Text: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (HCSB)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
Intro: “For God so loved the world that he gave!”
I guess the obvious question would be if God gives us a ministry what are we doing with it? If anything at all! All who have receive Christ as Lord and Savior are given a gift or gifts to be used for the ministry. So what are you doing with your gift? This is a gift that can’t b used at home in front of the T.V. This isn’t a ministry where God can bless you if you DO NOT USE IT!
Because of reconciliation we can if so choose be brought back to God. Reconciliation means to change thoroughly, to change from enmity (hostility) to friendship, to bring together, to restore. The idea is that two persons who should have been together all along are brought together; two persons who had allowed something to come between them are restored and reunited.
We are reconciled to God by the death of His Son, by His Cross, and by the blood of His Cross—that is the message of these scriptures. Reconciliation has two sides; active and passive. In the active sense we may look upon Christ's death as removing the hostility existing between God and man, and which had up till now been a barrier to fellowship. This state of existing hostility is set forth in such scriptures as Romans 8:7 (NLT) “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.”
In the passive sense of the word it may indicate the change of attitude on the part of man toward God, this change being created in the heart of man by a vision of the Cross of Christ; a change from hostility to friendship thus taking place. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
· Before you can understand the gift God gives you, you must become a new creature:
How does a person become a new creature? The Scripture says: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." It is being "in Christ" that makes a person a new creature. When a person truly believes in Christ, God places and positions him in Christ, in all that Christ is. Christ lived and died and arose, so to be in Christ means that a person lives, dies, and arises in Christ. The person who believes in Jesus Christ is identified with Christ: that is, he is counted and considered to be "in Christ," reckoned and credited as "in Christ."
To be in Christ means that a believer walks and lives in Christ day by day. It means that he does not "walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit". It means that "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world".
God gives us the ministry, we choose to accept or reject, to reject means you are an enemy of God, to accept you’re a friend of God! It is that simple!
1. Enemy of God:
Have you ever had an enemy? I have – it seems to be one of the never changing experiences and trials I face often in my ministry.
The thing that broke the relationship between God and man was sin. Men are said to be enemies of God, and the word "enemies" refers back to the fact that men had become sinners and ungodly. The "enemies" of God are the sinners and ungodly of this world. This simply means that every man is an enemy of God, for every man is a sinner and ungodly. This may seem unkind and harsh, but it is exactly what Scripture is saying. The fact is clearly seen by thinking about the matter for a moment.
The sinner cannot be said to be a friend of God's. He is opposed toward God, opposing what God stands for. When any of us sin, we work against God and promote evil by word and example.
This is the point of God's great love or reconciliation. He did not reconcile and save us when we were righteous and good. He reconciled and saved us when we were enemies, ignoring and rejecting Him.
2. Friend of God: “you took off your former way”
“You took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new man, the one created according to God’s [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (HCSB)
· A friend of God puts on a new man.
This is what God does for us so that we can be friends: God did three things to make reconciliation possible. (1). God Himself loved man so much that He came to earth to seek and to save that which was lost. The truth is so glorious that Jesus Christ Himself pounded the truth home to the hearts of people. (2). God does not impute sin to men. The word "impute" means to reckon, count, and credit. It means to charge or put to a person's account. If God does not impute or charge sin against men, then it means that He forgives their sins. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, God was in Christ dying for the sins of men. God was making it possible for men to be freed from the guilt and condemnation of their sins. (3). God has committed the word of reconciliation to ministers. God has not left the word of reconciliation up to men. God has taken the initiative. God calls and equips ministers of God to proclaim the word of reconciliation. He has done everything possible to reconcile men.
Ministers are given the highest of titles: they are "ambassadors for Christ." The "ambassadors" are persons who are sent forth as official envoys to represent the Sender and to announce the message of the Sender. Four things are always true about the ambassador.
· The ambassador belongs to the One who sent him out.
· The ambassador is commissioned to be sent out. He exists only for the purpose for which he was sent.
· The ambassador possesses all the authority and power of the One who sent him out.
· The ambassador is sent forth with the message of the Sender.
We are to be diplomats on behalf of Jesus Christ, there is a message to be shared and we are to share it! Ministers are given the greatest of messages: "Be reconciled to God." The message is so critical that ministers are to "beseech" men: beg, entreat, cry, and plead with them to be reconciled to God. “for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 (HCSB)
Facts about ambassadors:
(1) Ambassadors are chosen,
(2) Ambassadors are protected.
(3) Ambassadors are held accountable.
(4) Ambassadors are called home before war is declared. The message of the church today is one of reconciliation: God in Christ on the cross has reconciled the world to himself and is willing to save all who will trust His Son. All believers are ambassadors, whether we accept the commission or not. “As the Father has sent me, also I send you,” said Christ John 20:21, NKJV. Let us make sure that our message, methods, and motives are right, so that our work might be lasting and might stand the test of fire when we stand before Him.
Conclusion: The whole of this important doctrine was short, simple, and plain. Let us consider it in all its connections:
1. You believe there is a God.
2. You know he has made you.
3. He requires you to love and serve him.
4. To show you how to do this he has given a revelation of himself, which is contained in his law.
5. You have broken this law, and incurred the penalty, which is death.
6. Far from being able to undo your offenses, or make compensation to the offended majesty of God, your hearts, through the deceitfulness and influence of sin, are blinded, hardened, and filled with enmity, against your Father and your Judge.
7. To redeem you out of this most wretched and accursed state, God; in his endless love, has given his Son for you; who has assumed your nature, and died in your stead.
8. In consequence of this he has commanded repentance towards God, and remission of sins, to be published in his name in all the earth.
9. All who repent, and believe in Christ as having died for them as a sin-offering, shall receive remission of sins.
10. And if they abide in him they shall have an eternal inheritance among them that are sanctified.
God gives us the ministry, are you a friend or an enemy!
In : Sermon
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