Posted by: missionventureministries | March 5, 2020

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION – 2 Corinthians 5:17-20

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-20) 

When sin entered the world by Adam and Eve’s disobedience, strife followed which led to conflict between Cain and Abel, and since then has plagued humanity. 

But Jesus came to earth to end the conflict, to restore unity between God and sinners. In Paul’s letters to first-century churches, he used the term reconciliation, which means “to bring back to a former state of harmony.” 

Reconciliation takes place when two parties that had been estranged or separated are brought back together; therefore, the ministry of reconciliation involves the proclamation of the gospel and its assurance that forgiveness of sin is available in Christ. 

Sin prevents us from having a relationship with God, but Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross made atonement for sin (Hebrews 2:17) and brought harmony to mankind’s relationship with Him. Jesus reconciled us to God, therefore, we now can proclaim that people can repent of their sin and be right with God again through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:20–21). 

As we see, once our relationship with God is restored, He uses us to tell the world that everyone can be reconciled to God through His Son. In this way, we become “Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” (v. 20). And as we do this, we give people the wonderful opportunity to be reconciled with God through Jesus, because “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (verse 21). 

This ministry of reconciliation is a big responsibility (2 Corinthians 5:20); it is urgent and vital and truly a matter of life and death. Jesus paid the price for our reconciliation because God loves us (John 3:16), so we must share this message of reconciliation in love, and our life needs to reflect the calling we have received (Ephesians 4:1). Jesus is the One who saves, and the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8), yet we have been given the privilege of being ambassadors for Christ. 

Every believer plays a part in this ministry of reconciliation. One plants; another waters, and God brings growth (1 Corinthians 3:7). As we proclaim the gospel, we act as peacemakers, and the Lord blesses us by calling us children of God (Matthew 5:9). When we teach and live out His message of reconciliation, lives are changed, and God gets the glory. 

Jesus satisfied God’s requirements for reconciliation, but each person must receive the terms of reconciliation and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Therefore, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10). 

Remember that reconciliation is a divine provision by which God’s wrath against man was appeased; and this is why reconciliation is the fundamental nature of the gospel. 

If you have never repented and trusted in Christ, listen to what Jesus says about your present condition; “whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18). Without repentance and believing in Christ, His shed blood cannot reconcile you to God and then you have only this to look forward to; “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). 

So please consider making today your day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2), and realize that Jesus’ death and resurrection made reconciliation with the Father possible as Paul writes: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” (Romans 5:8-10).

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