For the past couple articles, I have been writing about how God sees all believers are the ambassadors of Christ, and that He has entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation. “God is reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Cor 5:17-21)
Let’s review the past couple articles in one paragraph; I listed five characteristics of ambassadorship to help us gain a fuller understanding of what it means to be “an ambassador of Christ”. First, an ambassador represents a ruler. Secondly, an ambassador is credentialed. Thirdly, an ambassador is protected. Fourthly, an ambassador is a citizen of the country he represents. Fifth, ambassadors keep in contact with the leader of his home country.
In this article we will look at the process of reconciliation. The process of reconciliation begins with God loving the individuals of the world so much that He sent His only Son to be sacrificed so He could forgive us then reconcile us back to Himself. In the midst of our sin, God chose to clearly demonstrate His love for us by sending Christ to die on a cross for the forgiveness of our sin.
Reconciliation is a step beyond mere forgiveness. Forgiveness means we forgive the offender, but it does not mean we want to continue our relationship with the person who has offended us. Reconciliation goes beyond forgiveness to restoring the relationship. When the above passage says God “reconciled us to Himself in Christ”, it means God has provided more than just forgiveness. He has turned our hearts back toward Himself and He is restoring our relationship with Him. Sin destroyed the relationship God intended to have with people. God sacrificed Jesus to reconcile and restore His relationship with us.
God wants a personal relationship with each of us. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided both forgiveness and victory. Jesus became our High Priest, made all of us ministers of His good news, and gave us direct access to God. Why? Because the God of all creation desires a personal relationship with you! He did not send Christ so we could have a manufactured relationship with a religion. Christianity is the only religion in history solely based on a personal relationship with a Savior.
Not only has God provided a process of forgiving us and reconciling us back to Himself, but He has also “given us the ministry of reconciliation”. As His ministers or ambassadors, we are to be reconcilers of people back to God. God has entrusted to us His message of reconciliation which He as defined as “I am no longer holding the sin of people against them”. We have failed. We have sinned. We have rebelled. Yet, God has given us a message to give to our friends and family; “I am no longer holding your sin against you”… come home.