Our Ministry and Word of Reconciliation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

After our salvation, do we still fall prey to temptations and are we swayed by the sin nature? Yes, all Christians will be tempted and stumble even after salvation, and it is at this point that all too many believers feel that they have lost their salvation, that their relationship with God has been totally severed, and condemnation thus begins reigning in the conscious mind. So what do we do at this point to regain our good standing with God? From the time of our salvation, onward, until Christ returns, we simply confess our mistakes or shortcomings to God in prayer to receive forgiveness. This is a major component of our God-given ministry and word of reconciliation.

I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he {God} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We can say, it just cannot be that easy, but the Bible says it is because God is faithful! The word, confess means to agree in our minds that yes, we indeed have made a mistake. God allows us to honestly admit to Him personally that we have made an error. This is the way God designed our continued forgiveness. God knows that we will blow it from time to time, so He has given to us an easy way back into fellowship with Him. When we become honest within our hearts and simply say something like this: “Yes, I blew it. I am truly sorry. I will try my best to walk with You today. I am honestly thankful that You have cleansed me from any and all unrighteousness, and I thank you for this in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.” Then our heavenly Father instantly and faithfully forgives and cleanses us from our shortcomings and again shows us that we have His righteousness to walk with Him in His divine love. The reason that our God can completely forgive us is because of what the Savior from sin has accomplished for us.

Through your continued forgiveness, you may honestly believe that you are never alone, you are not an island unto yourself, you have God in Christ in you, you are a fellow worker with God, your Savior, and with fellow believers. You will never be separated from the love of God or from the love of your Savior (Romans 8:35–39). You are a member in particular of a unified body (I Corinthians 12:27), a “whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). You are in Christ, and thus YOU are GOD’S BEST!

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 time of God’s divine grace that we live in and enjoy, the Epistles make known to us that God has 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 can enjoy in Christ. However, this ministry 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 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 unto them {not charging their sins back to them}; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

With the word of reconciliation does not come the permission to impute sins to others; we do not condemn anyone as per instructions from God’s Word ― rather we bless and love one another with the word of reconciliation. All too often in Christian circles, we become proficient at fault-finding and being critical of the sins of others, but God in Christ did not do this ― they did not impute or condemn us, rather they forgave and loved. The Bible says in Romans 2:1, he who “judgest doeth the same thing.” We have been given the word of reconciliation to love, to encourage, to bless, and to instruct people into the ways of God’s love and forgiveness. We should be so thankful that God accepted us and that we have received the grace of God and His forgiveness, and reciprocate these blessings. This is the fountainhead of Christianity, of love, of life enjoyed with our heavenly Father. In the Old Testament we read, “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth” (Psalms 94:1), and the New Testament also says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Vengeance is never given to man to dispense ― ever, in the Bible. We repay “the kindness and love of God” to one another (see Titus 3:1–7), and Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” We owe God’s love to one another; this is what we may repay to our fellow man and in doing so we will have fulfilled the law.

I Corinthians 3:9 informs us that “we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry {garden}, ye are God’s building.” What an awesome privilege! God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, and today He considers us His very own garden, and we are His building. We walk with God in a very unique way and with incredible privileges because we are labourers together with God. “We then, as workers together with him {God}, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (II Corinthians 6:1). To receive the grace of God in vain is to never acknowledge Him and all that we are to Him in grace as His beloved children.

Every time we confess our sin to God, every time God cleanses us from unrighteousness, we are using the ministry of reconciliation, and by being in fellowship with Him, we may help others into this wonderful, cleansing ministry. God has, “quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5–6). This is God’s elevated view of you and me because we are His garden and His abode; we are members of “the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21–22). Can you imagine that we are the actual habitation of God? Well, the Bible says so, so this must be true!

The word committed in II Corinthians 5:19 above, 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. You see, we have Christ in us (Colossians 1:27), and he is the Word (John 1:14), and thus we have the Word in us. Spiritually speaking, we are inseparable from God by being in Christ and by being heirs of heaven itself (Romans 8:16–17). The more we learn about the Christ within, the more of the Word of reconciliation we can aspire to for daily use as we become ever more gentler, Christ-like people, and certainly more happy in our daily travels.

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 also for the people we know and talk with, and we may witness to them with all the authority God has commissioned and given us as Christ’s own ambassadors who “shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life” (Philippians 2:15–16).

We are citizens of heaven itself (Colossians 1:13, I Thessalonians 1:12), and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20), and we are commissioned to share the Gospel with others. God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course and evils of this world (Ephesians 2:2–6), from the old man nature (Romans 6:6–12), from sin that can so easily beset and entangle us (Hebrews 12:1), so we may be free to serve Him and enjoy our lives immersed in the graces of God.

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 be renewed in the spirit of our minds by the Word that we have received, and that Word becomes manifested as we believe that we have been given the ministry and Word of reconciliation. Thus, we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

II Corinthians 5:17–21 (The Amplified Bible)**:
17: Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
18: But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].
19: It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).
20: So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.
21: For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

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

God’s Garden

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When I recall first becoming a Christian at age twenty, one huge concern of mine was about making any kind of commitment to God because ever since I was a child I heard and learned that Christians must suffer their way up to heaven. I was told that Christians could not have any fun in life, and I really did not want any part of that kind of life. But when I finally came to the Word of God, I began realizing that walking with God was fun, and that Jesus Christ suffered so that I did not need to, as I had feared.

There is nothing equal on earth in comparison to what we currently can receive from God. I used to think that the very best time to get saved was after I enjoyed life (like on my deathbed). Yet God’s wonderful healing Word has made my life such a pleasurable joy that the old way I used to think and behave is almost like looking back on an elusive nightmare, for there is no comparison on this earth to enjoying life with God and personally knowing Jesus Christ, my Savior.

Over time, committing my life to God became easier as His Word began to lift me up from within, and it has been a wonderful experience for me to also see how God works the same miracle in the hearts of other believers.

Romans 12:1–2:
-1: I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
-2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In this study, I wanted to highlight the phrase “present your bodies a living sacrifice.” This implies that God desires us to commit ourselves (presenting the whole person – wholly unto Him); for in doing so we will begin proving to our inner conscious minds that the will of God is so “good,” and completely “acceptable,” and even “perfect!”

When we begin committing our lives to God (our bodies, i.e., our very souls) we can then begin proving to ourselves that life with Him is truly spectacular and always rewarding. This is “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10).

To name just a few things that are acceptable that can be proven are: His love that we have within, which we may daily utilize; that we have joy overflowing, which we may bask in; that we have God in Christ in us, which is certainly much greater than walking alone without God in this world. This is why the greatest giving that man could ever give is to commit oneself to God Who is the Father of Lights. Then beyond this, the receiving from our heavenly Father truly flourishes in one’s spiritual growth, and the reason why may just blow your mind (so-to-speak).

I Corinthians 3:9 (The Amplified Bible): **
For we are fellow workman (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under {God’s} cultivation, [you are] God’s building.

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of God and they were to cultivate the Garden themselves (Genesis 2:15) while they lived in complete serenity with God in His divine grace. Yet as we know, they fell from grace with the entrance of sin while Paradise, the Garden of God, ceased to exist for man. However today, because of the redemption we received by the completed work of Christ, we can now walk again with God in His divine grace equal to that of Adam and Eve’s original fellowship and union with God. We are now laborers together with God in His cultivated home in fleshy tables of the human heart (II Corinthians 3:3, 4:7).

We are a new spiritual Garden of God’s making and design, wherein God provides the cultivating, nurturing, and growth of our spiritual lives, and in our hearts is where we may freely commit our very souls to Him.

In God’s Garden, we are the sweet fragrance of Christ to Him (Ephesians 5:1–2). It is interesting to note that the word for “grow” in Matthew 6:28 for the growth life of lilies is the Greek word auxano and means to grow from within without compulsion, in the best conditions, having the best light for photosynthesis to promulgate the growth of life from within. This word is also used for the growth of the temple of God whom we are (Ephesians 2:21–22), for we are continuously growing in and with God’s cultivation, immersed in the light of His love (Ephesians 4:16).

Today we walk with the Father in the Garden of His delight wherein He is our sufficiency as He continues to deliver and honor us. “He {you and I} shall call upon me {God}, and I will answer him: I will be with him in {or through} trouble; I will deliver him {from trouble}, and {I God will} honour him” (Psalms 91:15). WOW – God honors us! “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28); and this is why we are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified {by believers}” (Isaiah 61:3).

We today are God’s spiritual Garden, for we are His habitation (Ephesians 2:22), living in and enjoying our heavenly Father’s own cultivating. He gently pulls out the weeds of doubts, worries, and fears, and increases our confidence, trust, and believing faith to commit ourselves to His healing Word. Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). In other words, our heavenly Father can deliver us from whatever holds us captive, no matter how deeply seated (or seeded) it may be, for God is the cultivator of the human heart.

God warms our souls in His marvelous light as He gives us spiritual growth that blossoms out from our heart’s commitment to Him.

Giving of oneself to God is the greatest act of giving because it is the greatest act of receiving God’s loving-kindness within!

We may plant and water by placing the healing Word of God in our minds. Simultaneously our heavenly Father will cultivate and give us the increase (auxano), with which we need to grow in the spiritual Garden of God’s care as we enjoy a continued perpetual springtime.

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

The Habitation of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Ephesians 2:18 – For through him {Jesus Christ} we both {believers from Israel and the Gentiles} have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

The word Spirit is in reference to the gift that God has given each believer and the spirit gives us personal access to the Father. Many people think that they have no real access to our heavenly Father; however, we most certainly do.

Ephesians 2:19 – Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

We are not estranged to God, nor are we foreign to Him, for He knows us intimately.  God has already made us one with spiritual unity before Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which gives us genuine citizenship from above – from heaven – from Him Who gave. God has also made us fellow-citizens with every other saint (every believer without exception), and we are also fellow-citizens of the actual household of the Creator.

Ephesians 2:20 – And {we, the fellow-citizens} are built upon the foundation of the {laid by the} apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:

The Apostles and Prophets are those whom God in His grace has commissioned to lay the foundation by their teaching the truth within the Church Epistles. The Epistles teach us about the true spiritual foundation of Christ, and that the entire Church of God is built upon this.

Ephesians 2:21 – In whom {in Christ} all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

It is we, the believers, who spiritually grow within the temple, and we are “framed together” to make up the true spiritual temple that is growing in the Lord. You may wonder: How in the world can people make up a temple, and how is it that we are framed together? The next verse continues:

Ephesians 2:22 – In whom {the Lord} ye also are builded {up} together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

We are not only spiritually “framed together” in the temple of God, but we are also being spiritually “builded (up) together” to be the habitation of God. We know where we physically dwell, the place that we call our home, while spiritually speaking we are the place where God spiritually dwells, the place He calls His home, for we are indeed intimate members of His household. Not only do we have continued access to God, not only are we conducting our lives on the foundation of Christ, not only are we growing spiritually within the true temple of God, but we are also the place where the Creator of life has His habitation. We have access to God by the spirit that He gave us, and Ephesians 2:22 shows that God Himself inhabits the believers through or by means of the Spirit, and Spirit is the very essence of God.

The View Is Lovely from up Here

“God has, quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus– Ephesians 2:5-6. This is God’s elevated view of you and me because we are His garden and His abode; we are members of the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit– Ephesians 2:21-22. Can you imagine that we are the actual habitation of God? Well, the Bible says so, so this must be true!” ~LMJ~

Christians Can Become the Most Generous and Giving People on the Planet

“When we begin making room in the heart of our hearts for God, we will also discover that we were formed, made, and created to be the actual habitation of God (Ephesians 2:22). Then becoming a cheerful giver (to God first), will be a continuous blessing to us. This is why I believe that Christians can become the most generous and giving people on the planet.” ~LMJ~