Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,2 Corinthians 5:18(NASB)
There is a great truth that threads its way through Scripture - that all things are of God, and from God, and for God, and culminate in God Who returned us into close relationship with Himself, through Christ. This is a subject that is close to the heart of Paul and a theme that can be seen flowing through all of his writings.
All things are made by Him, directed by Him, and held together by Him, whether it be the old cursed creation that is soon to pass away or the new creation in Christ. Whether it be in the spiritual sphere or the physical plane, whether it be in the realm of the visible or the invisible, whether it be the principalities and powers in heavenly places or earthly kings and rulers who are under their evil influence, all things are of God and for God and nothing will hinder his ultimate plans and purposes when all things are brought to their final, foreordained conclusion.
The Lord is the Alpha and Omega of all. He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, and we who have had our sins forgiven have been reconciled to God through Christ. We have been reunited with God by grace - through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And we have been brought back into sweet fellowship with Him.
Not only have we been reconciled to God through Christ, but as members of His Body, we have been commissioned to carry out and continue the ministry of reconciliation that Jesus Himself started during His earthly life: "For God has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation."
We are commissioned to tell those in need of salvation, that all obstacles that separate sinful man from a holy God were dismantled by the Cross of Christ so that all who remain alienated from their Redeemer God through pride or ignorance, foolishness of folly, carnality or unbelief, heathenism or rebellion, may hear the wonderful news of salvation, sanctification, glorification, and eternal life - and be reconciled back to our Heavenly Father.
It is not God's will that anyone should perish but that all come to faith in Jesus. And so, He has made us His witnesses. We have become ambassadors for Christ. He has given us the ongoing ministry of reconciliation so that others may hear the good news, trust in Jesus for the salvation of their soul, and be reconciled back to God - not only through time but into eternity. It is as if God Himself were making an appeal to the lost through us, for as Paul wrote in verse 20, "We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
Just as Jesus reconciled us to Himself... so we have been entrusted with the word of reconciliation. We have been entrusted with the responsibility of telling the unsaved the glorious gospel of grace so that they too can also be restored into a right relationship with God. How astonishing that we who have been saved by His grace through faith, have been entrusted with the message that restores people into fellowship with the Father!
It was through His work on Calvary's Cross that the Son of God, as Son of Man, worked together to bring condemned sinners back to Himself. Sin had to be punished and the wrath of God was poured out on His beloved Son as payment for our sin so that we might be reconciled back to Himself. And as He cried out in triumph, "It is Finished," the veil of the Temple, that separated a holy God from sinful man, was torn from top to bottom. Justice had been done. The price of sin had been paid. God was satisfied. God, in Christ, was reconciling the world to Himself.
God's plan of redemption and reconciliation can be traced throughout the Scriptures. The price of sin had to be paid, but only the shedding of the innocent blood of a Kinsman-Redeemer could be sufficient. The blood of bulls and goats could not satisfy God and Christ was given to pay the price through His own precious blood. This is indeed a great mystery that staggers our understanding... but His blood WAS sufficient and through faith in Him and Him alone, we have obtained eternal redemption.
Today, God is ready to use us to be His ministers of reconciliation: "Namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself." Having restored those who believe on His name "He did not count our trespasses against us, but He committed to us the word of reconciliation." God, in His grace, made us ministers of reconciliation to point others to Himself.
May we be ready and willing to witness to a fallen world the wonderful works of God so that lost sinners may obtain eternal redemption through Christ and return into fellowship with our Heavenly Father - through time and into eternity.
Heavenly Father, what an amazing privilege that You should use such as me to be your mouthpiece and be used as an ambassador for Christ, to a lost and hurting world. Enable me to share the wonderful news that God has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ and that we can partake in that reconciliation, simply by believing in Him. I pray that many may come to trust in Jesus as Saviour in the days that lie ahead. In Jesus' name, AMEN.