ministry of reconciliation' we will look at 2 Corinthians 5:19-20.

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.

"To wit (that is to say) that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;"

God was in Christ: Jesus IS the God-man, THE unique person in history:

1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest (revealed) in the flesh...

Jesus Himself said: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself: God is already reconciled to His people through Christ's coming, living, dying, and His resurrection.

If you find yourself "saved" (born again, a Christian): you just found out about it in this life, but Christ saved His people living today before they were born: at the cross!

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:9
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath
through him.

Romans 5:10
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

And in the mind and purpose of God we were saved before the world began:

2 Timothy 1:9
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus (in Christ - saved....when) before the world began,

The "world" that our text speaks of is not the WHOLE world - the world He speaks of is His people: "not imputing (charging) their trespasses (sins) unto them."

God only sees two types of people in the world:

1) Those who our text speaks of: "not imputing their trespasses unto them" (those who are in Christ);

Romans 4:7
Blessed are they whose iniquities (sins)
are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Romans 4:8
Blessed is the man (or woman) to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

and

2) Those who are not in Christ who will be charged with their sins.

Christians are not charged with their sins for they were charged (imputed) to Christ (which we will cover in verse 21 in our final study on this topic of 'the ministry of reconciliation').

The rest of our text tells us that those who are in Christ are given a calling: "hath commited unto us the word of reconciliation": which we looked at in the second part of this study - that if we are in Christ we have the gospel to spread!

Because of this our text closes: "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".

Ambassadors: think of it: we represent Jesus Christ!

What an honor!

God uses His people to call the rest of His people who as of yet have not believed the gospel: we are to preach the gospel: the good news about Jesus Christ: "be ye reconciled to God".

God tells us to preach the gospel always!

2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

God will do the rest - it's His Word, His gospel, and He will do with it as He pleases:

Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

When the gospel was preached to the Gentiles (non Jews) we read:

Acts 13:48
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

As God's Ambassadors we are to preach the gospel and as many as were ordained (predestinated) to eternal life will believe.

Who ordained them?

The Sovereign God of the Bible!

If God has revealed Himself to you through His Word (the Bible) and by His Spirit (His Holy Spirit): praise Him that He has given us this 'ministry of reconciliation' - service in the gospel!

By Craig Miklosik

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