Reconciliation

Yesterday the words “ministry of reconciliation” popped out at me.  When I heard that through Christ, God was reconciling us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, all I could think about it is how my ministry (job) – OUR ministry – as disciples of Christ is the same; to reconcile the world to God through Christ.  God was stirring something in me and as I read the text AND context of that passage I was mesmerized at how clearly I could see how Jesus wants us to deliver the message of the Gospel.

We learn in 2 Corinthians 3 that Moses was given the ministry of condemnation/death through the laws that were engraved on stones.  At the time the law was required and served a purpose and had it’s glory, but now there is a greater glory that abounds and that is the ministry of righteousness and reconciliation. For what once had glory, no longer has glory because of the glory that now surpasses it.  That greater glory is Jesus; whom God sent to Earth to reconcile us to Himself.

Unfortunately, there are those who are still leading and teaching according to the ministry of condemnation, counting the sins of man against them instead of drawing man towards Jesus.  Jesus, the one who knew no sin but became sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God is calling us to be like Jesus.  Walk as He walked.  Live like He lived.  Talk like He talked.  God wanted to reconcile the relationship that was broken with man.  He no longer wanted man to live in condemnation because God is love.  He wanted to restore man to it’s original creation.  So He sent Jesus to operate in the ministry of reconciliation; To bring man to God.  Jesus called us to preach the Gospel.  The Gospel is the message of Jesus Christ.  It is that Gospel through the Holy Spirit that convicts and changes people.  We were not called to preach about sin and hell.  Yes, sin is very real, destructive, and deadly.  Yes, there is a time and place to instruct someone or groups of  someones about the realities of living an unholy life.  But we ought to be careful and remain aware that we aren’t placing most of our focus on lies.  Our focus and message should be on the Truth.  Jesus is Truth.  The Holy Spirit is Truth.  When we preach Truth, they will work to convict and transform lives.  On the other hand, when we preach sin and hell, we are not preaching Truth, but are lifting up the lies of the enemy and further leading people into condemnation and guilt, instead of leading them to a life of righteousness which Jesus brings.  I am not a “grace excuses our sins” believer, neither am I a “once saved always saved” believer.  I am a believer of Jesus Christ and I follow the teaching of the Holy Spirit through His words.  Again, there are certain people, times, and places where sin may need to be addressed, but I am not referring to those times.  However, even in those times focusing in on the sin is leading a person to condemnation.  While we may point out sin, we need to focus on leading them to Jesus and the Holy Spirit so that can be exposed to reconciliation with God and the righteousness of Jesus Christ, not condemnation and death.  I leave you with Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5.  This complete passage put the text into context and offers so much teaching on how we are deliver the Gospel.

“Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

If you read that passage and do not understand it’s message, pray and seek God.  Ask Him to teach you because He promised that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things.  Seek and you shall find.  Ask and it will be answered.  However, if you want to discuss it or have questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

with love,

Andrea

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