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)
- Our motive in engaging others is that the love of Christ compels us to live a life of love to others.
- 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.
- 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.
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!