God has a message for all of us when it comes to reconciliation. To be reconciled to God means that God desires for us to have a cordial relationship with us. While we may have a sincere desire to follow and serve the Lord, we must readily admit that we are not able to have fellowship with the Lord if we are unable to make “all things new” in our lives. In 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Paul had to tell the Corinthian church that even though they were in church, many of the practices of the world and in their society were still prevalent within their congregation. There was nothing that they could do to become closer to God without the love of Christ (Romans 5:8) as the catalyst for our being reconciled to God except to see that they needed the Lord and that they needed to become a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Becoming a new creation means having a heart of humility and knowing that we need to repent (turn away from) our sins, or the old ways of our lives that keep us from having a relationship with Him. God, through His grace, loves us in spite of who we are. Though we are condemned, He does not condemn us but tells us to “sin no more” (John 8:10-11). The love of Christ is what we are to show others because He loved us first in the midst of our unrighteousness, as we are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). God has not counted our sins against us, but he does want us to truly turn to Him and “be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). He does not want us to identify with our sinful nature but present yourself as a living sacrifice for the Lord (Romans 12:1). When we see that we our reconciled to God and in fellowship with Him, we should be compelled to share the Good News with others. We, as individuals and as followers of Christ, are reconciled to Him and “become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We become righteous because we recognize and appreciate what Jesus Christ has done for us. The evidence of our reconciliation is how we are transforming the world that we live in with the message of God’s love and grace in our words and actions.
A special thanks to Jeremiah Dukes, who is our guest speaker today. He is scheduled to graduate in May 2009 from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, Georgia, and will be traveling to China this summer teaching English as a second language. Please keep Brother Dukes in prayer for his travels and for his next areas of service in ministry!