Part 17 of 17 –
Now We Have “The Ministry of Reconciliation”
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Here below I have inserted an excerpt taken from “AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST” by Cornelius Stam.
Ambassadorship! What a calling! The embassy! The secretaries, aides, and attendants! The luxurious living quarters! The meetings with other great diplomats! But this all stands in strange contrast to the poverty, humiliation, and persecution the ambassadors of Christ have been called upon to endure. But what do you suppose an ambassador may expect when he is left in a nation which has declared war on his government? Surely he cannot expect very cordial treatment! He may rather look for suffering, imprisonment, and even death. So it is with the ambassadors of Christ. One of the clearest proofs that the dispensation of grace was ushered in with Paul is the fact that he was for many years an “ambassador in bonds.” He suffered “trouble as an evil doer, even unto bonds.” And if we faithfully represent our rejected Lord we may expect similar treatment. But the suffering will be sweet, for it will be the filling up of that which still remains of His afflictions—“the fellowship of His sufferings.” And God will give grace and courage: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7).
(II Cor. 5:14-21) “The love of Christ constraineth us” (Verse 14). If He is willing to
delay the judgment and send forth a message of peace, we are more than willing
to be the messengers, for we cannot forget that we ourselves were once enemies
and were reconciled to God by grace, through the death of His Son. “Wherefore
henceforth know we no man after the flesh” (Verse 16). There is no difference,
Both before and after the present dispensation of grace we have declarations of war.
Preceding it, we have man declaring war on God.
Following it, we have God declaring war on man, as the Book of Revelation so clearly predicts.
We are living in the parenthesis between. We are living in those tense moments between the declaration of war by one nation and the counter-declaration by the other.
It has been 1900 years now since the world was ripe for judgment; since God, in fulfillment of prophecy, was to declare war on His enemies. But still He lingers in mercy. Certainly every moment of delay is a moment of grace. We may carelessly let the time fly by and take God’s grace for granted, but He is keenly aware of the passing of every single moment. “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years.” Little wonder Paul closes his discourse on ambassadorship by saying, “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain,” adding: “...behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:1, 2). Little wonder, too, that he exhorts believers to be “redeeming [buying up] the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16).
Now He is exalted far above all principality and power at
the right hand of God, mighty to save. He took the sinner’s place that the
sinner might stand before God “Complete in Him,” “Accepted in the Beloved.”
“Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation” (Ver.17). “And all
things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ” (Verse 18). God Himself
has made full provision, so
that He may offer to His enemies the most generous terms of peace:
reconciliation by grace. He
does not impute their trespasses unto them, for His Son bore their sins at
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” God “hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
This is our “great commission” (Verse 19). We stand here in Christ’s stead, as His ambassadors, pleading with men to accept His gracious terms of peace, to be reconciled to God through His merits.
Imagine! God the Father and God the Son, praying sinners to accept forgiveness and be reconciled!
How far this message of grace abounding surpasses that of
repentance and baptism which the twelve (temporarily eleven) were sent to