Be encouraged, you were reconciled for the ministry of reconciliation
“Now that we are reconciled… we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:10b-11). This is not simply a theoretical change, nor is it only a future transition towards closeness with God. No reconciliation has already been accomplished, and believers have already received 100% of it in their relationship with the Lord. Therefore, reconciliation is to have two very practical impacts upon the Christian life.
The first is explained by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. “God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; …entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”
Your life-time job
By default, every believer upon receiving salvation is appointed to the office of ‘Reconciling Ambassador.’ Believers were not interviewed, nor did they have to sign an employment agreement. No, they were instantaneously assigned to this public service on behalf of Almighty God the moment they received Christ as Lord and Saviour. The ministry of reconciliation is not an optional extra in your walk of faith, it’s an inherent component of your new identity in Christ.
The repentant sinner now has a story to tell the world. They now have an ‘out of this world’ driving force within; “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died” (2 Corinthians 5:14 NIV). This love doesn’t settle with silent or secret faith, it has an irresistible urge to live and speak out the new life of Christ
The second inescapable result of being reconciled to God is that you will want your relationships to experience the sweetness of Christ-like reconciliation. Paul captured the essence of this reality in 2 Corinthians 13:11; “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you”. God’s children are those who go above and beyond the normal human boundaries of relational unity. It’s blue-printed into a believer’s spiritual DNA.
Paul understood the difficulty and even pain of this relational reconciliation well. When he first wrote to the stumbling Christians in Corinth he used his own life as an example. “When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat [Conciliate]…” (1 Corinthians 4:12-13). Paul had both feet realistically on the ground. His emotions had been overtaken by the power of reconciliation. This was evidenced by the extraordinary efforts made to see damaged relationships reconciled as an expression of divine reconciliation.
It looks like love
Reconciliation looks like love, it forgives even when not apologized to, it overlooks irritations, and it never makes demands, not ever. Enjoyable marriages are fuel by reconciliation as are healthy work place relationships. Church fellowship accompanied by willing acts of service are ignited by reconciliation. Every relationship needs the blessing of obedient Christian reconciliation.
Be encouraged Christian friend, your life-long employment as Christ’s ambassador gives you time and opportunity to reclaim damaged relationships for God’s glory. Yes, great humility will be needed. Yes, intense pray will be the filling station of Christ’s love to motivate you to accomplish this uncomfortable assignment. Yes, time bathing in God’s Word will be necessary to acquire the inner wisdom and fear of God to energise such a Christ centered activity. But reconciliation must be experienced by those around us, through us, and even at our expense just as it was at Christ’s expense.
Be encouraged, you were reconciled for the ministry of reconciliation.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz