The Ministry of Reconciliation V

[5:20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Here is this transition word "therefore again. In this context "therefore" connects what Paul has just developed ABOUT the principles of spiritual reconciliation to his heartfelt plea (on behalf of Christ) to actively BE reconciled. In this process Paul is giving hi readers (us) a biblical template for representing to this world and to one another the heart (the desire), mind (the will) of God the Father to us His creation through incarnation, sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. This will reveal what it means to be ambassadors for Christ.

Ambassadors for Christ: ambassadors were persons who represented someone else and who carried a message from the person whom they represented. Such as the term “envoy, or speaking on behalf of.” Ambassador also holds the aspect or meaning of being sent on behalf of some authority or entity of significance: “We were sent to speak for Christ.” Some languages have a special term that is well known and commonly used for the spokesperson of a leader, ruler, or authority - ambassador is one of those terms that was used in many languages and by many cultures and governments at the time of Paul's letter to Corinth.

His intended meaning for his readers at Corinth was for them to understand the idea of being an ambassador of reconciliation was to “speak as if God were present there - making an appeal in person.”

Take a moment to consider the significance of the idea of delivering a reconciliatory message on behalf of Christ. Consider also the significance of expressing that all important message in radically different ways to radically different cultures in radically different languages.

How is that appeal for reconciliation to God made today in a radicalized American culture divided ideologically by truth and a lie, absolutism and relativism, moral and immoral, right and wrong, order and chaos, logical and illogical, good and evil?

What are words that lead what is in opposition to that which seeks reconciliation?

What is the language that is understood by all humankind that leads, moves, and draws the heart and mind to come back to its Creator and God?

In the name of Christ Jesus, be reconciled to God.

What is the language that causes that appeal to heard and understood by all?

God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish.

The appeal being made is plain, simple and yet as profound a reality as mankind will ever experience or know.

“Let God reconcile you to Himself”

“Allow God the Creator of heaven and earth to reestablish relationship between you and Himself.”

Paul's final prophetise (proclamation of eternal truth) - “We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God.”

[5:21] For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The expression “to be sin” has led to considerable discussion among notable biblical interpreters of 2 Corinthians. What does it mean to say that a person (Christ) became sin? Is Paul using the term sin to include “sinner”? We know that Paul is not saying that Christ became a sinner - that contradicts the very next words in this verse. The logical and contextual interpretation is that Paul means God made Christ to be a “sin offering for all mankind.” The deeper meaning is that Christ was not merely identifying with, or simply relating to sinners or sinful humanity - He in fact became THE SIN of ALL SINNERS. Here are some translations from significant biblical commentaries:

Christ was made one with human sinfulness

God was identifying Christ … with human sin as sin

God caused Christ to enter the ranks of sinners in our place.…

God laid the blame for people’s sin on Christ

Christ who knew no sin became our sin

Who knew no sin: a Hebraic expression which means; to have no personal experience with sin. Paul is clarifying that Jesus did not sin; he “was without sin”. The interpretation of this passage in some languages even use a verbal clarifying form; “Christ never sinned”.

The words "in him" usually are understood to mean; in union with him, that is, as expressing where we (you and I) actually share in the righteousness of God. It is also possible to understand the means by which God makes us share His righteousness: “by means of [the death of] Christ.”

The final phrase or term is most powerful and liberating to all who are reconciled to God in Christ Jesus - "so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

As with the claim that Christ became sin, it seems strange to say that people become an object (righteousness of God). What do these words mean? A reliable translation expresses the meaning that God makes Christians righteous (good) with a righteousness (goodness) that is His own - not known or produced by the hands and heart of mankind. It is in this righteousness of God in Christ Jesus that the Holy Spirit reveals the why to God's process and plan for us.

So that Christ could make us acceptable to God, and that in His righteousness we might reconciled to our Father God.

About Reunion Community Church

We are a Bible teaching Christian church in Peoria, AZ. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.

We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and watch our live streaming service on YouTube.

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