Ambassadors of Reconciliation

December 30, 2012

Ambassadors of Reconciliation

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 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.

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. 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” (II Corinthians 5:18-21).

Being an ambassador is a high calling.  It isn’t a political position that is gained by a popular election.  An ambassador is chosen by officials in the high echelons of government.  He is chosen to be a link between the high officials of the government of two different countries.

God has chosen us to be his ambassadors and to have a ministry of reconciliation.  Our ministry is to help men be reconciled with God.  Romans 5:8-11 speaks of man’s need of reconciliation with God.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.   Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.    For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.    And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” First it says that every man is a sinner.  Sin is an offense or obstacle between man and God.  Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear:   But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”  Therefore, because of sin, a lost sinner doesn’t have access to God.  He may pray, but God will not hear his prayer.  The only prayer that he can pray with the assurance that God will hear him is “God be merciful to me a sinner.”   (Luke 18:13)  Romans 5:10 says that we are God’s enemies.  We were at odds with God.  Enemies stand against each other.  It takes reconciliation to restore them to fellowship and friendship.

Many times reconciliation is brought to pass by means of a mediator.  That’s the work of an ambassador.  An ambassador stands as a link in communication between two countries.  We, as God’s ambassadors, are a link between God and sinful men.  We have the responsibility of taking the message of salvation to lost men and women.  They need to know what Christ has done to make it possible for them to be reconciled to God.  They need to know that God is angry with them.  Psalm 7:11 says, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” John 3:18 says they are condemned. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  In Romans 6:23 it says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Death, in this verse means eternal separation from God.  After physical death there will be no reconciliation with God.

In this case, reconciliation will not be brought about because both parties are willing to forgive one another because of wrong they have done to one another.  God hasn’t done anything wrong.  We don’t need to forgive him, but we need to ask him to forgive us for all the wrong we have done to him.  That’s what is expressed in what is called the sinner’s prayer, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Since God is a holy and righteous God, he can’t just forgive sin unless the penalty has been paid.  The penalty for sin is death.  That’s what Romans 6:23 says that we already quoted. That’s where the sacrifice of Christ comes in.  He died in our place.  He took our penalty.  We, as God’s ambassadors, can’t reconcile men with God.  We just help them understand what they need to do to be reconciled.

Perhaps the greatest obstacle a sinner must overcome to be saved is that he must humble himself and confess that he is to blame.  It’s all his fault.  All his life he refused to listen, reason, and recognize that he was at fault.  He refused to accept the free gift that was made possible by the death of Christ.  When two people are at odds with one another there will be no reconciliation, unless one of them is willing to take the initiative.   In this case, God took the initiative by removing the barrier.  Now all the sinner has to do is accept the sacrifice of Christ and present it to God on his behalf.

The ministry of reconciliation is to be a mediator between God and the sinner.  We need to share with him the glorious message that God is willing and ready to forgive them because Christ took their penalty when he died on the cross.  There is an emotional strain that results from living at enmity with someone.  Psalm 73:21-22 expressed how the sinner feels toward God. “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.   So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.”

Reader, are you reconciled with God?  There is no reason to go on living at enmity with him.  God is good.  Why be at enmity with him?  “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).   He loves you and has made provision for your salvation.  There is nothing to gain by fighting with God.  There is no way you can win.  You have everything to lose and nothing to gain.  “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).   If you aren’t reconciled to God, don’t wait any longer.


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