The ministry of reconciliation
Good morning, dear Jesus friends! Today we are reading about the ministry of reconciliation with God.
11Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 13For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. 14For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To 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. 20Now 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. 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. – 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
The crux of this scripture is this:
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Paul describes those who are in Christ very well in this part. If a person is in Christ, he is a new creation. Does being in Christ apply to you? If you truly believe in Christ, then:
- you are in Christ;
- through faith you have been assimilated with Christ; and
- you live in a personal relationship with Him.
When you are in Christ, you are truly a new creation.
Now a great miracle takes place, and it is comparable with creation or even raising someone from the dead. You are a new person:
- raised from the sin of death
Let me illustrate this in a practical way, and I am using an example of my previous trade as a motor mechanic. To be a new creation in Christ through conversion and faith is to be like when I rebuild a car engine. I take the engine apart, clean all the parts, and throw away all the worn parts. In the same way you and I are washed clean at the time of our rebirth, from the sin of our previous nature, through the blood of Jesus Christ, and all our sins from the old life are discarded.
Now the engine is carefully put together again, using brand-new parts, and built up until we have a completely working engine. Everything is new and clean, and the engine has a new lease on life, a second chance. When you and I are renewed in Jesus, we are made completely new, just like the car’s engine, with new parts, and are now clean and holy. There is nothing from the old life that can bog you down. You have indeed been given a second chance. More than this, you have eternal life as a promise.
When you are renewed in God, through your faith in Jesus Christ, no second-hand parts are used, but God makes you clean and new. Our salvation is not only partial, but a completed process. Let your faith in Christ and your commitment to Him also now be complete.
21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. – 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
I end with this: let the renewal in each of us be part of our ministry so that we can also lead and admonish others to be reconciled to God.
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 5:20
Convert! Repent! Believe! Trust!
All the best