17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 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.
20 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. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
In this amazing passage the Holy Spirit, via the Apostle Paul, teaches us what God has done for us, how He did it, and an expectation of us that is tied to it. Verse 17 is explaining what has happened to us and who we are in the eyes of God. We are brand new. To understand verses 18 and 19 we need a clear understanding of the word “and” and its application in the text. Using the word “and” in this manner denotes inclusivity. For example, when introducing friends, such as “Harry and his wife Sarah”, you are indicating a single unit that includes two people. If you say “There goes a truck and trailer” you are talking about a single unit that consists of two objects. You don’t have the unit without both components. Verses 18 and 19 point out the combination of two components into a single unit.
- All things are of God. This isn’t our doing. God has initiated our redemption. By and through His direction He orchestrated our redemption through Jesus upon the cross. God came down to earth, lived a human sinless life, offered Himself to be sacrificed for our Sins, took the full wrath of God, and was risen three days later triumphant. He makes this payment for those who are willing to repent and put their faith 100% in Him.
- We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. The word used is “committed.” That’s a strong word. It comes with an expectation. What is the ministry of reconciliation? To deliver the message of reconciliation, the gospel.
- We are imagers, or representatives, of God. As God’s representatives He has given us the privilege of proclaiming what He has done to the world.
God gave us the unbelievable gift of redemption, should we accept it, and He gave us the mission to spread the message. We do this directly, through use of words to lost individuals, and indirectly through our actions.
We send a message to a lost and dying world that needs to understand the truth. That message is:
- God created all things, including us, from before the earth was formed.
- We willfully turn from Him in sin, requiring reconciliation to a holy and just God.
- That sin is so severe that we can’t possibly pay the penalty ourselves.
- He initiated payment and paid it for us by His death on the cross.
- It’s ours if we turn from our sin to Him in faith and relationship.
It’s time we acknowledge who we are in Jesus, what He did for us, and spread the message of the gospel as His humble ambassadors.