Summary: Considering the glorious Ministry Of Reconciliation
The Ministry Of Reconciliation
A story is told of two brothers. They lived on adjoining farms, but they had a deep quarrel. They had often shared their resources, but that practice stopped; and there was nothing left but bitterness. One morning a John answered a knock at his door. It was a carpenter. The carpenter asked if there was any work to do. John said that there was something he could do. He took the carpenter to where the two properties met and showed him how the other brother had taken a bulldozer and created a creek where the meadow used to be. John said, “I know he did this to make me angry. I want you to help me get even by building a big fence so I won’t have to see him or his property ever again.” So the carpenter worked hard all day. When he reported back to John, John noticed there was no fence. The carpenter had used his skill and built a bridge over the creek instead of a fence. John’s brother saw the bridge and was quite moved that his brother would do such a thing. The two brothers met in the middle and embraced. They saw the carpenter packing his tools and asked him to stay a while and do more work. The carpenter replied, “I’m sorry, but I have other bridges to build.”
Phil Cross wrote a song that says: “With only 3 nails and 2 pieces of wood, with one rugged cross, Jesus built a bridge”
I want to look at that bridge and speak today on “The Ministry Of Reconciliation” This Ministry Of Reconciliation is the bridge that Jesus built allows unholy man to be reconciled to a Holy God!
Webster’s defines the term “Reconcile” this way: 1) to restore friendship or harmony. 2) To settle or resolve.
I know a couple who had been separated for almost a year. They got together and talked out their differences and reconciled their relationship. You see there was an offense, a separation or a barrier in their relationship and now that they are together again they have experienced a reconciliation.
Many of you may have had relationships that have faced difficulty and after a while you too have experienced reconciliation. This is a great event in one’s life or a couple’s relationship! There is one form of reconciliation that is more important than any other, I am speaking of your personal reconciliation to God!
Sin is the cause of our need for reconciliation. - Isaiah 59:1 ¶Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Even before the first sin in the Garden, before the foundation of the world God made a way of reconciliation - Ephesians 1: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Our text shows us that God in His abundant love provided a bridge for us to be reconciled to Him! Let us examine a few things about “The Ministry Of Reconciliation”
I. The Ministry Of Reconciliation Declared - v18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
Through the Ministry of Reconciliation, God designed a way for sin to be pardoned and for us to have a personal relationship with Him!Man's sin caused the separation between he and God, but God was the one who initiated the possibility of restoration.
Sinful Man does not seek God, God seeks sinful man - Isaiah 64:6 ¶But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name… A sinful man seeking a Holy God is the equivalent of a criminal seeking a policeman.
In verse 18 Paul declares the Ministry of Reconciliation. Paul experienced this reconciliation on Damascus Road. The reconciliation that I speak of is a product of God’s grace. Without reconciliation we would still be lost in our sins! We would still be the vile wretched sinners that we once were. But look to verse 17 and see what happens in reconciliation - verse17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
Have you ever been changed by the power of Jesus Christ? Are you different than you once were? If not you are lost and need to be reconciled. Some believe that they are going to live “good enough” to get to heaven! Nowhere in the Bible will you find that Man reconciles himself to God, in every case GOD RECONCILES MAN TO HIM! Before the world was formed God cared enough about you, to send His only Son to be a sacrifice in order to reconcile you to Him!! Do not pass up this opportunity, surrender to Christ today!!