Friday, April 2, 2010

The gospel question; the gospel and the ministry of reconciliation: Part V

We have looked at the gospel as it was prophesied in the Old Testament Prophets; as the message “the kingdom of God is at hand” by Jesus and, the gospel for the Gentiles according to Peter. Now it is time to look at the ministry of reconciliation as a part of the good news of the kingdom.
Daniel 9:24 predicts eight actions of the Messiah:
  • To finish the transgression,
  • To make an end of sins,
  • To make reconciliation for iniquity,
  • To bring in everlasting righteousness,
  • To seal up vision and prophecy,
  • And to anoint the Most Holy.
All of these predictions are gospel promises and, they all accompany the first coming of the son of man. The one we are focusing on today is “to make reconciliation for iniquity.” Paul mentions reconciliation through Christ Jesus ten times; Rom_5:10; Rom_5:11; Rom_11:15; 2Co_5:18; 2Co_5:19; 2Co_5:20; Col_1:21. The new perspective on Paul proponents along with many in the emergent church movement try to downplay the concept of imputed righteousness. They question Luther’s reading of righteousness and the fall. Personally, I think that this is a mistake. While, as we have stated in the past that a more Jewish view of the New Testament is valuable, to eliminate the idea of imputed or accredited righteousness does not square with Paul’s writing from my view.

Especially when one looks at the ministry of reconciliation in 2 Cor 5:18-21. N. T. Wright deals with 2Cor 5:21 as Paul reporting God’s covenant faithfulness and that it is not discussing personal sins and forgiveness. However, look at 2Cor 5:19.
(2Co 5:19) that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

This particular verse expresses that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself and, it further states that he (God) was not imputing sin. This means that he was not imputing sin to individuals in the world. It takes it out of the realm of just covenant faithfulness. In Romans 5:13, Paul explains that sin is not imputed where there is no law and, the Gentiles were clearly not under the law so then, there would not be a need for –not imputing—sin to the world. However, it is also explained in Romans 2:12 that the Gentiles would perish without the law and that the Jews would perish for breaking the law. In any sense it was a sentence of an uncertain death. Uncertain in the fact that no one could know what the ultimate result of death would be.

As we have shown before, the pathology of humanity is mortality via the survival instinct and, the ability to justify oneself via the knowledge of good and evil. This is the source of all greed and sin. This is the condition of the fall. This is the condition of original sin. This is the condition of unredeemed humanity… so then, it is also the reason for the necessity of the ministry of reconciliation.
It can be summed up in this: (2Co 5:21) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Next we will look at the exact operation of the cross event. What did the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus do for us all?

1 comment:

  1. How grateful we should be that Jesus took on our sins. When people barter, they usually exchange things that are of equal value in their eyes. But here Jesus offers something incapable of being valued for something that we could never equal up to. We could never pay or repay Jesus for what He did for us.


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