"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. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
The holiday season is a time when extended families come together each year. Whether coming home for a huge Thanksgiving feast or celebrating the incarnation of Jesus during Christmastime, it can be an occasion of great joy for many people. But for others, this can be a sore spot, as relationships with family members have been strained and there seems to be no hope for reconciling these conflicts.
As believers, we are called to the highest of standards. This includes being willing to forgive those who have hurt us, regardless of the pain and damage done to us. This is obviously not an easy thing to do and I am not suggesting that we pretend nothing ever happened. I am, however, reminding you that we are empowered by God to do hard things, such as forgiving people who may bring devastation to our lives; whether they’re complete strangers or close friends. This godly act of forgiveness should stem from the fact that God has forgiven us in Christ.
In fact, that is what Paul is communicating in the passage above. God has both initiated and accomplished our salvation by sending His Son to die for us, so that we may become reconciled to God. To say this idea of reconciliation is a big deal is quite an understatement. Five times the word “reconcile” is used in some variation within these three verses. There is a good reason behind this, Paul is trying to make an extremely important point.
It is also crucial to understand that a need for reconciliation with God implies that there exists an unresolved conflict. This conflict between humanity and God all started with our first parents (Adam & Eve) disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. From that point on, sin was introduced to humanity and we have been hostile toward God ever since, resulting in separation from God. Furthermore, our relationships with each other have greatly suffered due to the fall of humanity.
My sins, your sins, and everyone’s sins are the reason for the cosmic conflict against God to even the petty conflicts between each other. Our sin can be described as an infinite indebtedness to God that we can never repay. But the good news is that God has made a way for us to be restored, redeemed, and reconciled. The death of Christ on the cross can be considered full payment for what our sins cost us. Paul goes on to say how this is all possible:
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
So for all of us who have been reconciled to God through Christ, we have been given both this message and ministry of reconciliation. Knowing what Jesus has done for us and knowing that this is available to all who are willing to repent and believe, should motivate us to tell the whole world. As a matter of fact, we are now representatives for Christ as God has entrusted us with the gospel message and is making His appeal through us as well.
Here are three ways you can participate in this ministry of reconciliation today:
1. Be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.
2. Be reconciled to each other.
3. Be sharing the message of reconciliation.
“He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay” – Crum
Posted on Fri, November 27, 2015
by Sam Petitfils