The More Excellent Ministry #4

Thursday, August 28, 2014

“For the love of Christ constraineth us… God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:14a,18bc KJV).

Our flesh is ever so weak, but Christ’s love—the unconditional love He has for us—drives us to push ourselves aside and think of others instead.

“For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written [Psalm 69:7], The reproaches of them that reproached thee [God the Father] fell on me” (Romans 15:3). Hebrews 10:5-9, quoting Psalm 40:6-8, contains a Messianic passage (prophetic of Jesus’ earthly life): “[5] Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: [6] In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. [7] Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. [8] Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; [9] Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God….”

Jesus delighted in doing His Father’s will (note Psalm 40:8); here, to lay down His life for our sins (John 10:17,18) and thus abolish the Old Testament animal sacrifices. As Christ, in His humanity, gained more awareness—more wisdom (Luke 2:40,52)—regarding Father God’s will for Him, He better understood what to do. Our Christian life operates in the same manner, for it is the same life of Jesus Christ!

What is Father God’s will today? He wants “all men to be saved” and all saved people “to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). He wants lost people saved through faith in Jesus Christ (the Gospel of the Grace of God). He wants saved people to understand why He saved them (dispensational Bible study). God’s will for us Christians is for us to grow in knowledge of His will for us. This is where today’s Scripture and its context come in—“the ministry of reconciliation.”

Where Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry ended (His finished crosswork), our ministry literally begins….