Our world is certainly known for its disorder, troubles, wars, and conflicts. All these factors affect our lives at the personal, community, and national levels. At times it appears our entire lives are in conflict. But disunity and disorder will not prevail forever. God is on a mission to bring about cosmic unity.
Whereas sin has resulted in disharmony, God’s eternal plan for reconciliation brings peace and wholeness.
In Ephesians 2:13-16, Paul puts forward the principles that show how Christ acted in order to bring peace among believers: through His death on the cross Jesus made both Jews and Gentiles one people and destroyed the ethnic and religious barriers that separated them. If Christ was able to do this with Jews and Gentiles in the first century, how much can He still bring down any racial, ethnic, and cultural barriers and walls that divide people within our own church today?
And from this starting point, we can reach out to the world.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Paul states that in Christ we are a new creation, reconciled to God. What then is our ministry in this world? What differences could we be making in our communities as a united church body?
As God’s new creation, believers receive a crucial ministry-a threefold ministry of reconciliation. (1) Our church is composed of believers who were once alienated from God but, through the saving grace of Christ’s sacrifice, have now been united to God by the Holy Spirit. We are the remnant, called to proclaim an end-time message to the world. Our ministry is to invite those who are still alienated from God to be reconciled to God and join us in our mission. (2) The church is also God’s people reconciled to one another. To be united to Christ means we are united to one another. This is not just a lofty ideal; it must be a visible reality. Reconciliation to one another, peace and harmony among brothers and sisters, is an unmistakable witness to the world that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35, NKJV). (3) Through this ministry of reconciliation, the church tells the universe that God’s plan of redemption is true and powerful. The great controversy is about God and His character. Inasmuch as the church cultivates unity and reconciliation, the universe sees the working out of God’s eternal wisdom (see Eph. 3:8-11).