GOD’S RECONCILING MISSION
For days on end, I would wake up in the middle of the night with one single verse on my mind. It was II Corinthians 5:19 that says, “…God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ.” The truth of that single statement possessed me. All during the day and during the night my mind would be drawn back to that verse like a magnet to a metal surface. “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ.”
To “reconcile” is at the heart of all God’s activity throughout history. It’s his grand concern. It’s the center of his mission. It’s the fundamental message of the Bible. And it’s the cause in which you and I are also to be fully engaged at some level. To reconcile means “to bring back into harmony; to restore a union; to bridge a chasm of separation; to make friendly after estrangement; to heal, harmonize, make compatible, and resolve conflict.”
Genesis 3 records the entrance of sin into the world through man’s willful disobedience to God. In Genesis 3:15 God promised to ultimately crush the influence of Satan. On through the entire Old Testament to Malachi 4, God’s fundamental mission was to bring man back into harmony with himself. H.H. Hailey explained it this way: “We believe the Bible to be, not man’s account of his effort to find God, but rather an account of God’s effort to reveal Himself to man.”
The New Testament immediately picks up this same theme. In Matthew 1:21 God spoke to Joseph and said, “She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save (reconcile) his people from their sins.” At Jesus birth angels appeared to shepherds telling them about the good news that is meant for everyone. “A Savior has been born. His name is Christ the Lord.” Jesus reconciling mission led him to the cross where, in a once-for-all act of redemption, he made it possible for everyone to be brought back into relationship with God the Father through simple belief in Him. (Gal. 3:13-14) The relentless mission of God is to restore man back to himself. (Psalm 139:1-16; John 6:38-40)
Today, God’s mission is to be our mission. We are his agents of reconciliation. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (II Cor. 5:17-21 NLT) This is the wonderful reality of the Gospel.
Mariano Di Gangi in his book “I Believe in Mission,” made this statement. “Convinced that the gospel of Christ is the power of God operative in all who believe to liberate them from the condemnation and corruption of sin, and indebted to His redeeming love, I am under constraint to communicate this saving truth to all who exist without Him in this world. To pray and work with others who share this commitment to the Lord of the Great Commission is every Christian’s joyful privilege and sacred obligation.”
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
Ephesians 2:11-21; Romans 5:1-2; Colossians 1:12-14; I Peter 1:18-21; Luke 19:10; Rev. 21:1-7