THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION (1)
SOUGHTOUT EMEKA MATTHEW
This week, I will begin a series on the subject I titled: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION. Before, I commence with the teaching, let us read the following scriptures from the book of 2 Corinthians 5. We will be reading verses 11, 14-21 (Easy to Read Version says): “We know what it means to fear the Lord, so we try to help people accept the truth. God knows what we really are, and I hope that in your hearts you know us too. The love of Christ controls us, because we know that one person died for everyone. So all have died. He died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they would live for him. From this time on we don’t think of anyone as the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. But we don’t think that way now. When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new! All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between himself and us. And God gave us the work of bringing people into peace with him. I mean that God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold people guilty for their sins. And he gave us this message of peace to tell people. So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is like God is calling to people through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could be right with God.”
WHAT THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION IS
The ministry of reconciliation is the work of making sinners be at peace with God. It is a service unto God through bringing sinners back to Him. It is a divine assignment to every born again child of God regardless of your ministry gifts and offices.
When we become born again, God through Christ reconciled us to Himself and assign us with the work of reconciling others to Him through sharing the message of reconciliation.
WHAT THE BIBLE MEANS ABOUT THE WORD ‘RECONCILIATION’
The Greek word for reconciliation defined it as restoration to divine favour: atonement.
Sin brings us into enmity with God. Making us right with God and to be at peace with God are main reasons why Christ made atonement for our sins.
Sinful living is about living for oneself. It is about living without God being in control of your life. But when we come into Christ, the love of God starts controlling us. Therefore, we don’t live by ourselves rather we live through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour who gave His life for us. We come into Christ, we know what the fear and the love of God means.
HOW TO BECOME EFFECTIVE IN THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
Listed below are nine crucial factors that will enable us to become effective ministers of the ministry of reconciliation:
- TRY TO HELP PEOPLE ACCEPT THE TRUTH:
The level of our efforts in achieving a thing is dependent on our knowledge in such environment. The apostle Paul said that they know what it means to fear the Lord.
For us to function effectively in the ministry of reconciliation given to us, we must know what it means to fear the Lord. This knowledge will enable us to put in more effort in reconciling other with God.
2 Corinthians 5:11 (ERV) say, We know what it means to fear the Lord, so we try to help people accept the truth.
With the above scripture, it will interest you to know the ministry of reconciliation is trying to help people accept the truth. And who is the truth? John revealed in John 14:6 that JESUS is the truth. He still proceeded to say that when people know the truth, their freedom becomes certain. That’s why we should try to help sinners know the truth, because their freedom from sin and its power, etc is attached to it.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Finally, the ministry of reconciliation does not end in telling the people the truth (About Jesus). That’s where it starts. The ministry of reconciliation starts with telling the people about the truth and helping them accept it. When a person you preached the truth about Jesus accepts it, you have finished the ministry of reconciliation given to you to that person.
2. BE CONTROLLED BY GOD’S LOVE:
God controls our lives by what we know. He sets us free by what we know (See John 8:32). He makes us strong and formidable to achieve great things by whom or what we know.
Daniel 11:32 says, … but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
The love of God is said to controls us because we know the one who died for us all. Remember, Love is God as God is love. When it is said the love of the Love controls us, it means God controls us because we know His son died for us and in His death we all have died or pay for the consequence of our sins. And as Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, we also rose together with Him with a new life and we should no longer live for ourselves anymore; but for Jesus Christ, who died for us all.
2 Corinthians 5:14 says, The love of Christ controls us, because we know that one person died for everyone. So all have died. He died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they would live for him.
There is no way we can be effective in the ministry of reconciliation when our lives are not controlled by the love of God. And for this to become a reality, we must keep ourselves acquainted with the knowledge of the one who died for all, who by Him we all are dead to sin and alive to His righteousness and new life.
We should also extend this truth to the people we are reconciling with God. We should let them know the importance of knowing the one who died for all and by whom we all are dead in trespasses. We need to let them know the reason why He was raised from the dead was for them not to live any longer for themselves but for Jesus Christ our saviour. And by this, we will effectively fulfill the ministry of reconciliation.
3. KNOW WHY HE DIED AND LET OTHERS KNOW TOO:
God controls our lives by what we know. The Apostle Paul said that the love of God constrains us because we know that Jesus died for us all and that His death and resurrection was for the purpose of living for Him (Jesus Christ) and not for ourselves. This is what we should let people know.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, The love of Christ controls us, because we know that one person died for everyone. So all have died. He died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they would live for him.
We should let them know one man died for us all and His name is Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
We should let them know His death and resurrection was for us to live for Him and not for ourselves. Remember, living for oneself is living without the control of God, His fear and love.
In Galatians 2:20 (KJV), the apostle Paul said, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
To be continue! Click on the link below to continue reading: http://www.reachout.com.ng/the-ministry-of-reconciliation-2/