Monday, October 19, 2009

The Ministry of Reconciliation, Part I

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come! All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation...II Corinthians 5:17-18

Christ died for all mankind so that each individual man and woman could be reconciled to God. At God's request, the sinless Christ became sin, thus providing the way for us to know and become the righteousness of God.

Once we are in Christ, we are a new creation. As II Corinthians 5:17 says, the old is gone, the new has come! This is an incredible gift of God -- it is the gift of constant renewal and unending reconciliation. Colossians 2:6 explains the sustenance of this incredible gift: ...just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him...Christ Jesus is received by grace through faith when a soul confesses with his/her mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in his/her heart that God raised Him from the dead. Likewise living in abundant newness of life is only possible by grace through faith.

This means the question which overshadows every second of a believer's life is: Who reigns?...Who reigns over my thoughts? Who reigns over my emotions? Who reigns over my body? Who reigns over every part of my life?

II Corinthians 5:15 tells us that Christ died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and rose again. Christ's death provided the way for the old man (the fleshly nature) to also die, thereby breaking the power of the old man in the life of any soul that would believe in His death and resurrection. The old man is only able to express himself when he has not been made subject to his Lord, when he is unreconciled to the truth of God.

Our calling is constant reconciliation, consistent alignment, to the truth of God. Alignment with the truth of God is only realized by grace through faith. This means that our mouths must continually confess that Jesus is Lord over every area of our lives and our hearts must continuously believe that His way is the only way of life, the only reality. Through continuous confession and belief, we are being crucified with Christ. By faith, we are bringing the old man's default actions into subjection, and the glorious outcome is Christ living in and through us. The life that is being lived in our body is lived by faith in the Son of God who lovingly gave Himself for us. (Galatians 2:19-20)

A life that is in every particular surrendered to truth is a life that is in every particular reconciled to truth. A truth-aligned life lives in the power of God; that same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is raising us to live in newness of life. Therefore, it is our ministry to live a truth-aligned life, for a life truly reconciled to God's truth causes others to ponder such reconciliation.

Part II will soon follow...


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