The Word of Reconciliation

{This is a re-post of an article written last year.  I said this when I shared it before, that if I had one more Sunday School lesson to give, this would be it}

 2 Corinthians 5:14–6:2 — “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And 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, 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. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

Reconciliation is one of the great “theological” words of the scriptures.

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A Nation Bringing Forth the Fruits Thereof: James to the 12 Tribes

Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matthew 21:43)

As we study the Scripture, we come to another man with a book bearing his name—James.  Now this man, not of the 12 apostles, was called by the Lord for a specific purpose.  I state that it was a specific purpose, because as it has been well stated:

“It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or wrythen, but of whom and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and what followeth after.” ~  Miles Coverdale (1488–1569)

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Paul’s Commission, Part 2

A Study of Colossians 1:23–29

…whereof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church: whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily. (Colossians 1:23-29)

So now two studies that I have been working through and sharing are coming to a convergence.  We left off in the apostolic commission series discussing Paul’s commission and the longsuffering of God of which Paul is the pattern (1 Timothy 1:16).  We left off the Colossians study in verse 23 of chapter one where Paul urges the saints to continue in the faith “grounded and settled”, and “not moved away from the hope of the gospel…whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Continue reading “Paul’s Commission, Part 2”

Paul’s Commission, Part 1

As I wrote in previous studies about the Apostolic commissions, no study would be complete without writing on Paul’s great commission and where it fits within the entirety of Scripture.  Witness from his own testimony the commission and apostleship that he received from Christ our Lord:

Acts 26:13–18—At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.

vlcsnap-2015-05-18-11h17m18s44Three times in the book of Acts, there is a retelling of the story of the Lord Jesus’ “arrest” of Saul of Tarsus.  While there are many important events in the Acts account, this event gets the most mentions.

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Understanding the Commissions: Part 7

Welcome back to our series on the Apostolic commissions.  As we go forward through John’s record on this commission please allow the scriptures to truly speak about the authority that was truly committed to these men:

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:19-23)

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Understanding the Commissions: Part 6

In the last study, we looked at the commission in Luke, which had its main point that repentance and remission of sins would be preached in the Name of the Lord Jesus among all nations beginning at Jerusalem.  In this study, we will look at Luke’s “latter treatise”, to shed further light on the apostolic commission, and the call of them as witnesses:

When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:6–8)

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Understanding the Commissions: Part 5

As we study the commission that our Lord gave to His apostles before He left to take His place at the right hand of the Father, we come to instructions at the conclusion of The Gospel According to Luke that further shed light on carrying out their divinely appointed task:

And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:44–49)

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Understanding the Commissions: Part 4

In the last study, we began looking at the Lord’s apostolic commission at the end of Mark’s Gospel account:

Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:14-18)

In the last study we discussed the gospel spoken of in this passage and how the baptism spoken of was related to this gospel. Now this command has a second part as well.  It speaks of how

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Understanding the Commissions: Part 3

Now we begin the third installment in this series on the commissions.  In the last two installments, we mainly studied the commission in the end of Matthew’s Gospel account.  This installment will mainly focus on the commission given at the end of Mark’s Gospel account:

Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:14-18)

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Understanding the Commissions: Part 2

In the last study, we discussed this commission of our Lord to His apostles and this ending to Matthew’s gospel which does not reveal the ascension.  I stated that the reason I believe that the Holy Spirit left this important fact out was because of the emphasis in the Gospel According to Matthew of our God’s Christ reigning on the earth.  The passage reads as follows:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)

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