by Oscar M. Baker
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray for you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Cor. 5:17-20.
Read what goes before. All things Are Of God. Not the old things, but the new things. The old have passed away. All things must be limited by the context as always. The old things were not of God. Did you ever think of that?
Reconcile, in some form this word occurs 5 times in this little section. It may that it will form a structure.
A. God hath reconciled us to Himself.
B. Given .... Reconciliation.
C. Reconciling the world.
B. Committed .... Reconciliation.
A. Be ye reconciled to God.
It may be we can find here what reconciliation is and how obtained. In the first section under A we find God has reconciled us unto Himself. It is by or through Jesus Christ. That is the bare statement.
Then in B Paul says to US is given the ministry of reconciliation. By US, Paul means himself and those he is speaking. It is not his message alone. Others have a responsibility too. It is the church made up of Jew and Gentile. There is nothing about the Jew and Gentile being reconciled to each other as we see in Eph. It is not time for that yet. The way the reconciliation is brought about (see C, the center section) is that God was in Christ. It was in Christ that He reconciled the world unto Himself. In other passages we read that Christ died for our sins. He became sin and was judged in our stead. So here we have the truth of the matter briefly put. Trespasses are not imputed to the sinner. Since sins and trespasses are enmity against God, their removal gives access. Access gives the opportunity of approaching God and accepting by faith the gift of everlasting life, or then both it and the kingdom. So the gospel is that sin is not imputed. Now there is no enmity. The sinner can approach God to receive all the good things He has to offer. That is Truth for Today.
Again In B Paul repeats, unto US is committed the word of reconciliation. That corresponds to Given in B above.
In the last section Paul exhorts all to be reconciled to God. What can he mean here when we have that as truth already? If God has reconciled us unto Himself, then how can we go on and be reconciled to Him? It is merely putting the fact into operation. The unsaved do not act as if they had been reconciled. So make it work, is what he means.