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      Relationships: The Reconciliation Factor     2 Corinthians 5:11–7:4     Aug. 15, 2010


       Today a young lady asked me to recommend her for a mission trip to China. She has only been a Christian for a few years. She made a commitment to Christ at a Judgement house presentation. This is what Relationships: The Reconciliation Factor is all about.


1.   The Reconciliation Factor . . Reaching Out In Openness. 2 Cor. 5:11-13

       A.   Reaching Out . . Toward God And Man. 5:11-12

       11 Knowing, then, the fear of the Lord, we persuade people. We are completely open before God, and

       I hope we are completely open to your consciences as well. 12 We are not commending ourselves to

       you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who

       take pride in the outward appearance rather than in the heart.


       B.   Reaching Out . . Tempered For God And Man. 5:13

13 For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we have a sound mind, it is for you.

       In every walk of life we encounter people who need the Lord. Paul states because he knows the Lord will judge him for his witnessing or not witnessing and the people he encounters for their response to him, he received a motivation to witness for the Lord. Have you ever heard of a person saying “I would have become a Christian earlier but no one told me. I am amazed at the number of times people thanked me for witnessing to them. I believe I have been thanked more often than abused by people to whom I witnessed We must reach out in openness with tempered minds because of and for the Lord.


2.   The Reconciliation Factor . . Responding To Christ. 2 Cor. 5:14-16 

       A.   Responding Because We Are . . Compelled By Christ Love. 5:14-15

      14 For Christ's love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: if One died for all, then all died. 15

       And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died

       for them and was raised.


       B.   Responding Because We Are . . Concentrated On How We Know Christ. 5:16

      16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a

       purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him like that.

       I like the translation of verse eleven in the New English Translation. It says, “the love of Christ leaves me no choice.” I believe one of the ways my love for Christ is demonstrated comes through my faithfulness in telling others about Him. I do not believe we have a choice. Paul says he was “compelled.” And I believe that should affect all Christians. I know some people are Christians because a witnessing Christian obeyed the Lord and talked to them at the work place, school or maybe on the street. We may help people respond to Christ by our responding to His prompting to witness.


3.   The Reconciliation Factor . . Remembering God’s Work In Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17-21

       A.   Remembering Because We Are . . Ministers For Christ. 5:17-18

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Now everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:


       B.   Remembering Because We Have The . . Message Of Christ. 5:19-20

19 that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God."


       C.   Remembering Because We Know The . . Miraculous Work Of Christ. 5:21

21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him

       Do Non-Christians witness for Christ? Not many if any! However, when we become Christians verse seventeen says, “there is a new creation; old things are passed away,” I believe the new things includes the privilege of witnessing for Christ. We have become ambassadors for Christ and they represent Christ to everyone including those who do not know Him. I like to let verse 21 tell us how God makes us righteous? He begins with One who knew no sin, caused Him to know sin, so we could be presented to God as those who know no sin. It is a miraculous work.


4.   The Reconciliation Factor . . Reassuring Others Of Our Desires. 2 Cor. 5:17-21

       A.   Reassuring Because Paul Desired . . Sincerity In Professions. 6:1

6:1 Working together with Him, we also appeal to you: "Don't receive God's grace in vain."


       B.   Reassuring Because Paul Desired . . Similarity In Feelings. 7:2-4

7:2 Take us into your hearts. We have wronged no one, corrupted no one, defrauded no one. 3 I don't say this to condemn you, for I have already said that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.

       4 I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you. I am filled with encouragement; I am overcome

       with joy in all our afflictions. HCSB

       Verse one of chapter six expresses a strange idea. How do you receive the grace of God in vain? In my

opinion this can happen when God’s grace is presented and you do not receive it or you try to receive it for the wrong reason. Paul desired sincerity from all of those becoming believers. He wanted all believers to share a similarity with him in their beliefs and practices. He desired this for all believers because that is what Relationships: The Reconciliation Factor is all about. Amen? Amen!