The Word of Reconciliation

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

The word reconciliation means a restoration of divine favor. In other words, it is about bringing man back into a right relationship with God. Paul emphasized reconciliation in our text and explained that it involves the work of God, the gospel, those who proclaim the gospel, and those who would be reconciled.

Reconciled Through Christ (v. 18)

  • Begins with God (v. 18) – sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2); reconciliation removes the separation through forgiveness (v. 19)
  • Forgiveness requires blood to be shed (Hebrews 9:22) – animal sacrifices were not sufficient (Hebrews 10:4); Jesus needed to sacrifice His life on the cross (Hebrews 10:5, 10, 9:14); we are reconciled through His body and blood (Colossians 1:20-22)
  • This was a demonstration of God’s love (Romans 5:8-11) – the fact that we needed to be reconciled to God proves our unworthiness

Ministry of Reconciliation (v. 18)

  • Began with the work of Christ [see previous point]
  • Continued with the work of the apostles as His ambassadors (v. 20) – the body in which we are reconciled has the apostles in the foundation (Ephesians 2:16, 20); this is through their work in preaching “peace” (Ephesians 2:17)
  • Continues with us today (Ephesians 6:15) – the gospel is the message of peace (how we can have peace with God); we must prepare ourselves to share it with others (1 Peter 3:15; Hebrews 5:12); we are trying to win souls over to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Word of Reconciliation (v. 19)

  • The “word of reconciliation” is the gospel (Ephesians 6:15) – it is the message of God’s grace (Acts 20:24) and is God’s power for salvation (Romans 1:16)
  • Following a “different gospel” brings separation (Galatians 1:6) – only THE gospel brings reconciliation
  • This “word of reconciliation” is for everyone (Ephesians 2:16) – God welcomes all who will come to Him (Acts 10:34-35); therefore, the gospel is for everyone (Mark 16:15)

Be Reconciled to God (v. 20)

  • God’s appeal is for us to be reconciled to Him – this appeal was made through the apostles (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8); we echo this appeal today (Acts 8:4; Ephesians 6:15)
  • Will you decide to be reconciled to God?
  • How can we be reconciled to God? – become part of His body (Ephesians 2:16; 1:22-23; Acts 2:37-38, 41, 47); live holy and blameless lives (Colossians 1:22; 2 Peter 3:14)

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