Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Reconciliation of All Mankind

Some may accused Paul of having a special or exclusive revelation in an attempt to shame him by separating him from the acceptable norm regarding the traditional  Jewish beliefs of his day. This "elite grace revelation" that Paul received from Jesus was cause for great trouble for him as well as great joy.
The same could be said for bold men like Martin Luther that stood up proclaiming a "new" revelation of grace  in the face of the acceptable Churchianity of his day. I'm positive he was warned many times of the "dangerous path" he was treading down and I'm sure he may even have considered backing down and just keeping his revelation of grace to himself.... "don't rock the boat Martin.... your livelihood depends on it Martin.... What will all your contemporaries think of you Martin?
Thank God guys like Paul and Martin luther never hid the light they received!! It couldn't have been easy....

I am convinced that the Love of God is bigger than our traditions and the desperate need of men to control "their people" by living rules and regulations to be acceptable to God AND man. I believe that when we allow grace to reach its conclusion in every area of our lives and doctrines  -not to take grace up till the giant door of tithes and offerings to simply state this far and No further! - we will then begin to see love  more clearly than before. We cannot allow Grace to be monopolized  in our lifetimes by "big named" leaders. We must let Him run free in our hearts, let Him ask questions with liberty that the answers may turn everything you've ever thought about Him upside down - even if your "leader" disagrees. Surely?
Of course there will be heart-ache if those who disagree with you hold theology above relationship... and "function before friendship".
But truly, these are light and momentary issues in the light of His compelling Love for all men.
I encourage you to embrace you reconciliation whole heartily. Do what HE leads you to do. You can trust Him.  

Article written by C Pilkington:
"All things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus
Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit
[know], that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself,
not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto
us the word of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-19).

What absolutely amazing words from Paul, God’s apostle to the nations! What a
divine revelation was committed to his trust. Oh, for the faith to fully believe
the disclosure of the divine plan. Oh, for the courage to embrace God’s full
accomplishments in the reconciliatory work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

II Corinthians Chapter 5 is a glorious revelation of what God consummated in His Son. It is
an exceedingly rich presentation by God’s apostle of grace. Here we learn of the full scope of

Worldwide Reconciliation!
Reconciling the world (cosmos) unto Himself (:19).

What was the revelation given to Paul, about God’s work in Christ?
What did he reveal that God actually accomplished in Christ?

Hear that word. God procured “reconciliation” through His Son.

Just what is “reconciliation”?
It is the restoration to divine favor
.1 The enmity, division and estrangement of man towards God have been removed by the Father Himself – “reconciling the world unto Himself.”

1. Strong’s Greek Lexicon #2643 “katallage,” meaning “restoration to (the divine) favor.”

Noah Webster defines the root of reconciliation (conciliate) as, “to unite.” (American Dictionary of the English
Language, 1828)

It was indeed true that, "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10). ( Note that it was by the death of His Son, and NOT only when we believed it to be true.)

The same word that Paul uses for “reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18-19), is translated in the very next verse
in the King James Version as “atonement” (the old English “at-one-ment”):

We also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the
atonement [at-one-ment] (Romans 5:11).2
2. Or, as other translations have, “received the reconciliation” (American Standard Version, J.N. Darby’s Translation, Young’s Literal Translation).

What a work of reconciliation – atonement – restoration. Nothing stands between the Father and His creation.!!

For whom did God accomplish this work in Christ?

The World!
Reconciling the world  (Cosmos) (:19).
The reconciling of the world (Romans 11:15).
Reconcile all things unto Himself (Colossians 1:20).

Reconciliation was not just for a few – it was not just believers who were restored to God – the
scope of Christ’s atoning work was revealed by Paul to be worldwide!

The far-reaching, triumphant cross-work of Jesus Christ was not limited to those who currently
believe. He was not partial in His work and accomplishments. He was all-inclusive. Christ did
His wonderful work for the whole world.

Divine Reconciliation
Reconciling the world unto Himself (:19).
Reconcile all things unto Himself (Colossians 1:20).

This reconciliation is not man’s work in any sense. Man is not restoring himself to God; man is
not coming to God; but God is coming to man, in Christ: “that God was in Christ, reconciling
the world unto Himself.”

The world did not reconcile itself to God. Instead, it was the Father Who reconciled the world
to Himself. He did so without any effort or merit on man’s part, for He did the work of reconciliation while the world was still His “enemy.” He reconciled the world to Himself by the death of His dear Son.

Reconciliation – the restoration to divine favor – is purely a divine work. It does not take place
by any effort whatsoever on man’s part. The Father “Himself” did the work through the at-one-ment of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The world has now been made at-one with the Father.

Non Imputation of Sin 

Not imputing their trespasses unto them (:19).

Just what does this worldwide reconciliation involve?
It involves the trespasses of the world against Him; and that He is not imputing them. This is an amazing revelation of truth committed to Paul; a revolutionary doctrine in contrast to record-keeping orthodoxy.

Most of Christendom today could not even fathom that the believer’s sins are not being “imputed”
(Romans 4:8); let alone that the work of Christ has obtained something on a far grander scale.
When Paul says, “Not imputing their trespasses unto them,” the “them” is a reference to the
the world.” Paul taught that God was not imputing the world’s trespasses!

Just what is “imputation”? 
It is record-keeping. It is the bookkeeping process of accounting, or numbering. 3

Paul is telling us that God does not tally man’s trespasses against him. He does not record
them. He does not keep an account of them. He does not charge them to one’s record. This
is because,
Christ died for our sins (I Corinthians 15:3);

Because … if One died for all, then were all dead (II Corinthians 5:14).4

3. Strong’s Greek Lexicon #3049, “logizomai,” meaning “to take an inventory.” Some of the other ways that it is translated in the King James Version are: count, account, number, and reckon.
Noah Webster defines “impute” as, “to charge; to attribute; to set to the account of … we impute crimes, sins, trespasses, faults, blame, &c., to the guilty persons.” (American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828)
4. Or, as other translations have:
“that One died for all, therefore all died” (The Holy Bible in Modern English, 1903, Ferrar Fenton)
“that if one for all died, then the whole died” (Young’s Literal Translation, 1863, Robert Young).

The Ministry and Word of Reconciliation

Hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation … Hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation (:18-19).

What a change of attitude reconciliation is from the religious mindset and worldview.

We, as first-trusters,5 have the privilege of enjoying this reconciliation, living in the realization
of divine favor, that nothing stands between us and the Father.

God has given the first-trusters a ministry. We are the Father’s “vessels of mercy” (Romans
9:23); we are to see all men in their relationship to this all-inclusive reconciliation of God. Our
ministry is not institutional, nor organizational; it is simply to share with those around us the
Father’s love and acceptance of them through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We only
entreat them,

in Christ’s stead, Be ye reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:20).

We are not encouraging them to “do” anything; but to simply “be” what the Father has already made them: “reconciled to God.”

That which is committed to us is not the “ministry of condemnation,” nor the “ministry of retribution,” nor the “ministry of judgment” – rather, it is the “ministry of reconciliation.”

Ours is not the “word of wrath,” nor the “word of punishment,” nor the “word of damnation” – rather, it is the “word of reconciliation.”

Our very lives – even down to the nature and intent of what proceeds out of our mouths – are
to be the embodiment of the Father’s reconciliation work in Christ Jesus.

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man (Colossians 4:6).6

That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ (Ephesians 1:12).
Do not be discouraged as you look around you. What you see is not the end of God’s plan and purpose. Granted, the world is filled with sin and unbelief – that “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (I John 5:19) – but God is not yet done. Don’t judge the final outcome by the current state of things. This is not the finished product of God.
God has not saved us simply to abandon the rest of mankind in eternal torment. We are just the first-trusters, the firstfruits of Christ’s glorious redemptive work. Ultimately God’s plan includes all of His creation. None will be permanently lost. Divine love never fails to reach its goal.
Those of us who now trust the Lord Jesus Christ are but the beginning of God’s glorious work. We are but the first-trusters in His glorious design.
In every harvest there is that small portion of the crop that matures early, before the vast majority of the rest. The firstfruits are a token of that which is to come – the full harvest.
Under the Old Testament economy the firstfruits belonged to God, and were holy unto Him.
In every generation, and in every place, God has had His firstfruits; those that come to harvest earlier than the rest.
What a blessed privilege to be the firstfruits of the Lord, and just as God has brought us to faith, He too will bring the rest of His creation.
What a joy to be in on God’s early plans! As a part of the firstfruits of the harvest we have so much to be thankful for.
We are especially thrilled when we think how our Father has made us co-laborers with Him in His sovereign plan to include all of His creation in His full harvest.

6. Note that Paul does not say “what ye ought to answer” – but “how ye ought to answer.” 
How? “always with grace!”
… “That it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

Ultimate Realization
The world has been unioned with the Father. He has removed all enmity, division, and estrangement. Through Christ the world has been brought into the fullness of divine favor.

Not all the world has this knowledge at this time. They are still “alienated and enemies,” but this condition exists ONLY in their minds (Colossians 1:21).7 This is not how things really are now. The world only needs to be brought to the realization of their reconciliation, and this will come in due course.

The Father has already made all men reconciled to Himself. Now, men only need to “be” what He has made them – “reconciled to God.” In our Father’s own good course of time, all will indeed “be reconciled to God.”

Until that time, ours is truly a good news ministry; and we are privileged to live in the spirit of divine reconciliation – allowing it to permeate our attitudes, hearts and lives. In the spirit of our Father, we are free to live in personal reconciliation among ourselves and with others.

7. "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He
reconciled. "
Interestingly the word that is translated “reconciled” here is Strong’s Greek Lexicon #604 “apokatallasso” which is a compound word from #575 and #2644, meaning “to reconcile fully.”

This is the word that is used in Colossians 1:20:
"And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

By Paul’s use of the word here, we can see that “all things” will indeed one day be “fully reconciled” unto Him. This “full reconciliation” takes place when the mental alienation is finally removed in all creation.
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under
the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”
(Philippians 2:10-11)."