What does it mean to be reconciled. Most of us would say that it is to be brought into agreement — like when two parties call a truce. Or when a couple who has “broken up” “makes up.” And that is mostly true. However, it is much more. Reconciliation is a key part of the ministry that belongs to every believer.
(2 Corinthians 5:18-21) 18) All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19) that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21) For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Before I go further, I want to level-set with some definitions. Strong’s renders reconciliation thusly:
g2643. katallag; from 2644; exchange (figuratively, adjustment), i. e. restoration to (the divine) favor:— atonement, reconciliation (- ing).
AV (4)- reconciliation 2, atonement 1, reconciling 1;
exchange of the business of money changers, exchanging equivalent values adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favour in the NT of the restoration of the favour of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ
Atonement is what is called “the great exchange;” that is, we exchange our sin for Jesus’ righteousness. We become AT ONE with Christ through atonement. This atonement is the result of reconciliation.
Dictionary.com defines it:
1. an act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amicable truce.
2. the state of being reconciled, as when someone becomes resigned to something not desired.
3. the process of making consistent or compatible.
So, in simple terms, this is the “kiss-and-make-up” between God and man. Isaiah prophesied this in Isaiah 53:5 that the chastisement of our peace (the punishment that was due us) was laid upon Jesus. This was fulfilled in Luke 2:14 when the angels declared “peace on earth and good will toward men.”
So God has declared peace. But it doesn’t benefit anyone if they don’t know about it. In the case of what we know as “Juneteenth,” slaves in Texas did not know they were emancipated for over three years. Liberty doesn’t benefit you if you don’t know you have it.
That’s where you and I come in. Verse 18 in our core text tells us that this is a ministry we’ve been given. It is our responsibility to tell others about God’s unconditional Love and Grace and how God desires us to be restored into right relationship (made righteous) in Christ.
Let me stop here and say something — ministry ain’t limited to preaching! To “minister” means to “serve.” When we minister to God, we surely don’t preach to Him! So ministering to people means bringing something of value to them. And the most valuable thing we can bring to them is Jesus!
I want to share something else with you. That reconciliation is not a religious term — it is a financial term. Reconciliation is the balancing of God’s books. He sees you as a valued asset — this is why He wants to see your name written (permanently, in His Blood) in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). The Lamb’s Book of Life is not a naughty/nice list!
It’s a financial record!
An accounting process used to compare two sets of records to ensure the figures are in agreement and are accurate. Reconciliation is the key process used to determine whether the money leaving an account matches the amount spent, ensuring the two values are balanced at the end of the recording period.
Do you see this? You are God’s creation — in His image and likeness. He doesn’t see you as a throwaway — or even a depreciable asset! He wants to make His creation and our redemption agree!
The ministry of reconciliation, then, is not merely calling a truce between two sides. It is proclaiming to an asset (you and me) that we have value in the sight of our Creator and that He wants to see us on His balance sheet!
Now religion will have you believe that you can flow freely from God’s Ledger to His trash can. An R&B group from the 70’s, The Stylistics, performed a song that aptly described this. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:
To make up,
That’s all we do.
First you love me,
Then you hate me,
That’s a game
Folks, God is not double-minded, bipolar, or schizophrenic. When you receive Christ as Lord and Savior, you are sealed. Done-deal. God doesn’t save you to cast you out! The actions of a Saint cannot outpace God’s Love or His Grace.
God doesn’t make up (reconcile) with you to break up with you later, only to lather, rinse, and repeat!
Reconciliation imputes (hey, another financial term) righteous to you PERMANENTLY!
Now go share that with someone…Remember, its YOUR ministry!
© 2015 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)