Apr 25, 2010

2 Corinthians 5:20 - William Tant

2 Cor. 5:20, " Now then we are ambassadors for Christ as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." These words were addressed to persons whom the apostle terns " brethren," because they are the persons, who, in his first epistle, he says, are "called to he saints," and who had " the testimony of Christ" confirmed in them:" and consequently, were persons who spiritually understood what reconciliation in their own soul's experience meant. Therefore, this is not an exhortation to unregenerate persons, but to believers, who are daily contracting guilt upon their consciences, by which they often get into a mist of doubts and fears ; they doubt their interest in the forgiveness of God, and fear to approach his throne. The Corinthian church, as a. body, had been or were in this state when the apostle Paul wrote to them : they had been tolerating drunkenness and adultery among their members, by which they had brought a burden upon their consciences, and distress into their minds. To such burdened and soul-dejected believers, he holds out the encouraging truth ; " God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." " He vas in Christ," and there he beheld his people from everlasting, reconciling them unto himself, notwithstanding the sight he had of all their wanderings, sins, and inconsistencies. And as if the apostle said, (dwelling with the most ecstatic pleasure upon the precious truth of reconciliation in Christ) ; " be has done it, brethren, and never will undo it, and he has done it in Christ, where there is nothing but perfection ; he has done according to his own sovereign pleasure, and he declares, I change not, therefore, once reconciled ever reconciled; for he hath put upon him the iniquity of us all, and never will impute it to us again ;" and "he hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation:" sent us forth to preach this part of his gospel as well as the rest we, therefore, as ambassadors for Christ, are commissioned with these heavenly tidings; and we must say, you are the persons interested in this great blessing, because, by the fruits you have brought forth " in sorrowing after a godly sort," vii. 11. we know ye are " new creatures in Christ Jesus," v. 17. Therefore "we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God," that is, banish your doubts and fears, and quiet your souls with the sweet consideration that " Christ was made sin for you, that you might be made the righteousness of God in him."

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