THE ANATOMY OF THE CROSS: OUTREACH

BIBLE READING: MATTHEW 28:18-20

“But all these things are from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but cancelling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favour with God].”*2 Corinthians 5:18-20(AMP)

Still on the Anatomy of the Cross of Jesus Christ, today we will discuss the Outreach Dimension of the Cross, which relates to our ministry to the lost or to the unbelievers as commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ.

While Jesus walked the earth, He clarified His mission when He was challenged, which was geared towards the restoration of the lost – “And Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick. I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].” Luke 5:31-32. Jesus gave His All and went about doing good (see Acts 10:38) and became our Model in the Ministry of Reconciling man back to God because it is not His Will for any man to perish – “The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His Promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9(AMP).

The objective of the Cross is to redeem and reconcile man back to God. The importance of this reconciliation also necessitated the release of the Holy Ghost and an outpouring as promised to make us Witnesses – “But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8(AMP).

Jesus chose His disciples who bore great fruits and by Divine ordination you have been chosen with the same mandate to reconcile men to God – “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My Name [as My representative] He may give to you. John 15:16(AMP)

Love is an action word and requires demonstration by the person who claims to love by his good works. Jesus reprimanded the Church in Ephesus for leaving their first Love and admonished them to return to their first Love. (see Revelation 2:4) There is a connection between good works and Love because if you love the Lord, you will show it with your good works i.e., with your works of Righteousness. This Love will push you to do the things the Lord commanded in reaching out to men and persuading men because of the Great Terror of the Lord. (see 2Corinthians 5:11) A proof of the sincerity of your Love for the Lord is shown when it is demonstrated, not just with words but with corresponding actions. (see 2Corinthians 8:24).

It is time to go out of the camp and bear the Lord’s Reproach because our Salvation is now closer than when we first believed – “So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His contempt [the disgrace and shame that He had to suffer]. Hebrews 13:13(AMP). Remember, he who is wise wins souls [for God—he gathers them for eternity]. Are you ashamed of the Lord? Will you meet the Lord without any Souls to present? (Selah)

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, I thank You for reconciling me to the Father and giving me the ministry of reconciling others to God. I ask for grace to win souls for You all the days of my life in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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