Summary: To establish that God was in Christ – reconciling the world unto Himself. As sinners we were all in need of reconciliation.
1. The Ministry of Reconciliation
2. The Ministers of Reconciliation
3. The Means of Reconciliation
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing a theme: “be ye reconciled to God.” Reconciliation is in Gr: kataklasso, i.e., reconcile as a result of redemption insofar as of God Himself, by taking upon Himself our sins and becoming an atonement, that establishes peace between Himself and mankind. In this lesson we will make note that God has put forth every effort to eliminate the penalty of sin. Christ has become not only the offer of this gift; but also the gift itself. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Him.
2. First, we will discuss the ministry of reconciliation. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Him. Herein is the ministry: “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation.” Notice: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
3. Secondly, we will notice the ministers of reconciliation. Paul calls himself an ambassador for the ministry of reconciliation. The word ambassador, Gr: presbeuo, i.e., to be a senior; a representative, act as a preacher, to be a peacemaker. The word comes from the Gr: presbuterous, elder. Hence, an older man, preacher, or an elder who works on behalf of Christ – as a minister of reconciliation. Paul and all other ambassadors are working through Christ to reconcile the world unto God. We are ministers of reconciliation. We are “laborers together with God,” working to reconcile the world through Christ!
4. Lastly, we will consider the means of reconciliation. Christ was the means of this reconciliation. Paul says: “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation.” As ambassadors for Christ we are committed to the message of reconciliation. Herein is the means of reconciliation. “For he hath made him to be sins for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21.
BODY OF LESSON
I THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
A. What is the ministry of reconciliation? Notice: “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto him, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Corinthians 5:19-21. ”Therefore if any man be in Christ:" is only possible through the ministry of reconciliation. The ministry, to which Paul, other apostles, ministers and you are sent to declare unto the world.
B. We are new creatures, old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. He has made us new creatures by the act of reconciliation, redemption and the regeneration of the soul. The “old man” has been put off and the “new man” has been put on – “which is renewed after the image of him that created him,” Colossians 3:10; 12-15. The same message is conveyed in Ephesians 4:20-24.
C. All things are of God. This is the true work of God Himself – and not of any other. Notice Paul: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him,” 1 Corinthians 8:6. Notice what Paul says in our text: “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation,” 2 Corinthians 5:18. Illustrate: Godhead’s work in reconciliation.
1. All things are of God. This act of suffering, death and sacrifice for the redemption of humanity was the entire Plan of God, for the salvation of all that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Illustrate: The determinate counsel of God, Acts 2:22-24.
2. God hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. He has brought us back into a friendly relationship with Him. He did this through Christ’s act of reconciliation.
3. And hath given to us (you and I) the ministry of reconciliation. We now are ministers and ambassadors of the ministry and message of reconciliation.
4. Therefore, we proclaim: “be ye reconciled unto God.”
D. What is reconciliation? We know who has done it. What is the true meaning of reconciliation? Let’s consider the word and its fullest meaning.