THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
1. For the last 8 weeks we have been examining “Israel’s Great Commission” recorded in (#1) Matt. 28; (#2) Mark 16; (#3) Luke 24; (#4) John 20; & (#5) Acts 1 (chapters). We who “rightly divide the word of truth” understand that there are five (5) parts to ONE overall commission that the Lord Jesus Christ gave to His 12 apostles. He gave the Great Commission to them during His earthly ministry, between His resurrection & ascension. We also understand that some things that the Great Commission contained were not to take place until in the future, “the ages to come,” during “The Lord’s Day of Wrath” after the body of Christ has been raptured (2 Tim. 2:15; Eph. 2:7; Rev. 6:17; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
2. The so-called Great Commission has been a “stumbling block” for most believers. This is because “Gentiles” are mentioned in the Great Commission. And because the Satanic policy of evil is at work, erroneous teaching, misinformation, corrupt doctrine is coming from the pulpits of institutions of organized religion (Eph. 4:14; 2 Cor. 11:13-15). Preachers, & Bible teachers, seminaries, Bible Colleges who do not honor God’s method of studying the Bible set forth in 2 Timothy 2:15; have been teaching and are still teaching that Israel’s Great Commission is our (CBOC) commission today, in the Dispensation (program) of Gentile Grace, now in effect. We know that nothing could be farther from the truth!
3.The Great Commission belongs to Israel, & the Dispensation of Grace belongs to the CBOC which before the foundation of the earth, was a mystery, kept secret, hid in God, hid from Ages & from Generations, in other Ages was not made known. Until now, God has revealed the Dispensation of Grace, & our commission, our ambassadorship to our Apostle Paul (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:26; Eph. 3:5; 3:8).
TEXT: 2nd Corinthians 5:18-21; Ephesians 3:9-11; Ephesians 6:19-21
4. Now let us turn our attention to our Commission today, during the dispensation of Gentile grace now in effect. Our Commission for the church, body of Christ (CBOC) is found in our mail, Romans-Philemon. These letters are written to us, and about us, in this dispensation of Gentile grace.
5. Paul is letting us know as members of the church the body of Christ, that we have a two-fold ambassadorship as well. We are privileged by God’s grace with a message to proclaim. This message we are to proclaim has not only an impact/influence on men of this earth, but also this message has an impact/influence to God’s glory, in the heavenly places, in the face of principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12).
6. When Paul talks about our Commission today, he talks about it with the idea of our ambassadorship. Functioning as ambassadors for Christ. Let us be mindful, Paul is not talking about the Great Commission that Jesus gave to His 12 apostles during His earthly ministry. This, as we have already studied is Israel’s Commission only!
Paul is talking about the message that God wants proclaimed during this dispensation of Gentile grace, today. This message is not Israel’s Kingdom gospel. The message that God wants proclaimed today is the message of reconciliation. It is the fact that God is making Jew and Gentile on the same exact level today. Both are equal in the dispensation of grace. Now “we know no man after the flesh” (2 Cor. 5:16) like men used to be known in Israel’s program, and like they will again be known when Israel’s program is resumed.
7. “BUT NOW” God is dealing with the world differently in the dispensation of grace. Especially with believers. Let us look at the concept (idea) of “ambassadorship.” but first let us define “ambassador.”
A. An ambassador is an authorized representative, agent, delegate, a messenger. B. He or she is a person sent on a mission authorized to represent the authority of another. C. Apostle Paul, our pattern was an ambassador (Eph. 6:19-20). Paul was a person, an authorized representative, an agent, a messenger who was sent by God with the authority to represent God. Paul was an ambassador in bonds, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, chained to the gospel of the grace of God. And Paul had been given power by God. The power to communicate, power to open his mouth boldly, power to make known the mystery of the gospel.
8. And this, brethren, is exactly who we have been called by the gospel of the grace of God to be. We, like Paul, are authorized representative’s, messengers, ambassadors for Christ. And we are standing in Christ stead. This is our grace Commission. Not the Great Commission, for that was Israel’s Kingdom program Commission.
9. The “ministry of reconciliation” is our Commission. It is our marching orders to the CBOC during this dispensation of Gentile grace that is now in effect. Ours is a heavenly program, reconciling, restoring peace, by the gospel of the grace of God, between lost men, women, boys and girls with the God of grace and peace, and much mercy.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 1. Now Paul is teaching that our commission is 2-fold in connection with our ambassadorship, and it is a privilege. God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Along with this ministry came a Commission. A Commission is an authorization, or commands to perform various duties. In this case Paul is telling us that God is commissioning, authorizing us to preach a particular message. This message is the gospel of the grace of God, or, the ministry of reconciliation.
Vs. 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; *We have been given by God the ministry of reconciliation.
Vs. 19. “To wit (that is to say), that God was in Christ, reconciling (restoring) the world unto himself, not imputing (charging) their trespasses (sins) unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
1. When Jesus was on the cross (dispensationally speaking), God had the whole world on His mind. But it was a mystery, kept secret, it was hidden in God, until Apostle Paul revealed the hidden message of the cross.
2. What is the hidden message of the cross, you ask? Answer: There is no difference now between Jew and Gentile. God is forming “one new man,” the church the body of Christ. He has reconciled both Jew and Gentile unto God in one body by the cross having slain the enmity thereby. We are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the Saints, and of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:13-19).
3. God has changed the status of the whole world, including Jew and Gentile. We now proclaim the message or the word of reconciliation. We proclaim the reality of what God has done putting Jew and Gentile on a level playing field. The message (word) of (personal) reconciliation declares that there is no difference between Jew and Greek and makes the offer that God makes. The offer is to trust in the reconciliation of God today. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free, male nor female, There is no difference! Place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Substitute Redeemer. (Galatians 3:28).
Vs. 20. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ stead, be ye reconciled to God.” As though God was making His appeal through us, as His ambassadors, Christ’s representatives, we plead with you to be reconciled to God.
1. This is the message: “BE (PERSONALLY) RECONCILED (RESTORED) TO GOD!!” WHY?
Vs. 21. Because God has made Christ who knew no sin to (judicially, by executive order) be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. This is not the Kingdom message! This is a different gospel! And any man that preaches the gospel of the Kingdom today is wrong! He is lying! The gospel of the Kingdom is NOT at hand today! The gospel of the Kingdom is effective only when Israel’s program is in force, & the time schedule is ticking off. Israel’s program is in abeyance, postponed, set aside today! (Rom. 9,10, 11 chps).
2. We are ambassadors for Christ today and we have a Commission to fulfill. We are ambassadors in a foreign land. We are representatives of Jesus Christ in this foreign land. Earth indeed is foreign to us, our citizenship is in heavenly places. We have been “raised up together and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We are the new creation, the members of the church the body of Christ. Our inheritance is in heaven where we belong. Israel’s citizenship is here on the earth. But while we are visiting on this earth, we have an ambassadorship to fulfill. Amen. (Eph. 2:6).
3. While we are on this earth, we are ambassadors of heaven for Christ’s sake, in this foreign land. It is as though God is making His appeal through us as Christ representatives as we plead with man to be reconciled, restored to God. For God’s will Is through us as ambassadors, “for all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth. This is our ambassadorship, and our message of reconciliation today, in the dispensation of Gentile grace. But this is only part of our ambassadorship. And the Commission to proclaim the gospel of the grace of God is only part of our Commission. This is only half of our Commission from the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Tim. 2:4).
Vs. 20 (again)…”Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech (plead with you) by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, BE reconcile to God.”
1. That is what we do as ambassadors for Christ. We have the reconciling of the world in view. We have the word of reconciliation committed unto us. And with that, we function as ambassadors. We have a message to preach to men. We are affecting men with the message and the word of reconciliation. “BE YE RECONCILED (RESTORED UNTO GOD.” This is the message we proclaim to men today. The target of our ambassadorship is men, of course. But this it’s only part of our ambassadorship.
2. Cf. Ephesians 6:19: Paul talks about his and our Ambassadorship. Apostle Paul Was in bonds (in prison). Paul talks about being ambassadors of the mystery of the gospel. Ephesians 6:19-20: READ: Paul introduces another aspect of our ambassadorship. He speaks of being an ambassador in bonds (prison) in connection with the mystery of the gospel. Paul calls it “the mystery of the gospel.”
The Mystery: is really the full-blown explanation for why this dispensation of Gentile grace was brought in. And who we are as members of the church, the body of Christ, according to the mystery of Christ, along with Gods purpose. The mystery of the gospel is the explanation and the doctrine about all of the above mentioned.
And the ones that the mystery of Christ was designed to impact/influence was NOT only men. (Eph. 3:9). The mystery of Christ was designed by God to have an ultimate impact upon the (angelic beings) principalities, and powers in heavenly places. Affecting the principalities and powers with the mystery of Christ and God’s manifold wisdom. (Ephesians 3:9-11; 6:19-20).