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. (2 Cor. 5:18-21)
Every person on earth know instinctively that they are created for something greater than themselves. As Christians, we know that God has a great plan for our lives. Not only what’s most important, that we have a living and vibrant love-relationship with God, but also that He has an assignment, “good works”, that He has prepared for us before the foundation of the world (see Eph. 2:10).
Many people wonder what their God-given calling, or ministry, is. The answer to this question is found in 2 Corinthians chapter 5. Paul says that we are Christ’s ambassadors – i.e. representatives of His kingdom, having the ministry of reconciliation, with the assignment of sharing the word of reconciliation.
No matter whether God has called us to be preachers, teachers, painters, cleaners, shoemakers, clerks, housewives, or anything else, we all have received the same assignment: to share the word of reconciliation. This is our ministry and calling.
What then is the ministry and word of reconciliation? Simply to tell the world about what Jesus has done:
- That God through Jesus Christ has reconciled the world to Himself. (Note that it does not say that He reconciledthe Christians, but the whole world to Himself.)
- That God because of this does not hold people’s sins or shortcomings against them.
- That God loves every person unconditionally.
Why is it so? Because Jesus, who Himself was without sin, was made to be sin on our behalf on the cross, so that we could be free from sin and its consequences, and in Him (in the close relationship with Jesus) become righteous before God (2 Cor. 5:21).
God has reconciled the world to Himself. From God’s perspective, toward mankind, the reconciliation is completed. However, we humans also need to let ourselves be reconciled to God. What does this mean?
Men all over the world believe that God is angry, holding their sins and trespasses against them. Religion has presented us with a wrongful image of God. To allow ourselves to be reconciled to God, is to change our image of God from an angry judge, to a loving Father. It is also about believing in Jesus and what He has done and receiving Him by inviting Him into our hearts. The Bible says that “everyone who calls on the name of Jesus shall be saved” (Rm. 10:13), and that “anyone who receives Him, He has given them power to become the children of God” (Jn. 1:12).
That God has reconciled the world to Himself means that He is not angry with us. He is smiling at us. He only wants us well.