Regarding Christ and the Ministry of Reconciliation

by Mike Ratliff

16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NASB) 

People who are genuine Christians are Born Again. Their hearts have been regenerated. They are New Creations. That means that their hearts now regard Christ spiritually rather than through the flesh. This is an important point for there are growing numbers of people calling themselves Christians who refuse to surrender to the Lordship of Christ in all areas of their lives. They regard Christ via their Human reason rather than spiritually. By this, they prove that they are simply religious converts rather than regenerated disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, these pseudo-Christians are spiritually blind, yet they believe they are legitimate because they love the Jesus they have perceived in their own minds and are involved in their “ministries.” However, they preach not the truth because they don’t know the truth. They pick things from scripture they like, but refuse to submit to the parts they don’t . The Jesus they love and “serve” is another Jesus, not the one we see from scripture when it is studied exegetically.

18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 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. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (NASB) 

Today if we proclaim a call that is bound by the necessity of obedience to God in all areas of our lives, then these same pseudo-Christians will cry foul claiming that we are causing disunity in the body of Christ. They claim that we are divisive. They say we are spiritually arrogant because we claim to know the truth and refuse to accept their version of the truth. In this time of liberalism overtaking churches and denominations in the form of WOKEism, that is, Social Justice in its many forms, those spiritually blind pseudo-Christians behind this are being bent or encouraged or whatever by secular forces that themselves have been completely corrupted by Critical Race Theory (WOKEism). In other words, these pseudo-Christians have a lord that is not the Lord Jesus Christ, but, instead, is some secular god they have manufactured themselves. They insist that their so-called truth is true because it is based in cultural relevance. On the other hand, genuine Christianity is based solely in God’s Truth given to us in His Word and and that is the absolute Truth and it overrides any so-called truth no matter its cultural relevancy.

Look at the passage above. Paul tells the Corinthian Church and us that it was God, through Christ, who reconciled himself to Christians and, along with that, gave the ministry of reconciliation to them. The prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ, was born as the Angels proclaimed peace on Earth and goodwill to men. (Luke 2:14) This peace and goodwill is between God and those whom he reconciled to Himself through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross. Therefore, the peace that Christians have is between them and God. This is what Christianity is about, not Social Justice.

14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 (NASB) 

The believers who obey God will also be those who draw near unto God. That means they seek Him because they love Him. They delight in Him. They live for His glory. In return, the spirit of God fills them. This life of being filled with the Spirit is a continually growing one of submitting to those God desires they submit to. In return, they grow deeper in their love and delight of the Lord. (Ephesians 5:17-6:1-9) This life of being filled with the Spirit is one of striving for peace with everyone along with one of personal holiness. These cannot be separated. Personal Holiness, which is an obedient life in the eyes of God, is both born from and is a catalyst for being filled with the Spirit. Neither of these things are purely experiential. Instead, the experience is a product of an obedient life.

Yes, we are to strive for peace with everyone, but are we to compromise or make peace with professing Christians who refuse to surrender and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ including those who have compromised their faith by going after Critical Race Theory as an add-on to the Gospel? We should always be ready to tell them the truth and pray for their repentance, but we must not compromise the truth. However, we are also not to be hypocritical in this. We must make sure that we never attack others or publicly rebuke anyone from the foundation of feelings, emotions, or any other motivation other than following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I know that can be difficult at time.

1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:1-6 (NASB) 

In Matthew 7:1-6 we read that we are not to judge others according to a standard we ourselves are not upholding. That would be hypocrisy. However, we also read in v6 that we are not to give that which is holy to dogs nor are we to cast our pearls before pigs. What does that mean? If we are dealing with people who hate the truth, if they react in anger, resentment, and outrage when the truth is given to them then we must judge how far to go in sharing the truth with them. If we continue and there is no repentance then we are in danger of being trampled along with the truth as their rage burns against us. This is not a violation of the command to submit to our enemies as Christ said in Matthew 5:44. We obey Christ in not giving what is holy to dogs and pigs because of our respect and love for what is holy. We must treat the truth, the gospel, and all other commands from scripture for us as holy. When we share it and people respond as dogs or pigs then we must obey our Lord by moving on.

14 Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Matthew 10:14 (NASB)

That may sound harsh, but we must obey. We learn God’s will by responding to how He providentially provides for us or not. If people refuse to believe the truth then we know they are in rebellion against God. If God does not change their hearts then they will never believe. We must continue to preach the truth to all, but when God pushes us away from people then we must obey and minister to those whom God gives us. This applies to those who demand that churches or denominations become conformed to something that is not Christian such as Critical Race Theory and all that goes with it. When the powers that be in a church and/or denominations do such a thing then genuine Christians must either do what it can to be rid of those spiritually dead leaders if possible, but if they can’t then they must reject what they are doing and leave those man-made organizations and join together as the Church elsewhere. This has happened throughout the history of the Church and will continue until the Lord returns.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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