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What Is Our Role On Planet Earth?

 

Scripture: 2Cor 5:17-19

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

 

What Are the ‘Therefores’ Therefore?

Tracing the Ministry of Reconciliation back through this chapter.

 

o   There are 3 Layered ‘Therefore-s’ in 2Corinthians 5

o   Therefore if anyone is in Christ – vs. 17 

o   Therefore we regard no one according to the flesh – vs. 16 

o   Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others – vs. 11 

 

2 Corinthians 5:11–17 (ESV)

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

o   The therefore in verse 17 takes you back to the therefore in verse 16 and the one in verse 16 takes you back to verse 11 and the one in verse 11 then takes you back to verse 10.

 

2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV)

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

 

o   In verse 10, the verse starts with a ‘For’ instead of a therefore which is the same thing – a conjunction and now we have to go back one more verse.

o   In verse 9, the verse starts with a ‘So’ which is again a conjunction and so now we go back to verse 8.

o   Verse eight is the last statement on Paul’s discussion of our glorified bodies.

o   You will find that you have to go back to verse one to get the original thought in order to understand what God is saying about the Ministry of Reconciliation.

 

The Ministry of Reconciliation and Our Glorified Body

The Ministry of Reconciliation finds its root in the promise of our glorified body.

o   Verses 1-5 – God has put within the heart of man a hunger and a longing for our heavenly body. We are prepared for this and the Spirit of God is in us to witness this.

o   Verse 6 – because of this we are of good courage. We need to be – there is a whole lot in life that we will encounter that will cause us to be discouraged and to lose focus on the heavenly prize.

o   Verse 7 – and so in order to avoid losing that focus, we remind ourselves that this walk is a faith walk.

o   We walk by faith not by sight. Walking by faith not by sight is focal point one.

o   We do not walk by the things we see because we see a whole lot of things. Nevertheless, despite what we see, we are not moved from the fact that a glorified body is waiting for us.

o   However, we have a second focal point.

o   And here we meet up with this first conjunction in verse 9.

o   The conjunctions are conclusions that you should come to because of the promise in verses 1-8.

o   It is a spiritual trail. A thought progression – that is ‘because we have this promise of a glorified body, there are certain ways we should conduct ourselves.

o   Verse 9 – we should conduct ourselves in life in a way that pleases Him.

o   How do we please Him?

o   One way is of course ‘walking by faith’ – Without faith it’s impossible to please Him – Hebrews 11:6.

 

2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV)

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

 

o   But there is a second reason. And verse 10 gives us that. ‘We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.’- which is focal point 3

o   We want to please Him because we ALL are going to stand in front of Him and give an account and we want that meeting to go well!!!!

o   Therefore! – now we get to it! – verse 11

 

The Ministry of Reconciliation and Persuading Others

What Sharing Your Faith Means and What It Doesn’t Mean

 

2 Corinthians 5:11 (ESV)

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.

 

o   QUESTION: what does the ‘fear of the Lord’ have to do with this?

o   ANSWER: ‘the fear of the Lord’ is the reverence you should maintain knowing that you are going to stand in front of Him and give an account.

o   Moreover, because we know that EVERYONE – that ALL will stand before Him – we persuade others!

o   ‘persuade’  means – to convince, to persuade, to appeal to, to win over.

o   Now I am going to say something that almost sounds contradictory. EVERYONE will stand before God but it is not your particular job to tell EVERYONE you see.

o   The word ‘persuade’ does not mean go and tell EVERYONE you see.

o   What we did is throw out the leading of the Spirit and we got under the emotional condemnation of what this verse implies and got to feeling guilty because we come into contact with someone unsaved and didn’t say anything.

o   I am going to say it again –it is not your personnel job to tell EVERYONE YOU SEE – it is your job to be led by the Spirit of God in who you tell in your world!

 

Mark 16:15 (ESV)

15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”

 

o   People get all under condemnation over this verse but you left a bunch of Bible behind! As many as are led by the Spirit of God… Romans 8:14 (see also Galatians 3:3)

o   Everyone is not ready to hear – how are you going to know who is and who isn’t? You can only know that by the Spirit of God.

 

 

o   Remember that you are a link in the chain between God and other men. You ARE NOT THE WHOLE CHAIN!

 

o   It is NEVER NEVER your job to get under condemnation.

o   This persuasion is not after the flesh – this area of working in the Ministry of Reconciliation is not a Ministry of Condemnation – it is not you being under condemnation or you putting under people under condemnation.

 

How To Minister Reconciliation

The Example of Jesus

o   Look at these verses where Jesus, the first Comforter (John 4:16) directed His disciples in many places not to tell it!

 

Mark 1:40–45 (ESV)

40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

 

o   This man was healed of leprosy but He disobeyed Jesus and it shut Him out! It put Jesus out into a desolate place.

§  “So what is the big deal?” you might say. “People were told weren’t they?”

§  The big deal is – THERE WERE NO MORE LEPERS THAT WERE HEALED BECAUSE JESUS COULD NOT GET TO THEM! He was in a desolate place because of the leper’s disobedience.

§  And many times today we are hindering what the Second Comforter is trying to get done because we are emotionally trying to get people saved rather than being led in our witnessing.

 

o   Here are more verses where Jesus told people NOT to tell it!

o   Matthew 8:4, 9:30, 12:16, 16:20, 17:9.

o   Mark 3:12, 5:43, 7:31-36.

o   Luke 5:14, 9:21

o   Now, there were times when Jesus did tell them to tell it!

 

Mark 5:18–19 (ESV)

18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

 

o   How are we going to know the difference? Listen to the Spirit!

o   This is how you minister reconciliation… – this is how you witness.

 

The Correct Way to Witness

Acts 8:27–31, 35 (ESV)

27 And he (Phillip) rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him… 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.

 

o   If you will listen to the Holy Spirit in your witnessing, you will get over into areas like this one in Acts 4:33.

 

 

Acts 4:33 (ESV)

33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

 

o   You can witness with power – but you can only do that in cooperation with the Spirit of God

o   This is where you start having fun!

 

It is always right to be led! It is always wrong to be under condemnation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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