The Gospel of Health, vol. 1

October 1897

“The Ministry of Reconciliation” The Gospel of Health, 1, 9, pp. 135, 136.



[Abstract of sermon before the students of the Summer School.]

“IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. This fact is an ever-present one. It matters not how long you have been in Christ, you are still a new creature. Christian experience never grows old. It is good to have been couverted [sic.] ten, fifteen, twenty-five, or even fifty years ago; but if you are not converted now, the fact that you were converted ever so long ago counts nothing. The Christian should be constantly growing in the knowledge and love of Christ, and daily discovering fresh beauties in the Christian life. Thus he is always a new creature. GOH 112.10

Let us read further: “Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” God has reconciled all, and yet all will not receive and profit by the reconciliation. God has done all that could be done for man; if any one is lost, it is because he deliberately chooses not to be saved. GOH 112.11

To you and to me there is committed the ministry of reconciliation. We are to lead people to God. But no man can be such a minister unless he has himself first become reconciled. Moreover this reconciliation must be an ever-present reality with him; then it will seem new and attractive to others. GOH 112.12

Now Paul tells us what this ministry of reconciliation is: “To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” Here we have the double statement to show what is the basis of our work,—the ministry, and the word of reconciliation. So then we have the charge, “Preach the word.” GOH 112.13

As far as the Lord is concerned, every soul on the earth is reconciled to him. What the world needs is to know this fact, that they may believe it and be saved. It is your business and mine to proclaim it everywhere. That is the ministry of reconciliation. GOH 112.14

Continuing the reading: “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.” GOH 112.15

The ambassadors of God are to beseech people to be reconciled. Then don’t you see how necessary it is for our own hearts to be at peace with God? Then our words will be attended with power. We will not then try to convince people by mere weight of argument. That in itself is of no avail. God wants converted hearts. But to convince the intellect is not to convert the heart. Thousands have been persuaded by argument who have not been reconciled to God. GOH 112.16

Let us consider the character of the ambassadors. The world expects to see in them something that resembles Christ, and they are disappointed when they fail to find it. The ambassador of Christ cannot be too careful of his conduct. He must be so honest and sincere that when he is held up to the light, nothing but light will be seen. What does “sincere” mean? The word is composed of the Latin words, sine and cera. These words mean literally “without wax.” The expression was originally used of the finest honey, which, when held up to the light, was found to be perfectly pure and transparent. GOH 112.17

So Paul says, “We are not as many which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” Paul did not attain this high and holy condition of himself. God made him just what he was, and God will do the same thing with his workers in this age of the world. He will take you and me and transform us completely, so that he can hold us up to the world, and men will see only light in us. Thus we can be the light of the world. GOH 112.18

We are in the world in Christ’s stead. Court the consciousness of that fact. As you go about in the world, carry the nature and character of Christ with you. Then you will be consecrated, and your labor will not be without fruit. Then people will be stirred. If there were no more Seventh-day Adventists in the world than are here to-night, there would be enough to move the world. It isn’t numbers that we need, but power. GOH 112.19

The vast majority of people in this country are convinced that the seventh day is the Sabbath. They are waiting to see the power that belongs to the truth manifested in the lives of those who have professed it so long. When they see this, they will accept it. It is not arguments to convince that are wanted now; it is power to convert. This power is freely offered to every soul. All can have it for the taking. Then why try any longer to do without it? GOH 112.20