And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 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. 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. 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.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
For those of us who have been reconciled to God, saved if you prefer that term, God shows us in this passage what our work is. It is to spread the good news that this salvation is available to all. We, as a church, have been sent out to proclaim God’s message of salvation. Because we are ambassadors it is our obligation to live a life that does not hinder the message of God’s grace but instead furthers it.
Before proceeding any further to give the main points of Sunday’s sermon it is necessary to define reconiliation. Definition of reconciliation:
- The act of reconciling parties at variance; renewal of friendship after disagreement or enmity.
- In Scripture, the means by which sinners are reconciled and brought into a state of favor with God, after natural estrangement or enmity; the atonement; expiation.
- Agreement of things seemingly opposite, different or inconsistent.
Now that we have a definition there are four things that need to be reconciled.
- Our lives must be reconciled to the word of God. A Christian who is not letting the word of God direct his thoughts and actions is only fooling himself. Jesus is called the word of God and he fulfilled every precept of the word. A Christian is one who is Christ like so the word of God must be our guide in every facet of our lives. Through personal study, attendence and attention to the preaching and teaching of God’s word coupled with prayer and by the aid of the Holy Spirit the Christian must let the word of God mold him or her into what God wants him or her to be.
- We must be reconciled to one another. Nothing does the church greater harm then when the members cannot get along with one another. Why would any non-Christian want to be part of a people who profess to love God but cannot love one another! It hurts the reputation of the church both with God and man. Offences always come but we must work in a Christian framework to resolve them and move on. No division can be tolerated because every division is a sign that we have not followed step one.
- Gods righteous nature must be reconciled to his desire to have mercy on fallen man. Unlike man’s justice God’s justice must always be satisfied. Adam broke the law. You and I have broken the law. Therefore God’s justice cries out for the penalty to be carried out. But where God’s justice cries out his mercy answers in the person of Jesus Christ who went to the cross for our sins. In Christ and Christ alone God is able to reconcile his justice and his mercy.
- Our souls must be reconciled to God. It is not enough that God has reconciled his mercy with his justice. It is not enough if we are able to live peacefully with all the church members or indeed with all men everywhere. It is not enough if we do our best to live by the word of God. Our souls must be reconciled to God. That reconciliation must come through true repentence and true faith. Because this step is so important God has left us a witness that we have truly been reconciled. That witness is his own Holy Spirit that lets us know we have been reconciled and our fellowship with God is real.