7. Being Fully Reconciled to God and Enlarged in Heart to Represent God Rightly in His Economy
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  • 05-06,
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Scripture Reading: 2 Cor.5:18-20; 6:11-13; 10:8; 12:15; 13:4,10
I. In order to represent God in His economy,we need to be fully reconciled to God—2 Cor.5:20:
A. The ministry of reconciliation is to bring us back to God fully,thoroughly,completely,and entirely—v.18:
1. The ministry of reconciliation is not merely to bring sinners back to God but,even the more,to bring believers absolutely into God—vv.19-20.
2. Until we are wholly one with the Lord,being in Him and allowing Him to be in us absolutely,we will need the ministry of reconciliation.
B. Two steps are required for us to be fully reconciled to God—vv.19-20:
1. In 2 Corinthians 5:19 it is the world that is reconciled to God,but in verse 20 it is the believers,who have already been reconciled to God and are to be reconciled further to God.
2. The first step of reconciliation is to reconcile sinners to God from sin—v.19:
a. For this purpose Christ died for our sins that they might be forgiven by God—1 Cor.15:3; Luke 24:46-47; 1 John 2:12.
b. This is the objective aspect of Christ's death; in this aspect He bore our sins upon Himself on the cross that they might be judged by God for us—1 Pet.2:24; Isa.53:11-12; Heb.9:28; Col.1:22; Rom.8:3.
3. The second step of reconciliation is to reconcile believers living in the natural life to God from the flesh—2 Cor.5:20:
a. For this purpose Christ died for us—the persons—that we might live to Him in the resurrection life—vv.14-15.
b. Because we are still separated from God and because we are not fully one with God and altogether in harmony with Him,we need the second step of reconciliation.
c. The subjective aspect of the death of Christ needs to be applied to our situation and to our natural life—Rom.6:6; 8:13; Gal.5:24; Matt.16:24:
1) In order that we may be reconciled to God in full,the Father exposes our natural life and unveils our real situation to us—1 John 1:5,7:
a) As a result,we condemn our natural being and apply the cross subjectively,and this application of the death of Christ crucifies our natural life.
b) As our natural man is crossed out,we experience the second step of reconciliation; in this step the veil of our natural man is rent so that we may live in God's presence.
2) Instead of taking place once for all,the second step of reconciliation is continuous.
4. By the two aspects of His death,Christ fully reconciles God's chosen people to God—Rom.5:10; 2 Cor.5:19-20.
 

II. Being fully reconciled to God causes us to be enlarged in our heart—v.20; 6:11-13:
A. How large our heart is depends on the degree of our reconciliation to God.
B. Narrowness of heart is a strong indication that we have been reconciled to God only partially and that the percentage of our salvation is quite low—v.12; Rom.5:10.
C. In order to be strict with ourselves and not with others,we need to be enlarged; those who are constricted are usually narrow as well,and thus they need to have their heart enlarged—2 Cor.6:12-13.
D. Wisdom and largeness of heart are two aspects of one thing; the secret of wisdom is to have a large heart—1 Kings 4:20,29.
III. When we have been fully reconciled to God and have been enlarged in heart,we can represent God rightly in His economy—2 Cor.5:20; 10:8; 12:15; 13:4,10:
A. Because the apostle Paul had been fully reconciled to God and enlarged in heart,he was qualified to be an ambassador of Christ,representing God—5:20:
1. An ambassador of Christ is one who represents God,the highest authority in the universe:
a. God has given all authority in heaven and on earth to Christ—Matt.28:18.
b. Jesus is the Christ—the Lord of all,the King of kings and the Lord of lords—the highest authority—Acts 2:36; 10:36; 1 Tim.6:15; Rev.17:14; 19:16.
c. The Lord needs some ambassadors on earth who are qualified to represent Him—Matt.28:19.
d. A new covenant minister is one who has been authorized with the heavenly authority to represent the highest authority—2 Cor.3:6; 5:20:
1) The apostles were commissioned to represent Christ to accomplish God's purpose—Matt.10:40; John 13:20; Gal.4:14b.
2) All the members of the Body are representatives of the Head,His ambassadors—Acts 9:6,10-17; 22:12-16.
2. As an ambassador of Christ,Paul was "the acting God"—2 Cor.1:3-4,12,15-16; 2:10; 10:1; 11:2:
a. Paul was one with Christ to be the acting God in comforting the believers—1:3-4.
b. Paul conducted himself in the singleness of God,for he was an imitator of the simple God,and he lived God—v.12.
c. Paul's coming to the Corinthians was the coming of God as grace—vv.15-16.
d. Paul forgave a particular matter in the person of Christ—2:10.
e. Paul entreated the believers through the meekness and gentleness of Christ—10:1.
f. Paul was jealous over the saints with the jealousy of God—11:2.
B. We need to learn a serious lesson from the one time that Moses failed to represent God—Num.20:2-13:
1. In striking the rock twice and in calling the people rebels,Moses did not sanctify God in the sight of the people of Israel—vv.10-12:
a. To sanctify God is to make Him holy,that is,separate from the false gods; to fail to sanctify God is to make Him common—v.12.
b. In being angry with the people and in wrongly striking the rock twice,Moses failed to sanctify God—vv.10-11.
c. In being angry when God was not angry,Moses failed to represent God rightly in His holy nature,and in striking the rock twice,he did not keep God's word in His economy—vv.10-12.
d. Moses offended both God's holy nature and His divine economy; he condemned the people as rebels,but he was the one who rebelled against God's word—vv.10,24; 27:14.
2. In all that we say and do concerning God's people,our attitude must be according to God's holy nature,and our actions must be according to His divine economy.
3. If we do not sanctify God in our attitude and actions,we rebel against Him and offend Him.
C. A person who represents God rightly must have the following qualifications:
1. He must submit to authority—Matt.8:8-9.
2. He must realize that in himself he has no authority—28:18; 2 Cor.10:8; 13:10.
3. He must know God and God's will—Eph.1:9; 5:17.
4. He must be one who denies the self—Matt.16:24.
5. He must be one with the Lord and live in constant and intimate fellowship with Him—1 Cor.6:17; 1:9; 1 John 1:3.
6. He must not be subjective and not act according to his own feeling—2 Cor.3:5.
7. He must be kind and gracious in dealing with others—Luke 6:35; cf.Rom.5:15-16; 1 Cor.2:12.
8. He must be a person in resurrection,living in the resurrection life of Christ—2 Cor.1:9; 4:14; Num.17:1-10.
9. He must take a lowly place before God—14:5; 16:3-4,22,45; Matt.11:29; Rom.12:16; Luke 14:7-11; 1 Pet.5:5-6.
10. He must be able to bear offenses—Exo.16:7; Num.14:2,5,9,27; Matt.6:14-15; 1 Cor.4:6-13.
11. He must have a consciousness of his inability and unsuitability—Exo.3:11; 4:6-7,10; 2 Cor.3:5; 1 Cor.15:10.
12. He must be one who represents God properly—Exo.32:11-12; 2 Cor.5:18,20; Eph.6:20.
 
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