Reconciled to Reconcile

20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

We are ambassadors of Christ. What is an ambassador? Here is the dictionary definition: A minister of the highest rank sent to a foreign court to represent there his sovereign or country.

Think about it. We are ministers of Christ given the high rank and privilege of representing Him and His kingdom to the world. Since we are citizens of heaven, then we are strangers and pilgrims in this world. It is a foreign country to us. Our values, attitude, speech, and lifestyle are different than those of the world around us…or at least should be different.

And as ambassadors we have a message from the King of our country. It is a short message but very urgent. Be reconciled to God.

That’s it. That is the heart of our message. Sin has cut us off from God. God has extended an offer of peace in Jesus Christ. Indeed, Jesus Christ has taken our sin upon Himself and now offers us His righteousness. But each person must respond to this offer. That’s why we “implore” people. We don’t speak with anger or derision. We don’t condemn or criticize. We urgently and lovingly point people to Christ.

We are “ministers of reconciliation” with a “message of reconciliation” (5:18-19).

Have you ever seen a reconciliation? It is to sad to say but we rarely see it. Our pride would rather cut someone off and let them die in our minds than to humble ourselves, admit our part of the problem, and extend the hand of peace. Even among Christians it is often rare to see true reconciliation. We pack up and go to another church rather than face our own sin and deal with the hard, messy parts of restoring a relationship. Of course, sometimes one side desires a reconciliation and the other side just refuses to give in. It takes two sides for a relationship to be restored.

I remember seeing an incredible reconciliation in a marriage. Two people who had divorced because of estrangement, unfaithfulness, and stubbornness came back together again in marriage. It was a Fireproof kind of restoration. And the joy that I saw in their faces, I will never forget. After seeing that restoration, I remember thinking how ironic it is that so often we would rather be miserably stubborn than joyfully reconciled.

In the case of salvation, God is the willing party. He has done all that He can do. He has taken on human flesh, walked among us, served us, and bore our sin on the cross. He has removed all the obstacles but one. Our own pride and self-will. But when we, in the sorrow of repentance and the faith of a child, turn to Him, we find life, peace, and the joy of reconciliation. We are forgiven! We are restored! We are new creations! All our sin is wiped away and we stand complete in Christ! There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  Woohoo!

May we show the joy of our reconciliation and carry the message of reconciliation today.

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