Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation, (5:18-19).
Reconciliation. Such an amazing word, indescribable really. And couple that together with Ministry, and oh, my. We should be undone.
I have two children, along with their spouses I affectionately call my children-in-love, and three grandchildren. I can’t even imagine being estranged and separated from any of them; it’s hard enough when we undergo petty spats. But sadly, I do know parents who live that reality and I imagine that is a pain that is also indescribable. Now, multiply that by about 100 billion (the very rough estimate of the number of people who have ever been born); and I wonder how His Father heart can even handle it.
But it was just that, His Father heart filled with love, that moved Him to give His Son that we might be Reconciled to Him for all eternity.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him,” (John 3:16-17).
And His Son came, not in the Majesty due His Name, but as a Servant, to give His life as a ransom, the payment that would make the Reconciliation of Holy God to sinful man a possibility.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many,” (Mark 10:45).
When Jesus spoke of serving, it was the same root word Paul used when he wrote about His Ministry of Reconciliation.
From Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament
Ministry: “35.21 διακονίαb, ας f: (derivative of διακονέωa ‘to serve,’ 35.19) the role or position of serving—‘ministry, task.’”
Serve: “35.19 θεραπεύωb; ὑπηρετέωa; διακονέωa; διακονίαa, ας f: to render assistance or help by performing certain duties, often of a humble or menial nature—‘to serve, to render service, to help, service, help.’”
He came as a Servant, a Minister of God, to Reconcile lost man to Himself, even when we were at enmity against Him in our sin; a work solely dependent on Him. It is His Ministry of Reconciliation; it is only through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ that we can receive what He alone has accomplished on our behalf; Reconciliation with Holy God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation, (Romans 5:10-11).
Consider His Ministry of Reconciliation
From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
Reconciliation: “2644.καταλλάσσω katallássō; …to change. …To reconcile. Used of the divine work of redemption denoting that act of redemption insofar as God Himself is concerned by taking upon Himself our sin and becoming an atonement. Thus a relationship of peace with mankind is established which was hitherto prevented by the demands of His justice.”
On several occasions Jesus explained why He came to dwell among us. Jesus told us He came to fulfill God’s law (Matthew 5:17); to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45); to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10); to reveal God’s glory (John 1:14); to do the will of the Father (John 6:38); to give eternal life (John 6:51); to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37); each claim substantiating His Ministry of Reconciliation.
- His Ministry of Reconciliation Changes Us Completely.
- Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (5:17).
- His Ministry of Reconciliation is His Divine Work.
- Now all these things are from God… (5:18).
- His Ministry of Reconciliation is through Christ Who took upon Himself our sin.
- …God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ… (5:18).
- His Ministry of Reconciliation has been given and committed to us.
- …and gave us the ministry of reconciliation… and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation, (5:18-19).
- His Ministry of Reconciliation is in Christ as His sole means to Reconcile sinful man to Himself.
- namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself… (5:19).
- His Ministry of Reconciliation releases us from the debt we owe.
- …not counting their trespasses against them… (5:19).
- His Ministry of Reconciliation is His Great Exchange; we had nothing and have nothing whatsoever to do with it.
- He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (5:21).
How do we respond to His Ministry of Reconciliation?
It’s humbling. That we now have been given the charge to serve as He Served, as His Ministers of Reconciliation. Humbling and overwhelming. For who are we to rise to such a lofty calling? But again, we are not to attempt this in our own strength, for then we will surely fail.
We must live in His reality, that He alone has Reconciled us to Himself, that we are now in Him. And because of His Great Exchange, we have become the righteousness of God in Christ; therefore, we are perfectly suited to carry on His Ministry of Reconciliation.
He has also provided faithful instruction to support and strengthen our calling to live by faith in Him as His Ministers of Reconciliation.
- Let us choose to live for eternity.
- For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, (5:1).
- We must live in dependence upon His Holy Spirit.
- Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge, (5:5).
- Let us daily pray He will strengthen us to walk by faith.
- for we walk by faith, not by sight, (5:7).
- Let us make it our life ambition to please Him in our service. Our sin has been judged at the cross and He no longer counts our transgressions against us, but He will one day reward our Ministry here on earth.
- Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad, (5:9).
- We must be controlled by His sacrificial love and convinced that His death has accomplished our atonement.
- For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
- As we ponder and consider the indescribable gift of His Ministry of Reconciliation, how can we not desire to live for Him in submissive gratitude?
- and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf, (5:14).
- And as we live for eternity, in dependence upon His Holy Spirit in faith, striving to please Him in everything, so grateful for His great sacrifice and love, we won’t be able to help but share Him with others.
- Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God, (5:20).
Let us pray the Lord will strengthen us to share what is truly indescribable, His Father heart; that He would use us to share His love with a world that is lost, that they too would come to repentance and receive His Ministry of Reconciliation.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance, (2 Peter 3:9).