The Ministry of Reconciliation

J.R. Waller, MBA

Key Points

  • Salvation enrolls Christians into the ministry of reconciliation.
  • Christians are given the responsibility by God to help others be reconciled to Him.
  • Christians follow God’s ministry of reconciliation by being His ambassadors.

17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

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;II Corinthians 5:17-18 (KJV)

We are made into new creatures with a new purpose when we come to God for salvation through belief and faith in His Son Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins.

The words “ministry of reconciliation” succinctly sum up this new purpose.

It is one of the multitudinous wonders of Christianity that individual Christians and the church are called to work for God and His kingdom through the ministry of reconciliation. It is our highest calling and the greatest privilege this life has to offer. The best part is that actually it is not something that life offers us at all. Rather it is given to us by God through Jesus (“and had given to us…”). That alone is truly awe-inspiring.“It is one of the multitudinous wonders of Christianity that individual Christians and the church are called to work for God and His kingdom through the ministry of reconciliation.”

Now then what is the ministry of reconciliation exactly and why must we engage in it? The answer can first be understood by looking at God’s grand design for mankind, that is His plan for all of history. History is God’s story and the Bible is its outline. God’s story for mankind provides the background necessary to understand more about the ministry of reconciliation.

18) And all things are of God,II Corinthians 5:18a (KJV)

By “all things” the Bible does not mean some things, or simply the things we agree to or can concede to give God the credit for. It means that all things are of God including us and His creation.

We play a vital role in God’s grand design. God wants us involved in His plan because He loves us, not because He needs us. He loves us especially because we must be reconciled to Him to be rescued from our sins and live with Him in heaven forever. Consequently, we are the ones who need Him more than anything. Why is this so?

God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit have always been and will always be. Yet man’s beginning was at Creation when God in six literal days (mornings and evenings) created our universe and all that is within it, including us…

27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

All of creation was “very good” and would remain so as long as mankind obeyed God’s command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was the only rule man had to follow.

16) And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.Genesis 2:16-17 (KJV)

Why would God in the midst of His perfect creation, give Adam and Eve a commandment such as this?

Because God created mankind with free will. God could not enjoy a relationship with mankind without this.

However, the devil disguised as a serpent deceived man. The serpent twisted God’s words, convincing man that he could be his own god. Sadly, Adam and Eve believed it. They were enticed to rise above God’s power and be their own gods.

It was pride that caused Satan’s fall and pride that caused man to rebel against God by eating the fruit he was commanded not to eat. Man thought himself above God and questioned God’s words…

6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.Genesis 3:6 (KJV)

At this point and for all time to follow the world changed forever. This is the exact point in time Christians refer to as “the fall” because at this moment the world was contaminated and infected by sin and things have never been the same since. Sin and death had entered the world…

12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:Romans 5:12 (KJV)

This is the great problem of man. Sin and death are passed on to each of us as soon as we are born. We instinctually desire to sin and rebel against God. Thankfully this is not the end of the story for mankind…

18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.Romans 5:18-19 (KJV)

This is the cure, this is the remedy! Jesus justifies man, and He provides salvation for man’s sins and makes him righteous when he comes to Him in confession and belief. Jesus is the cure to the great problem of man, and salvation is the medicinal remedy for his sinful condition. Its formula is simple…

9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.Romans 10:9 (KJV)

This is the gospel message, this is where it all begins again for man, this is what enables man to be made into a new creature. Did you catch that? Salvation is a new beginning for man, and it is always offered for all of mankind. This is what is meant by the term “born again”. You are made a new creature and not just a new creature but one with a new purpose.

To review, all is God’s including creation which was originally perfect. Yet man’s rebellion against God ruined creation. Man sinned and every human who has been born since and who will be born until Jesus returns is born a sinner without hope for restoration.

Yet in spite of everything God sent Jesus to die on the cross for the payment of all mankind’s sins. By believing in Jesus and by the confession of our sins man can be saved, restored and reconciled to God. This is the essence of the ministry of reconciliation. It is what God does for us despite all that we have done against Him.

Therefore, the best example of the ministry of reconciliation is you yourself if you are a believer.

17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

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;

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.

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.

21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.II Corinthians 5:17-21 (KJV)

Salvation enrolls us into the ministry of reconciliation. We that are born again (saved) are given the responsibility by God to help others be reconciled to Him (“had given to us the ministry of reconciliation”). Jesus died and rose again so “that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Not only have we been given the responsibility by God to help others be reconciled to Him, but we have also been given the tools to carry out this work. “Not only have we been given the responsibility by God to help others be reconciled to Him, but we have also been given the tools to carry out this work.”

God has “committed unto us the word of reconciliation” which is His gospel message. We have everything and more at our disposal to carry out this work. We have His word, our testimony and the Holy Spirit to guide and help us.

If you are not a believer though, that is if you cannot call Jesus your savior, then the ministry of reconciliation will not make sense or matter to you. Why?

Because if you do not take your rightful place in His grand design, that is if you do not choose to help God as he works to make all things new, but instead choose to live your life in service to yourself and the enemy’s world, you will never find peace in this life or in eternity.

9) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.Romans 8:9 (KJV)

The meaning that we all desire in life can only be found when we choose to step foot into God’s grand design through salvation and serve Him by bringing others to a knowledge of Him.

You realize your true purpose when you are born again. This comes by believing in Jesus’ death on the cross for you to pay for what you could not.

You become a new creature and the Holy Spirit dwells in you. This is all so that you may help bring others to a knowledge of God and to salvation in Him. This is the ministry of reconciliation.

5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.Revelation 21:5 (KJV)

And…

17) For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.Isaiah 65:17 (KJV)

As we have seen the world is a fallen place. It is not as it was intended to be. Sin reigns but salvation through Jesus has provided a way once more to not just a restored life for each of us but for a restored world.

We witnessed before that “all things are of God” and now we see that God makes “all things new.” Notice He is making all things new.

God is creating a new heavens and a new earth. While these will in fact be newly created at the end of our current world, God is already making His new creation a reality be redeeming mankind back to Him – by reconciling us to Him. In addition, God is creating His own people, His church, who will enjoy Him and be with Him forever in the new heavens and the new earth.

9) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;I Peter 2:9 (KJV)

And…

2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.Revelation 21:2 (KJV)

God enrolls His church in the ministry of reconciliation. Its members, you and me and all other Christians across all time, nations and places are working to bring God’s restoration to pass. We are a “peculiar people”.

The church is not just a means by which God uses to bring the lost back to Him through salvation, it is also the object of His new creation. This is why the Bible refers to the church as God’s bride. It is us who will be with God and “married” to Him forever in eternity.

“You become a new creature and the Holy Spirit dwells in you. This is all so that we may help bring others to a knowledge of God and to salvation in Him. This is the ministry of reconciliation.”

Thus when individuals become saved and become a part of God’s family (His bride, His church) they become part of a chosen people who together carry out God’s ministry of reconciliation.

However just “being” a Christian is not enough, you have to act. The ministry of reconciliation is a great responsibility, it is something that churches and we as individuals must carry out each and every day.

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.II Corinthians 5:20 (KJV)

We follow God’s ministry of reconciliation by being His ambassadors. It was mentioned before that the ministry of reconciliation is a responsibility, it is just that and more.

The ministry of reconciliation works within the realm of the most important topic of life: eternity. Ultimately being reconciled to God is a cure from death. This is not just referring to spiritual death but to physical death as well.

23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 6:23 (KJV)

For those who are saved the best is truly yet to come, but for those who are not the opposite is true. You see reader, hell is real, Jesus preached about it more than He did about heaven because He loves you so much. Remember He wants all to be saved, He wants us to be reconciled to Him.

16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16 (KJV)

God uses the ministry of reconciliation for us to come to Him in this life, to bring others to Him and to give Him glory. More importantly however we all who are saved are recipients of the ministry of reconciliation so that we may enjoy Him forever in the next life and in His new creation someday.

3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.John 14:3 (KJV)

God is already preparing an immensely astonishing place for us for all eternity because we have confessed our sins and chosen to believe in Jesus for salvation.

Reader, when you die will you be received by Jesus to enjoy Him forever? Christian reader, have you told others about Jesus? Church member, has your church made it their primary business to reconcile the lost to God by preaching salvation? You see ultimately there is nothing worth more in life than being able to call Jesus your savior and Father. The blessings are truly infinite and amazing beyond comprehension…

4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.Revelation 21:4 (KJV)

The stakes are high, the ministry of reconciliation is the highest and most important calling in life. May we all proclaim Jesus and salvation. Amen!

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