Class Notes: 10/11/2015
Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; The doctrine of witnessing part 20
In our study of the doctrine of witnessing Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; we are examining the doctrines that undergird the gospel so that we understand how and why it is God alone who made it possible for our so great salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Eph 2:8-9;
We are presently discussing the doctrine of reconciliation where God once and for all addressed the barrier between Himself and mankind and by extension all of the barriers that exist between people. The only solution to these problems is believing in Jesus Christ as savior and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Last time we noted the scriptural documentation for the doctrine and it's various facets that address the four parties that are involved.
We will now note the Old Testament references and ritual that represented the various facets of the doctrine of reconciliation.
The principle of peace or reconciliation was portrayed in the ritual offerings of the ritual plan that God gave to Israel for their dispensation.
The peace offering described in Lev 3; Lev 7:37-38; and Lev 8:15; teaches the principle of reconciliation through the use of ritual sacrifices.
In Lev 2:13; the eating of salt represented peace between two enemies. God eating salt is a picture of propitiation. Man eating salt is a picture of reconciliation.
Reconciliation was prophesied in Isa 57:17-21. "`Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain (function of evil in Judah), I was angry (anthropopathism to express God's attitude toward evil in the client nation); I struck him (anthropomorphism that expresses God's judgment of evil);
I hid My face (anthropopathism that expresses God's rejection of evil); therefore, I was angry, but he went on turning away (chronic apostasy) in the way of his heart (a mental attitude of black-out of soul and life in satan's cosmic systems).
v18 I have seen his ways (barrier), but I will heal him (reconciliation). I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners (perpetuation of pivot in Judah),
v19 creating the praise of his lips. Peace (reconciliation) to him who is afar off (missionaries to the Gentiles from Israel) and peace to him who is near (evangelism in Israel),' says the Lord. `Therefore I will heal him (remove the barrier as a result of positive response to God).'"
The apostles teaching emphasized reconciliation. Acts 10:34-36. Peter opened his mouth and said "I most certainly understand now that God does not show partiality.
v36 but in every nation the person who reverences Him and accomplishes the purpose of imputed righteousness is acceptable to Him.
v36 The doctrine which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all.'"
This preaching of peace has nothing do with the elimination and removal of warfare between people on the earth during the Church Age. It teaches the removal of the animosity between man and God through the agency of Jesus Christ and the fact that anyone or any nation who has positive volition to the Gospel will be the recipient of God's grace.
This peace is only ratified when people have personal faith in Jesus Christ and it actually increases the hostility of those who reject it. Matt 10:34-36;
Because of chronic rampant negative volition we see this occurring to an extent that we have not previously seen in our nation at this time to the point where Christians are being killed because they are Christian.
The most succinct description of the entire scope of the doctrine of reconciliation is found in 2Cor 5:18-21;
v18, "Now all these things (baptism of the Spirit, new spiritual species, great power experiment of the Church Age) are from God (Father) who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ (agent of reconciliation), and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation."
The ministry of reconciliation is designed to be solely the work of God, not the work of man. Man's ability is never the issue.
Since believers have been given the ministry of reconciliation, this means that all believers should accurately understand the Gospel message and exactly how they were saved. We must understand that the only issue is Jesus Christ, and then we can communicate that fact. Our responsibility is to make the issue clear, which you can do once you understand what God did for you through Jesus Christ.
So once you understand the doctrine of reconciliation, your witness will be effective because God the Holy Spirit will do the work, using the doctrinal facts that you communicate to others.
v19 "Namely that God (the Father as reconciler) by means of Christ (agent of reconciliation) was reconciling the world to Himself (unlimited atonement) by not imputing their sins to them, and He entrusted to us the doctrine of reconciliation."
This verse succinctly describes the doctrine of reconciliation because it is the basis of grace orientation. Jesus Christ did the work, we are reconciled to God the Father, the Holy Spirit reveals it, and people are the recipients.
Note that God was not just reconciling the elect, He "was reconciling the entire world.". This is the doctrine of unlimited atonement. Christ's substitutionary spiritual death was not only for the elect it was for everyone.
Reconciliation is a major doctrine in orienting to grace and establishing a proper scale of values. The priorities of your scale of values must put your relationship with God before your relationship with people.
v20, "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ as though God was making an appeal through us; we invite you on behalf of Christ: become reconciled to God."
Being an ambassador is one of the church age believer's two royal commissions. We see from this that we have a responsibility to not only live our lives in a manner that represents Christ but to also communicate the Gospel to others verbally.
We also see here that man becomes reconciled to God, not God to man. God the Son removes the barriers between God and man through His salvation work on the cross, thereby establishing peace.
This peace is ratified through personal faith in Jesus Christ. Man is reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ alone; no work, action, or human system can accomplish this.
Verse 21 mentions two categories of reconciliation.. "He (God the Father) caused Him (God the Son) who had no sin ( the impeccability of Christ) to become sin as our substitute so that we might become the righteousness of God by means of Him."
The first category of reconciliation is that Christ became our sin substitute. The second category is the imputation of God's perfect righteousness to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ so they have the perfect righteousness that is required to be in the presence of God and live.
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