All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. CORINTHIANS 5:18-19 If we are to be peacemakers, to desire reconciliation, then what does it look like? The truth is, we have all experienced reconciliation. It's at the heart of the gospel.
Lordship & submission
Examination and confrontation
Confession and forgiveness
Discipline and restoration
Over the coming weeks we will look each of these more closely. RECONCILIATION REQUIRES LORDSHIP AND SUBMISSION Reconciliation is the process of bringing our lives, differences, failures, sins fears, all under the lordship of Jesus Christ. For reconciliation to occur, all parties must be in submission to God (JAMES 4:7), submission to one another (EPHESIANS 5:21) and in submission to authority (ROMANS 13:1).
Jesus is the best example of submission.
Humble (1 HUMBLE 2:23)
Leadable (MATTHEW 4:1)
Teachable (HEBREWS 5:7-8)
When responding to disagreements, conflict, and problems, we need to first check out heart. Am I allowing God to be Lord over this situation? Am I showing a heart of humility, mutual submission, and teachability? RECONCILIATION REQUIRES EXAMINATION AND CONFRONTATION Reconciliation and restoration are about joining together what was previously separated or broken. It is about healing relationships. It’s about resolving anything that separates. Restoring it to make it like new. It’s about recovering what has been lost.
This requires us to engage in personal and mutual examination and confrontation. It requires…
Truth that sanctifies – allowing truth not opinion to drive the process.
Love that sacrifices – driven by a heart of love for the other person/s.
Exposure of sin – allowing truth in love to reveal sin in each of our lives.
Authentic community – a process that has to be done together, for each other.
Authentic communication – a willingness to listen as well as speak.
Examination and confrontation are not about prosecuting or defending. It’s about being part of a process of reconciliation. What is my focus on? The other person or my part in problem/conflict/niggle? Am I allowing the Spirit of truth to examine me? Am I open to having my wrong revealed? Peacemaking through reconciliation is all about a gospel process that fixes what is broken. It invites us into a mutual process that tests our heart and actions against God’s perfect word. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. CORINTHIANS 5:18-19 May we be a people, a church family, who seek to reconcile differences under the lordship of Jesus. A people, a family, who mutually submit to a process of self-examination and confrontation against God’s word. This is the gospel way!