In these closing verses of the fifth chapter of II Corinthians we observe that it is not the sinner seeking God, but God, through ambassadors of Christ, seeking the sinner, and beseeching the sinner, in Christ’s Stead, to be reconciled to God.
There is no more definite statement of the gospel, no clearer announcement of saving truth than we find In Corinthians 5:21: “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.”
When the Lord Jesus Christ cried “finished”, and yielded up the Ghost on the cross, He was crowned with a crown of thorns, the emblem of the curse. He was made sin, although he knew no sin. The God of all grace ordained and permitted the cruel death of the sinless Christ, Yea, offered up his well beloved son, so that poor, unrighteous men might, by his infinite grace, through faith, be made the righteousness of God in Christ. Man’s only place of security and divine blessing is in Christ.
This ministry of reconciliation is distinctively a Pauline ministry. More than a dozen times that great Apostle emphasized the fact that he was the apostle, the preacher, and the teacher of the Gentiles; that Unto him the risen Christ committed the “dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles”, the “unsearchable riches of Christ for Gentiles”; the mystery among the Gentiles; and the dispensation of the mystery. Romans 11: 13, Ephesians 3: 1 to 3; Ephesians 3: 8 and 9; Colossians 1: 24 to 27.
According to Galatians 2: 8, God was mighty in Peter in the apostleship of the circumcision. Peter received from Christ the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the so-called “great commission”. In his ministry, recorded in the early chapters of Acts, Peter preached unto Israel repentance and restitution; the gospel of the kingdom; the promises and blessings of the covenants which God made concerning Israel; but never once did he preach reconciliation to Gentiles. He did not refer to Adam. Never once did Peter preach to Israel, in those chapters concerning the “old man” and the “new man”; concerning the “old creation” and the “new creation”. Peter did not preach concerning the believers identification with Christ and death, burial, and resurrection; blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. Peter had no authority from Christ to even refer to uncircumsised Abram from whence came Paul’s gospel of the uncircumcision. It was unto Paul that the risen Lord committed the gospel of the uncircumcision, (Galations 2: 7; Galations 3:8) the ministry of reconciliation and the mystery concerning the body of Christ. Invariably when we have the ministry of reconciliation we find linked with it the ministry of the new creation and the truth of the believer’s identification; out of Adam, into Christ. The word “atonement” in Romans 5: 11 is a mistranslation. It should read “reconciliation”. Then follows the story of Adam and Christ, the old creation and the new creation, and the new creatures identification with Christ. Romans 5: 12 to Romans 6:12.
Our mission today is to beseech sinners to believe the word of reconciliation; to believe that the document has been signed and sealed; that the Lord Jesus Christ provided this reconciliation and made peace by the blood of his cross. Truly with such a ministry we should know that we are ambassadors extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary. How willing eager sinners should be to accept this glorious gospel message, be at peace with God, reconciled to God, and be redeemed for time and eternity.