2Co 5:17-21 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 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.”
Today, we will be discussing New Testament ministry. I use the term N.T. ministry, to differentiate it from Old Testament ministry. Often times, N. T. Christians still relate to God with an O. T. mentality; they pray O. T. prayers; they live under an O. T. law-works relationship with God; and they minister like an O. T. saint. They may know in their head that they are in the New Covenant, but it doesn’t translate into anything they do. This should not be. We have a better covenant based on better promises (Heb 8:6). We need to walk according to the newness of the spirit, not the oldness of the letter (2Cor 3:6).
We often think that God is holding out on us, and we will beg and plead to try and make Him answer our prayer. However, in Rom 8:32, it says if God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all - how shall He not freely give us all things? In Eph 1:3, it says we have been blessed (past tense) with all spiritual blessings. We must know that we have been reconciled to God. Reconcile means peace being made between enemies. Notice in 2Cor 5:19, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself; and He has given unto us the ministry of reconciliation. Listening to a lot of Christians, one might think that verse actually reads, “God was in Christ, judging and condemning the world - and has given to Christians the ministry of judgment and condemnation.” Jesus was judged and condemned for us.
God has made peace with mankind. He has reconciled the world unto Himself. I know that sounds totally radical to a lot of people, but look at the following Scriptures for clarity (Rom 5:10, Col 1:20, Eph 2:17-18, Lk 10:5, Act 10:36, Isa 52:7, 57:19, 1Jn 2:2, 4:14, Jn 1:29). There are other Scriptures as well, but unfortunately, I do not have the space to expound. Yet, even in these Scriptures alone, it is clear that God reconciled the whole world to himself by Jesus Christ. God is not at war with man - He has made peace through Jesus Christ. In Luke 2:14, when Jesus came to earth as a man, the angels said, “Glory to God in the highest - peace and goodwill toward men!” Peace and goodwill from God to man - not judgment and condemnation.
Some people may think by now I believe the whole world is automatically saved; that is a false doctrine called “ultimate reconciliation”. No, that’s not what I’m saying. God has reconciled Himself to man - but not all men have reconciled themselves to God. You must receive the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. If you want to walk in the joy and benefits of God’s grace, then you must put on Jesus Christ. However, the whole world is potentially saved. In other words, Jesus only died once on the cross for all sins for all mankind forever (Heb 10). He doesn’t go to the cross every time someone repents. He went once for everyone. Yet, it will not profit you, if you do not reach out by faith and receive God’s grace. You must repent and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We must understand that sins are not a barrier between us and God anymore - they have been paid in full (Isa 43:25, 44:22, Rom 4:6-8, Mic 7:18-19, Psa 103:11-12). Now, we shouldn’t want to live in sin because: 1. It isn’t our nature anymore 2. A guilty conscience will hinder our fellowship with our Father 3. It opens up a door for Satan to wreak havoc in our life. However, sin has been dealt with as far as God is concerned. This is the Christians ministry - the ministry of reconciliation. Ambassadors do and say what their nation tells them to do and say. Jesus told us what to do and say (Jn 20:21).
What about judgment? There will be a day of judgment, but it’s not now. Today is the day of salvation (2Cor 6:2). Do you want to know what day we are in? Carefully read Isa 61:1-2, then Luke 4:17-21. Can you tell me what is missing? When you figure it out, you will know what day we are in. Be careful about what you say is God’s judgment - He doesn’t appreciate false statements against Him (Job 42). Don’t attribute to God, what you know nothing about - especially when something happens that affects both righteous and wicked. Read these Scriptures, and stop calling every hurricane and burning building the judgment of God (Gen 7:1, 18:23-25, Ex 7-12, Lk 13:1-5). I have much more to say on this, but I pray this at least got some people thinking about N. T. ministry. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!