A Reconciling People

MEMORY VERSE: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” —Galatians 3:28


THE golden thread of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the plan by which God means to reconcile the world to himself. This plan centers around Jesus. And so the apostle, in verses 14 and 15 of the 5th chapter of II Corinthians, says, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

To implement God’s plan it was necessary for Jesus to die; to give his perfect human life for the perfect life forfeited by Adam, and by redeeming Adam he redeemed the entire human race, which was condemned in Adam. So the apostle says that since he died for all, then all were dead; that is, dead from God’s standpoint, since they did not really possess life, but were on their way to the grave. (I Cor. 15:20-23) As we look about us today it is evident that the merit of Christ’s sacrifice has not yet been applied on behalf of Adam, for the human race is still dying.

The Bible teaches that since Pentecost God has been reconciling to himself a group of people—a little flock—that are to be associated with Jesus during the operation of the kingdom. These are required to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to lay down their lives in sacrifice; to suffer with him that they might also reign with him.—I Pet. 2:9; Rom. 8:28-30; Rev. 20:6; II Tim. 2:12; Luke 12:32; Rev. 3:21

The great truth of the ransom price provided by Jesus, when it is known and understood by those who have faith, is a motivating force to love and serve God, whose love and mercy made the arrangement possible, and to love and serve Jesus, who so willingly gave himself as the sacrifice. The apostle says that the thought constrained them; that is, they were compelled or forced by their love to live a new life. “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”—vs. 17

And then, in verse 18, he says, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” It is through the blood of Jesus, being thus used during the Gospel Age, that the little flock is made right, or reconciled unto God. (Rom. 3:24-26; 5:9) As a result of this reconciliation, or justification, the little flock, the footstep followers of Jesus, have been given the ministry of reconciliation. These have been duly authorized to preach the Gospel.

In verse 19 the apostle says that the Gospel, or good news, is “that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself … and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” When Christ was here in the flesh he preached the Gospel of the kingdom, and he laid the foundation for the future work of the ministry of reconciliation. But when he died on the cross the responsibility of this ministry was passed on to his footstep followers. The word committed more properly carries the thought “placed in charge,” and so we find that God, through the Holy Spirit, has placed in the enlightened minds of his people an understanding and appreciation of the word of reconciliation, and has given them the responsibility of declaring it.

In verse 20 the apostle states, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” To be an ambassador means that the individual acts as a representative. And so the apostle tells us, in this text, that Jesus was an ambassador from God preaching reconciliation; and now we as the footstep followers of Jesus have taken his place as ambassadors of God and are preaching in Christ’s stead the word of reconciliation. In II Corinthians 6:1 the Apostle Paul ties the entire thought together for us: “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”

So we as his people are workers together with God to accomplish his ultimate purpose of the reconciliation of the church and, eventually, of the world of mankind.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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