Next to the command of Jesus to “love one another,” there is no higher purpose in the life of a believer than the “ministry of reconciliation.” It is declaring to unbelievers, through word and deed, the new life that is found in Jesus Christ. It is the Good News of the Gospel that announces that all are forgiven and, to those who trust in Christ as Savior, the promise of a new heart filled with the God’s Holy Spirit. The ministry of reconciliation is not simply evangelism; it is how the world sees the righteous life of Jesus Christ being lived out through the members of His Body.
People often explain things by illustrating the “two sides of a coin.” This is helpful when it comes to understanding reconciliation. There are two sides to reconciliation.
a. On one side of the coin, God reconciled the entire world to Himself by forgiving and forgetting all sins of all people for all time on the Cross of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 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.
John 1:29 The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Man-made religion erroneously inserted the Old Covenant Law into the Gospel message; it is still part of the message, although in more subtle ways. God fully resolved the issue of forgiveness 2,000 years ago on the Cross of Jesus Christ.
b. On the other side of the coin, although sinners are forgiven, they are still sinners. They are in need of a new heart filled with God’s life in order to be saved. The dividing line between unbelievers and believers is the one, single sin that was not forgiven on the Cross: the eternal and unforgivable sin of unbelief, the rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior.
Even though God has reconciled Himself to you by forgiving all your sins, you must be reconciled to God by turning from unbelief to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.
When you do turn from unbelief to faith in Christ, God removes your old sinful spirit and replaces it with a brand new, clean heart. Now a clean “vessel,” God has a place in you where He can live. Jesus Christ comes to live in you; He joins as one with you in spirit. His presence makes you fully and forever righteous in your born again heart. In other words, you are made righteous because the Righteous One lives in you; and, you possess eternal life because Eternal Life now dwells in you heart. This, specifically, is what saves you.
The reason that God leaves the Body of Christ on this earth is the ministry of reconciliation. It is offering new life to those who do not yet believe. Believers are not here to combat sin, put rules on unbelievers or promote social or political agendas. They are here to proclaim new life in Jesus Christ.
Read 2 Corinthians 5; it gives a sweeping picture of the Gospel and speaks about how important the ministry of reconciliation is to everyone who has not yet been saved by God.
These additional verses will be helpful in understanding this blog.
All Sins Forgiven: Mark 3: 28; John 1:29; Acts 13:38; Romans 5:10a; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 1:20; Colossians 2:13; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 9:22,26; Hebrews 10:12,17,18; Hebrew 2:9; Hebrews 7:27; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2,12.
Believers Receive a New, Clean Heart: Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:25; John 3:3,7; Acts 11:9; Romans 6:1-2,6,7,11,14,17-18,22; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 5:24; Titus 3:5; 1 John 1:9b; 1 Peter 2:24a.
God Makes Believers Righteous in Their Born Again Heart: Ezekiel 36:26; Romans 5:17,19; Romans 6:18; Romans 8:10b; 1 Corinthians 6:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:9.
No Political and Social Activism: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Timothy 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2-7