Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part II by Brandon Smith

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In case you missed part one, read it here: Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith.

Hope

In the end, we do not know the answers to every question about how and why God saves anyone, but his Word is very clear that the proclamation of the gospel is a key component to transformation (Romans 10). People’s hearts cannot be ultimately changed for the better by new legislature, war, personal enlightenment, or secret philosophies; it can only be changed by the sin-stomping, life-altering life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through him and by him (John 6:44; 14:6).

This is our hope, and this is hope for those who are far from God. God is reconciling all things to himself and as reconciled people, Christians are to reflect Christ in a way that is not self-righteous and proud, but rather humble and sacrificial. Perhaps one of the most telling verses in the entire New Testament comes in Acts 2. After hearing the preaching of the Word, the early Christians went about their daily lives following the apostles’ teaching, sacrificing for one another, and spending genuine time in community. The result? They were loved by those around them and “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (2:47).

People were being saved through the Spirit of God just by watching these Christians live their lives! This is the gospel at work, changing lives through lives that love God and love others. The Word being preached is extremely important, as seen earlier in Acts 2, but there is so much more to it. Christians can make an eternal impact by obeying and worshiping God the way these early believers did. The truth, and only the truth, sets hearts free (John 8:32).

Toward being ministers of reconciliation

As someone who is in constant prayer and repentance about my own selfishness and propensity to avoid serving others, there are a few ways that I personally seek to love my neighbors as Christ calls me to:

1. Pray, Pray, Pray – Nothing of this magnitude can be accomplished without the Spirit’s work (1 Cor. 2:12). When you share the gospel and when someone receives it, there is supernatural power weaved throughout the entire process. Knowing that I need – and have – God’s help encourages me to worry less about my own fear of man.

2. Remember Christ – Though WWJD? bracelets have largely come and gone, this slogan is actually highly missional. When speaking with others, praying for others, and serving others, I have the perfect model in Jesus. When I don’t feel like being generous, I am reminded of how generous Christ is to me on a daily basis. When I don’t feel like serving, I am reminded that God himself stepped into human history and suffered the cross with joy (Hebrews 12:2).

3. Go – Loving and reaching my neighbors is frequently a better idea than action. Upon relying on the Spirit and remembering how Christ lived, I am finally reminded of the Great Commission’s call to literally take this good news to the lost (Matt. 28:18-20). This may be the hardest part, but an understanding of who Christ is, what he’s done, and what he calls me to propels me into his mission. May we all trust him with this responsibility.


Guest blogger Brandon Smith (@BrandonSmith85) is Director of Gospel-Centered Discipleship and Associate Editor for the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood. He is proud to be Christa’s husband and Harper Grace’s daddy. (The above article originally appeared on the Gospel-Centered Discipleship website.)

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tagged as in Christianity,Church Issues,Gospel,morality,theology

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