THE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST (Part 2)
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:10 NKJV)
We all are born as sinners, enemies to God, and separated, alienated or estranged from God as a result of the sin of the first man, Adam (Rom. 5:12, 19, Psa. 58:3).
By our self-righteousness, performance, or good works we can never deserve or earn God’s love, friendship, acceptance, favour, or blessing. But out of His great love for us, God made the move to reconcile us to Himself through the means of the Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5-6).
As the Mediator between the holy God and sinful men, the Lord Jesus has abolished the enmity or hostility between God and us in His flesh, making peace through the blood of His cross (Rom. 5:10, Eph. 2:13-15).
All things are now reconciled or restored to God through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Christ’s propitiation or expiation for our sins is the only basis for our reconciliation to God (2 Cor. 5:18, Col. 1:19-20).
It was through Christ’s death that we are brought back into favour and friendship with God!
Paul testifies, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.” (Eph. 2:13-14 NKJV).
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Col. 1:21-22 NKJV).
God’s true disposition towards sinners is clearly revealed in Christ offering Himself as propitiation or an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, thereby fulfilling His ministry or work of reconciliation as the Mediator between the holy God and sinful men.
God is no longer angry with sinners. God is no longer reckoning, imputing, or counting the sins of the world against them!
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Paul testifies, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19 NKJV).
Before the Lord Jesus abolished in the body of His flesh the hostility between God and sinners, God was angry with the sinners everyday (Psa. 7:11). The sinners were said to be “children of wrath,” the objects of God’s fierce anger (Eph. 2:3). But not anymore!
Christ’s atonement or propitiation for the sins of the whole world has restored peace between God and sinners. Sinners are now the objects of God’s love and mercy, and no longer the objects of God’s wrath!
Does this mean God has changed or lowered His standard of holiness?
Not at all!
Does this mean God now accommodate or tolerate sins?
God is forever holy; He will never accommodate, approve of, or co-exist with any sin or iniquity!
The Scripture testifies concerning God, “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness…” (Hab. 1:13 NKJV).
Then, how come God is no longer angry with sinners every day?
Because God has unleashed and exhausted His anger and judgement upon His Son Jesus Christ on the cross for all our sins – past, present and future!
God’s fierce anger and judgement that sinners truly deserve were fully emptied on Jesus Christ on the cross.
The curses, pains, sorrows, poverty, alienation from God, diseases, sicknesses, infirmities, or death that we rightly deserve as sinners were fully experienced, bore, carried, or absorbed in the body of Jesus Christ on the cross (Matt. 8:17, 1 Pet. 2:24, 2 Cor. 5:21, Isa. 53:4-5).
Therefore, the justice of God that demands that sinners must not go unpunished has been fully satisfied.
Christ having borne our sins and the wages of our sins in His own body on the cross, God will be unjust to remain angry with sinners, to punish sinners for their sins, or to put their sins to their accounts.
On God’s side, there is no more anger, hatred or hostility left towards any sinner. All of God’s anger against sinners had been emptied and exhausted on Jesus Christ at the cross.
God has no anger left for sinners!
Why then will God still judge sinners and cast them into hell after death?
Because they despised, shunned, ignored and rejected God’s reconciliation or hand of friendship extended to them!
On the great Day of Judgement, God will not judge or punish sinners because of their sins or trespasses, but because they rejected God’s free gift of salvation which was purchased and made available to them at such a huge cost, the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
It is only the sinners who left this world despising, ignoring and rejecting Christ’s finished work of reconciliation on the cross that will face and experience in full the fierce wrath and judgement of God (John 16:8-9, Heb. 10:26-27).
The Scripture queries, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?” (Heb. 2:3-4 NKJV).
Although God is no longer angry with sinners or seeking to punish sinners for their sins or imputing to sinners their sins because of Christ’s finished work of reconciliation, yet many sinners are totally unaware of this God’s change of disposition towards them. Why?
Because many servants of God and believers today are not preaching, spreading, or broadcasting the true gospel of the grace of God, the good news, or the wonderful message of reconciliation to sinners.
The only ministry that Christ has given the believers who have received and experienced His ministry of reconciliation is “the ministry of reconciliation.”
Paul clearly states that God “has given us the ministry of reconciliation… and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19 NKJV).
Simply put, God has chosen the born-again believers to be ambassadors for Christ through whom God can continue to make His appeal to sinners to be reconciled to Him (2 Cor. 5:20).
Sadly, the ministry that many believers today are pursuing and fulfilling towards sinners is “the ministry of accusation and condemnation.”
We, unlike Paul, are not beseeching or imploring sinners on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God.
Paul said, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20 NKJV).
Apparently, many believers today are completely ignorant of God’s change of disposition towards sinners on the account of Christ’s perfect and finished work of reconciliation.
Likewise, many servants of God today are also ignorant of the huge impact or effect of Christ’s propitiation or expiation for the sins of the world on God’s disposition or attitude towards sinners.
Due to sheer ignorance of the immense effects or blessings of Christ’s finished work of reconciliation, many children of God today are still unstable or insecure in their relationship with God.
Many believers today still ignorantly think or believe that if or when they sin, they become cut off, separated, estranged or alienated from God.
Many believers still ignorantly expect God to punish them for every sin they commit after being born-again.
What a belittling of Christ’s finished work of reconciliation!
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (NKJV).
Beloved, if God loved you so much when you were still a sinner and an enemy to Him that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins and thus reconciled you to Himself; is it not a sheer foolishness to now think that God will be angry with you, hate you, or forsake you if or when you fall into sin?
If your sins did not stop God from reaching out in love to you when you were still God’s enemy and completely far away from God, how dare you now think that your sins will cut you off, separate, or estrange you from God now that you have been brought near to God by the blood of Jesus?
There is nothing that can ever separate the born-again believers from God’s love!
Apostle Paul testifies to this truth.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV).
Friend, if you have the revelation knowledge of the profound effects of Christ’s finished work of reconciliation; you will be secure in God’s love for you.
Knowing that Christ having abolished the hostility between God and you is now seated at the right hand of God, not as your Judge but as your High Priest, making intercession for you; you will always come boldly to God’s throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Understanding this truth, Paul declares, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:8-10 NKJV).
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
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He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?
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It is God who justifies.” (Rom. 8:31-33 NKJV).
Beloved, nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. God will never stop loving and blessing you. You are completely and eternally accepted to God in Christ, not based on your actions but on your faith in the person of Jesus and His finished work of reconciliation.
God’s disposition towards you is forever changed by the finished work of reconciliation that Jesus did at the cross. God has sworn never to be angry with you nor condemn you. You are no longer an enemy to God, but a son of His love (Gal. 4:4-7).
Isaiah saw this ahead and prophesied it in Isaiah 54:9-10, saying,
9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
10 For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. (NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for granting me the understanding of the huge effect of Christ’s finished work of reconciliation. Help me Lord never to forget that You are always for me and nor against me, that You will never be angry with me, and that You will never abandon me nor forsake me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.