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Feb 25, 2018 | Tony Hunt

Ministry of Reconciliation

Story: My greatest offense—my sister.

The greatest motive to reconcile—we live for Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:12-15

  • Paul is aware that he could be received as being prideful perhaps even complimenting himself before them. Take a look at the heart! (12)
  • He declares to them he is fearful and humble (plain) to the Lord and his effort is about persuading people toward Christ. (11)
  • He is not “crazy” but rather compelled by the love of Christ. (13-14a)
  • The love of Christ manifested in his death for us gives us purpose in life! (14b-15)
    • We walk in new life because of Christ. Romans 6:4
    • We live through Christ. 1 John 4:9
    • We live for Christ. (15)
    • We live with Christ. Romans 7:4

            “Christ died that we might live through him, for him, and that we might live with him.” Wiersbe

A new point of view in living—reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

  • Christ’s transformative work changed Paul’s view of others. (16) 
  • People are either a new person in Christ or they are in need of him. (17)
  • We have been reconciled to God through Christ. (18a)             reconcile (def.)- change thoroughly
  • In a broken relationship, reconciling means we want to see that relationship change thoroughly.
  • In context with God, he wanted to see his relationship with us changed thoroughly. So, Christ is assigned by God as the mediator to accomplish what we could not. H.C. As a result, our broken relationship with God is changed thoroughly. 
  • We now have a ministry of reconciliation. (18b)
    • God is reconciling people to himself through Christ. (19)
    • This reconciliation means that the debts of our past are covered. (19b)
    • Christ accomplished reconciliation by imputation.

 imputation (def.) to put to one’s account. B.E.C. 

  • Christ took our debt moved it to his account which could pay it.
  • That meant that those in Christ are now debt free and we are charged with ministering to others in that spirit.
  • Paul’s example of a ministry of reconciliation. Philemon 17-18
    • Philemon owed Paul.
    • Onesimus owes Philemon.
    • Paul imputes Onesimus’s debt onto his account with Philemon.
    • Onesimus is reconciled to Philemon.
    • Christ is glorified!

Story: Modern reconciliation in race healing- pastor in Baltimore.

  • This gives us a special message of reconciliation. (19c)
    • Be reconciled to God. (20b)
    • God made this possible by moving our guilt to Christ who was guiltless. (21a)
    • Proclaiming the completely righteous Christ became sin for us, so that we can become completely righteous. (21b)

Take Aways.

  1. Our motive in engaging others is that the love of Christ compels us to live a life of love to others.
  2. Christ’s example of reconciling us to the Father gives us a model by which we can do life with others—ministry of reconciliation: reconciling one broken relationship at a time so that Christ can be seen more clearly.
  3. Our message of reconciliation is that the righteous Christ became sin, so that we can become righteous thus reconciling us to our great and loving God.

Series Information

2 Corinthians is a letter between Paul and a church that had a fractured relationship.  He addresses many relational and deep personal issues that get below the surface and deal with heart of the matter. This book is such a good model on navigating challenging personal and relational issues!