The Ministry and Word of Reconciliation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

II Corinthians 5:17-18:
-17:  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
-18:  And all things {that have become new to us in Christ} are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.

Jesus Christ has reconciled us to God by what he accomplished for us back in the times of the Gospel period. Now in this new era of God’s divine grace that we now live in and enjoy, and in which the Epistles make known to us, God has currently given to us the actual ministry of reconciliation. Indeed we may help inspire others into their own salvation, and thus show others the ministry of reconciliation they themselves have received. However, this ministry of reconciliation is primarily given to the individual believer so we may continuously have our own reconciliation that is confirmed before our heavenly Father. When Jesus was physically here he reconciled people back to God, but today in grace, with the physical absence of Christ, we live in the completed work of Christ, enjoying our own reconciliation. This is a God-given right, and we can always walk within our reconciliation before our God.

II Corinthians 5:19 – To wit {to know}, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses onto them {not charging their sins back to them}; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

The word committed here means to put into – us, and what God puts into us is His Word, the Word that gives us the God-given right and permission to continually be reconciled to God. The Word of reconciliation would almost be totally worthless if it came without the ministry that allows us to use it. The word ministry means to have a service for benefit that can be fully applied. It also comes with the God-given permission to walk within our calling of God in this ministry. Within the ministry of reconciliation that each of us has, we also have been given the Word, placed within our hearts, and this is what gives us the ability to be reconciled. The more we learn about the Christ within, the more of the Word of reconciliation we can aspire to.

II Corinthians 5:20 – Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you {call you} by us {the Apostles}: we pray you in Christ’s stead {place}, be ye reconciled to God.

With the ministry and Word of reconciliation we have been given an appointment, a God-given ambassadorship to live here on earth in Christ’s stead, enjoying the true reconciliation that Christ made available for us. We being ambassadors for Christ today represent his completed work not only for ourselves, but for the people we know and come in contact with.

II Corinthians 5:21 – For he {God} hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus took our sins, becoming sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ who is now in us with the Word and ministry of reconciliation. This is what allows each believer to maintain their fellowship with God; we have the ability to continually enjoy the Word that we have received, and as it moves from our minds to our heart, that Word becomes manifested as we believe.

Our Comfort in Hope (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Thessalonians 4:14 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

The “asleep in Jesus,” refers to the believers who have passed away, believers who did have the hope of Christ returning for them. We also “believe that Jesus died and rose again.” God in this verse is comforting the living, letting us know that the sleeping believers’ hope of the return of Christ is still true, and still a future event, and God has not forgotten them because He will bring them with us into heaven at the “gathering together.”

I Thessalonians 4:15 – For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord {revelation}, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord {Christ Jesus} shall not prevent {precede} them which are asleep.

The Bible uses the word “asleep” for believers who have passed away, and it is an accurate translation because Christ indeed will raise them from the dead. They will feel as though they just woke up from a good night’s sleep, and they will have new bodies that live for eternity.

I Thessalonians 4:16 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

When Christ returns, the sleeping (dead) believers will rise first, this is the order in which the Bible reveals to us. When Christ returns during this “gathering together,” he himself only comes down as far as the clouds, and the believes who were once alive will be raised up and out from among all the rest of the dead to meet Christ in the clouds above. This is why the angel said to the Apostles in the Book of Acts 1:11 “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This is what the Apostles saw “while they beheld, he {Jesus} was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Thus the return will be similar because believers will be gathered up in like manner to the gathering in the clouds, and from thence it’s off to heaven.

I Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we {believers} which are alive and remain {here on earth} shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the “gathering together.” This is your hope, to “ever be with the Lord” where everlasting reunions with families, loved ones, and friends will commence and never end. This is the hope that God in Christ has given you for your comfort, for your future goals, for at that time God will dry all your tears in the warmth and love of His divine presence. Your body will also be transformed at the “gathering together” from an earthly to a heavenly body, and from a mortal to an immortal body!

I Thessalonians 4:18 – Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

He That Believeth on Me

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

John 14:9 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

In a past Bible Byte, we looked at this verse, but now we go to the heart of the question. Philip and the rest of the Apostles wanted more proof that God was real, and Jesus in explaining the question more fully says “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Jesus was God’s Ambassador, God’s Son acting on God’s behalf, so that Christ was the epitome of God’s love in practical living, for he was the incarnate Word (John 1:14a). Jesus had the power of attorney to act in his Father’s stead, and the works that Christ had done were literally done by the power of God in him.

John 14:10-11:
-10: Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
-11: Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

In verses 10 and 11 we have Jesus explaining to his disciples that believing was the very key to recognizing and experiencing God (the Father). He further explains that if his words were not enough for them to believe, then they would be able to believe because of the very sake of the works that Jesus Christ had done, for they were the very proof of God Himself.

John 14:12 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do {of which God Himself energized} shall he {you} do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

This verse is almost unbelievable, yet Jesus says that it is so, and when we believe it, it will be so. Many have speculated about what these “greater works” really are, some believe it is the receiving of the holy spirit, but others think that the “greater works” are speaking in tongues, and others think being born again are the “greater works.” However, “greater works” is all of this and more, much more! It is receiving with God’s divine grace everything that Christ made available by his life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Today, we can be receiving and living the more abundant life, and it is so much greater because it is currently ours.

The “greater works” is the life that Jesus made available and gave to us in grace. It is spiritual freedom to personally as well as passionately walk with God as our Father, and with Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is your believing to receive the greatness of all the good works the Church Epistles (Romans through II Thessalonians), reveals to you in divine grace.  When you receive the Word of God and believe it, you will absolutely begin walking in the fullness of all Christ made available to you, and you will be living in and enjoying those greater works!

A More Excellent Way (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 12:31: But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

But covet earnestly the best gifts is the way that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying the opposite; sure you can try your hardest (and covet earnestly) to get the best spiritual gifts, yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Paul was writing to an entire church of believers in Corinth, saying that there was another way to conduct their lives, a better way to live than the way they were currently living, a more excellent way. This way is the way of love, to conduct our lives with charity as the following verses in chapter 13 then explain. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because living with the love of God in our hearts is the best way to enjoy life and experience happiness.

The basis for Paul explaining to the believers that there is a more excellent way goes back to verse 27–31 of I Corinthians chapter 12, which shows some of the gifts that the believers in the church were coveting, thus prompting Paul’s discourse.

I Corinthians 12:27–30:
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
-28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
-29: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
-30: Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

This section of Scripture first states that we are the body of Christ and then that we are members in particular in that body. Each believer is unique within the body and each has a special place that is tailor-made for him or her with room to grow. As Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” It is this more excellent way of God’s love that allows room to grow and enjoy life as God intended for His children.

Then within this body, there are some ministries given by God in Christ Jesus, such as Apostles and Prophets and Teachers. Also, some believers in the body work miracles very well, such as ministering healing to others. As well, there are others in the body who are very diverse in the use of additional spiritual gifts and manifestations that have been supplied by God’s grace to help us walk with Him and with each other.

The verses above are not a shopping list from which we can pick and choose the ones we personally want to have; rather, God set some, i.e., God gives to His children what is needed at the appropriate time and in the proper measure to supply whatever would fit the spiritual need within the body of Christ. Paul is saying that when and where believers simply conduct their lives in love, they will then have tapped into the more excellent way as God supplies to His church (the body of Christ) the best and most needed gifts, which will be received effortlessly and enjoyed by all.

I Corinthians chapter 13 begins explaining some of the spiritual qualities of charity. The love of God (charity) is the more excellent way because it will bring the most needed and “best gifts” right to you at the appropriate time and in the right measure. The chapter unfolds to the believers the more excellent way with explanations of some of the greatness of God’s love applied, what it will accomplish when acted upon, and also what charity will not do. For instance “{charity} doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (verse 5). Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is a wonderful chapter for believers to read and reread over and again.

I Corinthians 13:6: {Charity} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Iniquity means wrongdoing, or unrighteousness. In other words, let us say we see someone who wronged us in some way in the past now going through a hard time and we think, “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or finding satisfaction with someone’s misfortune is where charity cannot and will not function because that kind of thinking does not emanate out of the love of God. This is because charity thinketh no evil.

“Rejoice” is spiritual joy repeated over and again! We will have and enjoy this continuous rejoicing when and where we have charity in our lives. When we look into the Scriptures, recognizing them as divine truth from God, it will cause our hearts to rejoice. When the truth begins to hold us up, then the love of God in our hearts will also begin to bubble over into rejoicing ― abundantly. I Corinthians 13:8 reads, “Charity never faileth” when active in one’s life. Now, how often will we fail when we have God’s love in our endeavors in life? Never!

How do Christians avoid being failures? Charity never faileth. When and where we have charity in our hearts, we will succeed. If charity could fail just once, then it would be worthless for it could let us down at a most important moment. However, and thankfully, charity never faileth.

Our loving, heavenly Father has given to His children a more excellent way to live, a more excellent way to follow, and a more excellent way to love. All that any believer can do is either walk into the abundance of God’s more excellent way and learn to be loving, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly fulfil your God-given talents and gifts as you continue rejoicing in the truth, for you will have tapped into a new spiritual love that will never fail you, for it is God’s more excellent way.

I Peter 4: 8–11 (The Amplified Bible):**
-8: Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
-9: Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).
-10: As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
-11: Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

God’s Kingdom and Glory

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Scriptures say that we have been called unto God’s kingdom and unto His glory, yet sometimes these words (kingdom and glory) can appear so huge or distant that they can seem unbelievable, and so we may have a difficult time allowing these truths to filter down into our conscious minds and understanding. However, and thankfully, God’s wonderful Word so lovingly expresses divine truths so that that we may genuinely and honestly comprehend in the depths of our hearts what God says He has freely given to us in His grace, we really do have in His grace.

I Thessalonians 2:11 – As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

This verse is talking about how a father would instruct his child in learning, not in a reproof type of way, but rather in a way that first exhorts and builds up one’s confidence, with a fatherly comfort that makes one feel good and safe. The word “charged” means to testify and bear witness; this is done by one’s personal example in living life. The Apostle Paul was saying that just as a father helps his own children, Paul as their father in the Word did his best to help his spiritual children walk with God equally proportionate to how Paul himself walked with God.

I Thessalonians 2:12 – That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

The reason Paul exhorted and comforted by setting an example was so that the believers could learn how to walk worthy of God as Paul had learned since God had also called them (as well as us) into his very own Kingdom and glory. The more we walk worthy of our calling (by believing), the more God’s true Kingdom will make sense to us.  Through our believing, God can reveal His Eternal Kingdom to our understanding. The more we walk worthy of God’s calling, the more we can recognize the glory of God that He has placed in our hearts. This walk with God is not a rigorous, structured walk, but rather it is a journey through life with God’s love on our side.

I Thessalonians 2:13 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of thus, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Paul’s example was one of thankfulness to God. This is a wonderful example for us as well, to be humbly thankful for the privilege of being called into God’s Kingdom and glory. Paul was also thankful that believers had received God’s Word. Receiving God’s Word was never considered as something thought up by the intellectual minds of the Apostles, rather, the Word came from the actual heart of God. Although the Apostles and disciples (believers) spoke the Word of God, it was God’s divine Word that was given to men and women of heart, and when they believed the Word it worked effectually! When we believe the Word of God (which is called truth), the Word begins to work effectually, producing the positive result that the Word itself promises.

In context: these positive results were that the believers began to experience for themselves the reality of being called into God’s Kingdom, for they were also enjoying the glory that accompanies this wonderful calling.

In God’s Kingdom and glory where we have been called, we may also exhort and comfort one another with the Word, which works effectually in all of us.