Wednesday

Once Enemies, Now Ministers
Before you were converted you were an enemy of the gospel, and enemy of the cross, and an enemy of God.  The bible is clear about this.  As much as we would like to think that we were just ignorant of the grace of God and all we needed was to be enlightened, scripture clearly teaches that we were hostile towards God and His kingdom.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  -  James 4:4
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.  -  Luke 11:23

Friendship with the world makes one an enemy of God.  Now this is not good news.  But it makes what happens on and through the cross that much more amazing.  The good news is that God can and does redeem those who are by nature His enemies.  Oh, how He loves us.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  -  Romans 5:8

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  -  Romans 5:10

Because Jesus Christ took on Himself the wrath of God that was the just punishment for our sin, we are now reconciled to God.  We who once were enemies of God are made to be co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom.  What better picture of grace and mercy is there?  God the Father takes His enemies and through Christ adopts them as His children.  Not only that, He then uses His former enemies (us!) as the means through which He will reconcile others to Himself.  Turns out the story of Saul, the enemy of the church, being reconciled to God and, as Paul, used as a minister of the gospel is also our story.

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.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  -  2 Corinthians 5:18-20
How did He do such a thing?  All you have to do is read the next verse in 1 Corinthians.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  -  2 Corinthians 5:21
 Jesus Christ, the perfect, holy, blameless Son of God, was made to be sin so that we might be righteous.

Oh, how He loves us indeed.

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