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The Word of Reconciliation

The Word of Reconciliation

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. N. P. KNAPP



"God was in Christ, reconciling the -world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
2 Cor. v. 19.
BY REV. N. P. KNAPP



"God was in Christ, reconciling the -world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
2 Cor. v. 19.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 19, 2013
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THE WORD OF RECOCILIATIOBY REV. . P. KAPP"God was in Christ, reconciling the -world unto himself, not imputingtheir trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."2 Cor. v. 19.The apostle, having in the foregoing part of the chapter setforth in strong terms his assured hope of eternal glory, passesto the brief consideration of the final judgment at the tribunalof Christ, before which all must appear, " that every one mayreceive the things done in his body, according to that he hathdone, whether it be good or bad." Knowing this, which hecalls " the terror of the Lord," he is careful to keep a goodconscience, not only by living as a new creature in Christ, inconformity to the principles of his high calling, but also by thefaithful exercise of his ministry, in seeking those who are wan-dering from God, to bring them back to love and obedience.The earnest striving which he manifested in the cause, wasprompted, too, by the constraining love of Christ, whose vica-rious sacrifice bound all those who are redeemed by it to a lifeof devotion to his service. Old things are passed away to theredeemed in Christ, and all things are become new. And allthese new things — the spiritual privileges, joys, and hopes of the adoption through Christ, " are of God, who hath reconciledus to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath committed unto us theministry of reconciliation, to wit: That God was in Christ, re-conciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespassesunto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconcilia-tion." Our text suggests these three points for consideration.1. The reconciliation referred to by the apostle.2. The fitness of Christ to be a Mediator, for the purpose of effectiuG: it.
 
92ERMO X.3. The ministry by which the benefits of the reconciliationare made available for individual salvation.1st. In considering the reconciliation referred to, we are ledto some general reflections upon the state of mind in whichsuch subjects should ever be aj^proached. In all religious mat-ters we must regard ourselves as children, coming to the holyScriptures in a submissive and docile spirit, to be taught whatwe cannot know of ourselves. For it must be granted, that if man did not need a revelation from God to teach him the wayof salvation, or his religious condition and his religious duty,no revelation would be given. A revelation being given, manmust learn from it the truth in regard to such matters. It isgreat folly and presumption to admit the revelation, and yetthink and act as if nothing had been revealed. If what purportsto be a revelation from God contradict our actual knowledge, thiswill be so much evidence that it is not a true revelation. But if itbe proved true, we must not refuse to hear it, because it tells usmuch that may astonish us. It will not do, for example, forthose who are called to embrace the Christian doctrines of na-tural sinfulness — the need of redemption, and the actual media-tion of a Saviour, to ask, by the way of excusing compliance,"What was God's purpose in creating man? And why did henot create man with power to keep himself in possession of pu-rity and happiness?" These are questions which go beyond allthat we can know. God only could inform us, and that he coulddo only by a special revelation, which he has not done. Wehave a right to conclude from the attributes of God, that he wouldnot create an intelligent being for any thing but good. If hedid create man for any thing else, man owes him no thanks, no
 
love, no sense of religion. And if man is now just what Godmade him, if he is obeying in all things a law originally plantedwithin him, that is, if he has not swerved from God by way-ward impulses, he is surely guiltless in God's sight. God candemand no more of him. But if he is a fallen creature, if he hasforsaken a law once given him, lost his natural innocence, andseparated himself from God by his own wilful disobedience, thenhe needs some Mediator between himself and God; some instru-mentality by which he may obtain God's favour, and a restora-tion to purity. His own reason, if he will reflect upon his cha-racter and condition, may concur with the word of divine reve-SERMO X. 93lation, in teaching man his guilt, his helplessness, and his needof a Mediator. But whether so or not, if a blinded consciencehave been wont to whisper smooth and false things to his soul,and he do not admit his real condition, the word of God mustdetermine, without appeal, whether there be a controversy be-tween himself and his creatures, what that controversy is, andhow it can be settled. Supposing that there has been a lapsefrom original innocence — a fall from i-ighteousness through trans-gression of God's law — causing guilt, and weakness and offen-siveness to God, man needs a Mediator, qualified to meet the de-mands of God, and the wants of man. ow there can be no re-ligion without a sense of want and danger on the part of man,and a hope of propitiating God's favour. This sense of wantand danger, leads to the offering of prayer and sacrifice, evenby the heathen. But the hope of propitiating God's favour canhave no sure ground but the testimony of God's word. Andthis word declares both the fall of man from original purity andinnocence, and his recovery by the intervention of a Mediator.It behooves man to avail himself of the testimony of God's word,that he may both learn the way, and secure the means of salva-tion. The word of God declares that man is at enmity with God,and that God has, in mercy, provided a way of reconciliation.Both the enmity and the reconciliation are declared in variouspassages of holy writ. Guilt, which calls for punishment, sin

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