Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ministers of Reconciliation



Sunday morning's sermon was a good one. Pastor Carl has been preaching through Matthew. Sunday we were in Matthew 18:15-35. If you remember it, great. If not, read it real quick. Up until Sunday morning there is a basic concept (Don't get me wrong. It speaks of more than this) in this passage that had never occurred to me.

 The one offended is to be the initiator in the process of reconciliation and forgiveness.

You're probably thinking "No duh, Rebekah."  I get that it should be a "no duh".  Yet in the world we live it we have this idea that we will only fix the situation after the one who offends comes to say "sorry". That isn't Biblical. Not according to this passage anyway nor according to the pattern that God has laid by His actions towards us.

Verses 15-20 describe the restoring of a brother to fellowship. If your sinned against go talk to the guy about it! Side note: Beware that the thing you are offended over is sinful not just a violation of personal preference that irks you. Choose to act in forgiveness and love.  Confront the wrong. It then gives the pattern of "how to".

In the following parable Jesus answers Peter's question about how often we are to forgive. It is an easy parable to understand and,with a good commentary or Pastor who does his research, the conversion of the numbers into modern terms paints an even clearer more vivid picture of the debt each servant owed.   See though, again this idea that the offended reaches out to the offender to seek to make things right.

    23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king [God] who wished to settle accounts with his servants.

But God demonstrated His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.[Romans 5:8]  And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,[ Colossians 1:21-22 ]  He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.[1 Peter 1:3-4]. - God initiated the act of reconciliation towards us. He is the one who turned our eyes to Him. He is the one who shows us our sin. What more of an example do we need?

     All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  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.
                                                                                                    2 Corinthians 5:18-19


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