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As Christians, God has given us just one ministry, one job to do, – and that job, that ministry, is the ministry of reconciliation.

There is a passage of Scripture which includes these verses: “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)

So what exactly does the word “reconciliation” mean?

The Oxford and Cambridge English dictionaries define “reconciliation” like this:
a) a situation in which two people or groups of people become friendly again after they have argued, to restore friendly relations between various parties or people
b) to settle (a quarrel)
c) the process of making two opposite beliefs, ideas, or situations agree
d) Make (one account) consistent with another, especially by allowing for transactions begun but not yet completed.

So reconciliation is to take one thing and make it agree in a consistent and friendly manner with another thing.

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 speaks of “The Ministry of Reconciliation”:

I would like everyone to understand that God gave us His instruction manual for our lives as Christians – it is called the Bible and is often referred to as “God’s Word” or “the Word of God”.

You see genuine Biblical Christianity is very simple – it is “religion” and “denominations” that make it complicated and hard.

“Religion” and “denominations” are man-made rules.

Where man is trying to attain a right-standing, a right relationship with God, by obeying rules.

Whereas genuine Christianity, being a genuine disciple of Jesus, is accepting the fact that man could never reach a right relationship with God through just obeying rules – but rather that God Himself reached out to humanity through Jesus.

So as I said, genuine Christianity is very simple.

In fact it is so simple it can be summed up in just one sentence: “love God, love others”.

Jesus said in Matthew 22:36-40 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Then Jesus gave us some specific commandments to follow to guide us on how to we are to “love God and love others”:

a) He told us to heal the sick and set people free from demons using the authority of His Name – the authority that He has given to us. Healing people, and setting them free from pain, illnesses, injuries, or demonic strongholds is loving them in very real and practical ways.

b) “Go” into all world and preach the Gospel – the Good News about Jesus restoring us, reconciling us, to a right relationship with God. Jesus told us to share our faith, our belief in Him and what He has done for us in our lives.

In fact one of the writers of the New Testament puts it this way: “Your heart should be holy and set apart for the Lord God. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15) In other words always be ready to tell anyone who asks you why you believe as you do.

c) make disciples – not just “converts’. Making disciples is about mentoring, investing time into people’s lives, and teaching them to obey what God has said in the Bible.

d) So it logically stands to reason that if we are teaching others to obey what God has said in the Bible then we ourselves must be obeying it as well. In fact Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, obey My commandments” and for emphasis, to show He really meant it, stated again a few verses further on in John 14:23 “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching.”

e) If we are doing these simple things, if we are in a close relationship with our Heavenly Father, with Jesus, and with the Holy Spirit then we will be living holy lives. Which is good because God has said we are to: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

I said before that Jesus commanded us to make disciples. Nowhere does the Bible just tell us to make converts. Jesus, and the New Testament are all about making disciples.

It saddens me to see how some people who claim to be Christians go around getting people to pray a “sinner’s prayer”; and then those Christians go off on their merry way with another “conversion knot” on their belt – another scalp to their credit.

That is NOT Biblical.

Nowhere in the Bible, and certainly nowhere in Jesus ministry or in the New Testament will you find a “sinner’s prayer”.

A “sinners prayer” is religion, is denominational doctrine. It is not Biblical. What the Bible says is that sinners are to “repent”.

The Bible says that when we repent and when we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) At that point we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and are called the children of God. (Romans 8:16) You see the Holy Spirit is for believers, not unbelievers.

The Holy Spirit is the evidence of someone truly giving their life to Jesus. And the Baptism of the Holy Spirit authenticates, proves, what happened is genuine.

It was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that proved to the Apostle Peter that the people in Cornelius’s household were saved: “Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” (Acts 10:44-48)

You see, Biblically speaking, repeating the words of some so-called “sinner’s prayer” does not make you a Christian. Even a parrot can repeat words. What makes you a Christian is the Holy Spirit being in your life.

And if the Holy Spirit is in your life – then the evidence of that will be a changed life. The evidence of that will be a “holy” life – because He is a “Holy” Spirit and the Bible makes it very clear that darkness (evil, satan) and light (good, Jesus, Holy Spirit) have nothing in common with one another. They cannot exist together.

Just repeating some words, some “sinner’s prayer” without producing the evidence of a changed life has just inoculated you against Christianity.
You simply become one of those people who think they are Christian because they were born in Australia, or born in America or born in England, or born into a Christian household, baptised as a baby, did confirmation, took communion once, whatever.

And as such you don’t grow or change. Because what you did, the words you repeated weren’t meaningful in your life. If you haven’t changed at all, if you are still exactly the same person that you were before you repeated some words of some “sinner’s prayer”, then you are not a Christian.

Pure and simple – no debate.

If you don’t grow from what you were into what Jesus is like then you are not a genuine disciple.


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