October 04, 2014
""...He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."" 2 Cor. 5:19-20
The word ""committed"" in the verses above has multiple meanings, all of which have profound implications for the believer.
Remember, of course, that what Paul is talking about is the most important thing in the world: God reconciling the world to Himself. To ""reconcile"" means to ""change from enmity to friendship."" And the way this occurred is through His Son ""who knew no sin"" becoming sin on our behalf so that we might become righteous. God provided a way, through Christ, to not count our sins against us, so we could be pardoned and brought into the position of friendship with God.
PLACED in us...
...is the most literal meaning of the word ""committed."" ""God has placed in us the word of reconciliation."" Now, if you would take that at face value it would mean that you have something you never had before. Before conversion you didn't possess this ""word of reconciliation."" Now you do. It has been deposited in you and is permanently there.
This solves the problem of adequacy.
Most of us believe that we cannot share the gospel because we do not know what to say, we are ill equipped. But Paul is teaching us here that this word is IN US. It is simply there. We have experienced it and can testify of our experience. We have the Spirit in us who, Jesus promised, would give us the words that we needed when the occasion demanded. We have the complete Word of God, the Bible that we can read and understand and share.
You must never say, as a believer, ""Well, I'm not sharing the gospel with people because I don't have it."" It has been placed in you. To make that statement would indicate that you are not a believer at all.
ENTRUSTED to us
...is a further implication of the word translated here as ""committed."" It is a messenger who has been sent to stop the execution of a convicted criminal. He is in the electric chair. This messenger must get to the criminal and say, ""Someone else has paid the penalty for you. Your crimes have been forgiven. You can be free and become friends with the one you have sinned against."" That messenger is entrusted to get that message to those condemned as quickly as possible so that they will not be cast into eternity without God.
This solves the problem of PURPOSE.
This is our task and our only task. How important is this ""word of reconciliation"" that has been entrusted to us? There simply IS no greater, more important word. Everyone person around you and their eternal destiny depend upon receiving this word. And you have been placed in their life and the message and responsibility has been placed in you. This is the purpose now for your remaining years on this earth.
Last night I was talking to my brother, Tom, who just stepped down as the president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is changed man because of these past years leading and observing what God is doing all over the world. He said, ""Our missionaries do 3 things: lead people to Christ, disciple them, and plant multiplying churches. If they are a doctor, they evangelize, disciple, and plant churches. If they enter the country as a businessman they evangelize, disciple, and plant churches.""
That is those missionaries commission. But it is also YOURS. No one else has been committed with the ""word of reconciliation."" No one else has this word to give.
This speaks to the issue of URGENCY.
If you are a believer, you have the Word of reconciliation, you have the responsibility of sharing that Word.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
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August 07, 2020
August 06, 2020
There are thousands, perhaps millions of people who believe they are Christians who will never enter heaven. This is not my evaluation, but the clear teaching of Christ Himself.
Christ spoke of false prophets who "come to you in sheep clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matt 7:15). It is not the outward clothing, but the inward heart that indicates a true believer.
What is the only way to know the difference between a professing believer and a real believer?
August 05, 2020
Of all the things Jesus could have addressed in the Sermon on the Mount, it's fascinating that He spends a good bit of time addressing worry. In fact, He commands us not to be worried: "Do not be worried about your life."
We are champion worriers. God knows that worry is so counterproductive. Not only is it useless, but it ties us up, destroys our faith, is a poor witness to those who are watching, and dishonors God. So, to help us He gives His true followers multiple reasons why worry is so useless.