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Monday: Ministry of Reconciliation — 14 Comments

  1. I am one of those people who is not afraid to admit that my wife and I have had some arguments. In some of those arguments, strong words were said while the feelings and emotion ran high. The marriage relationship has been fractured and the temptation for bitterness and recrimination has developed. Then something has happened, reason has stepped in and reconciliation has occurred. It is tough - backing down from an argument is not easy!

    Reconciliation is the healing of a relationship. And to be honest it is not like a movie script. It does not happen in a moment with the violins playing soft sentimental music in the background finally rising to a crescendo before the credits roll. Reconciliation has to keep on going and be worked on, for the rest of your life. The experience of reconciliation in our own lives gives us a little insight into the reconciliation that God wants for us:

    But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8

    God did not wait for us to repent. He started the reconciliation, while we were yet sinners. And if God does that for us, what should be our attitude towards others with whom we disagree and need reconciliation?

    • Good Point Maurice!

      1) _*Observe:*_ God started reconciling humanity with Him, way before we even repented. God took initiative out of Love. God did not offend us, we did; Yes! We sinned; we sin; and we shall sin. But God will still set modalities to open avenues for we - humanity - make amends with Him. Like the promiscuous wife of Hosea, we have defiled ourselves, transgressed and sold our freedom to sin, but God (like Prophet Hosea) has sought for us, taken up our faults and bought us back, and let us free to make a choice to return to Him.

      *2. Food for thought* If God is reconciling with us today, despite He not being in fault with us; are we taking an initiative to seek reconciliation with one another or waiting first for those who offended us to confess their fails and seek forgiveness.

      *3. Examples from Scripture*

      Paul's counsel in Ephesians 4: 1-6 _*"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.*_

      And a little further Ephesians 4:26 _*"if you are angry, do not sin; don't let the sun go down while you are still angry!"*_

      God has reconciled with us, with our fails; let us emulate Him by reconciling with one another

    • Amen brother and you wanting reconciliation demonstrates you truly love your wife. As a man being the head of the family it is your responsibility to live by example Christ's character. God bless

  2. Author: "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?"
    How I wish this was true.
    We are creature of habit.
    When something out of the ordinary comes along, forces us to think, our autonomous mind does not accept.
    Change is inconvenient because we cannot trust our feeling, we must believe in faith.
    Cross was conquered because Christ was willing to conquer the unknown.

    What is the unknown fear holding us back from being united?
    What Christ has called clean let us not call unclean.

  3. 1 King 19:18; Acts 9:15-16 and Acts 18:9, have a message that shows that God has no shortage of people to serve Him. I agree with the author, that being set-aside as "Remnants" is for His proclamation, and means that we have our work cut out henceforth. We are to be ambassadors representing his love and good. That said, as remnants then, we have to share the goodnews of God's redemption and salvation, through our life and actions. Showing love and care to one another portrays unity and God's goodness love to humanity.

  4. "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."

    How, specifically, did Jesus do this?

    What was it that created the "ethnic and religious barriers" in the first place? Ego-centrism - or ethno-centrism. These "barriers" only exist because/where people have self-based heart motivations. One of the ways that self-based heart motivation manifests itself is via "the boastful pride of life" (1 Jn 2:16).

    What did Jesus manifest in His death on the cross? Jesus, the 2nd Adam, refused 'save his own skin' and be moved away from a heart motivation of self-renouncing love - even though doing so resulted in death (Phil 2:8; Isa 53:12).

    So how did Jesus death on the cross dissolve ethnic and religious barriers? Because you can't have a heart motivation of self-renouncing love and ego/ethno-centrism at the same time. These 2 things are in competition with each other. You can only have one or the other.

    Each person who genuinely unites themselves with Christ, also necessarily embraces self-renouncing love - which necessarily results in (a cause and effect law at work) the dissolving of ego/ethno-centrism. Note that the outworking of this change is frequently a progressive, rather than an instantaneous, process for people - as Maurice has outlined above.

  5. "Our church... We are the remnant... join us in our mission"

    I know I have only picked up phrases - but these are often used within Adventism and they are not taken out of context.

    Are the sentiments conveyed by these phrases pure truth, or is there an element of ego/ethno-centrism in such expressions?

    How do you view such phrases?

    How do those you know outside Adventism view such phrases?

    How could we modify these often-mentioned phrases so they better reflect truth?

  6. Ministry in Reconciliation.

    Reconciliation must start with us, within us, within our families. We cannot preach Reconciliation when we ourselves are not reconciled with our families and loved ones. We have brothers and sister, we have friends who wronged us, when are going to forgive them and reconcile with them?
    Reconciliation starts with forgiveness. If we forgive each other in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and Reconcile and spread the forgiveness and reconciliation as Jesus did with us. We were alienated from God. God wanted us to be close to Him, He wanted us to be in His sanctuary together with Him. He then gave us His Son, for His blood to wash away our sins and to reconcile with Him.
    There is no Unity in our churches. Conflicts are everywhere between elders, pastors and the church members. What have our churches turned out to?

  7. We know that our works do not save us. But without works is impossible to show our faith. We need to be practical. The world of ideas are very important but only actions can prove them wrong or right! Our mission is to be so filled with Jesus that we cannot hold Him inside for ourselves only. And He comes out as good works,for the benefit of our neighbors, naturally!

  8. Because what was stated in today's lesson is true,I ask when will our church truly be united? In the 21st Century we still have separate conferences and churches based on race. Should this change in order for us to show this love and unity we preach about? We have churches where all races worship side by side. But shouldn't our conferences unite to show this love of which the Bible speaks? One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all...but two conferences? Please give insight based on present needs. We all realize the reasons for the segregation/separation in the past. Why do we still practice this in a denomination that claims Bible and Bible alone?

  9. In any passage of scripture that describes the experience of the sinner transformed by the Gospel of Christ, the transformed sinner becomes a witness to other sinners and leads them to find “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.(see Ps 40:1-3, Matt 5:3-10, Dan 12:3, Rev 22:17, etc)

    Whatever our gift(s) of the Spirit, those sanctified by the truth will work in some way to lead others to know God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. (See also John 4, Mark 5:1-20)


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