God has entrusted us with the message “of reconciliation.” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” It’s in this passage also that we are called Ambassadors for Christ. We are representatives sent from Christ on a mission of helping to build relationships in order to help others reconcile their differences with God. If you were to read the entire chapter in great detail you’d find that 2 Corinthians Chapter 5 has three major themes. First, it sets forth the doctrine of reconciliation. That means that God, through the work of Christ, brought a sinner from a state of condemnation to a state of grace. It’s accomplished because of God’s profound love. Romans Chapter 5 illuminates this truth. It reads, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Reconciliation now means we have peace with God and are at peace with others.

The second major theme is important for us because it’s a profound dissertation on the purpose of the Church. You see we are a body of believers made up of gentiles and Jews. The reconciliation has happened through our reconciliation with God through Christ. There’s no more male, female, rich, poor, slave, free, Scythian, Barbarian, etc. All the old barriers of race, nationalism, tribalism, sexism, pride, prejudice, clericalism (the elevation of clergy over laity as in the Old Testament priesthood)—all these barriers should be gone from God’s family. We’re all the same and we’ve been reconciled into one Body known as the body of Christ. Now the significant point I want to make is the point I believe Paul is attempting to communicate to the battling believers in Corinth. He wants us to know that the Church is the primary agent for God’s reconciliation in the world today.

When A. B. Davidson (1831–1902), later to become an outstanding Old Testament scholar, was a young man, he was living in rented quarters in a strange city. Not wanting to spend his nights at home alone, He used to walk the streets in the evening. Sometimes through an un-curtained window he would see a family sitting around the table or the fire in happy fellowship. Being away from home for so long it often brought deep feelings of being left out and loneliness. One evening the father noticed him outside the window and walked over and drew the curtains shut. Davidson said that he felt wounded and shut out and lonely in the dark. This should never happen in the family of God. It should never happen in the local church. Men may put up barriers, but Christians never should.

“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” 2 Corinthians 5:20