We are New Creations in Christ Jesus! We are Ambassador’s for Christ. We are all called to preach the Gospel…and share the Ministry of Reconcilation

 

Today’s Scripture:

  • “And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.” Luke 7:3
  • “And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.”  Luke 7:10

Introduction:

I know what you’re thinking.  What in the world can we possibly learn about reconciliation from these two verses?  I remembered thinking that as I prepared the first time to write a message on these two verses, and then God let me know that these verses come from the story of the Centurion’s servant.

This Centurion is one of the few people who Jesus marveled over…and in this message we’re going to not only find out why Jesus marveled at the Centurion, but what this parable has to do with reconciliation.

So…let’s get into today’s message…

Today’s Message:

For today’s message we find ourselves looking at the story about the Centurion’s Servant.

As I admitted in the introduction.  I had a hard time trying the think of how in the world the story of the Centurion’s Servant could be used to teach about Reconciliation.  I mean Jesus hasn’t even been to the Cross yet, but as you’ll see…the Holy Spirit opened up this story to me, and gave me one of the best messages on Reconciliation I’ve ever written.

I have a sense that the centurion’s entire household was reconciled to God because of the faith this man had that Jesus could just speak, and the servant was healed. I’d imagine that there are many who are reconciled to God when they are witnesses to some of the miracles, signs, and wonders.

The specific verses for today’s message were verses 3, and 10. So the centurion merely heard about Jesus, knew that Jesus could and would heal his servant, and in the end of the story we find the servant was alive and well…perhaps the most talked about verse in this story is the only statement recorded from Jesus…that He not found such great faith in all of Israel.

In the introduction, I said we’d find out the answer to these two points.

  1. What made Jesus marvel when it came to the Centurion?
  2. What does this story have to do with Reconciliation?

First…the thing that made Jesus marvel was the faith the Centurion had in that he knew all Jesus would have to do is speak the word, and his servant would be healed.  Jesus said that He had “not found such great faith in all of Israel.”

Do you know what that means?  It means that God is looking for people who have faith like this Centurion had.  We all know the Bible says that it’s impossible to please God without faith.  We all know the Bible says that apart from Jesus we can do nothing, but that with God all things are possible.  Possible to who?  Those who believe.

In another moment of healing.  Jesus had to throw people out of the room where He was about to heal another person because all of the people were full of doubt and unbelief.  Then, once He had everyone out He turns to say to those left one of those well know quotes by Jesus:  “Fear not, only believe.”

Faith, my friends, is the key that unlocks any thing and everything in the Kingdom of God…including Reconciliation with God.  It takes faith when you don’t feel saved to look yourself in the mirror, and say “I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.”

Listen…can I be transparent here?  There are many, many times…even now…that I don’t always “feel” like I’m saved.  I don’t always “feel” like I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  However, the truth is that none of us are saved, sanctified, righteous, holy, redeemed, healed, or reconciled to God because of our “feelings”, but because of our FAITH.

By faith, we receive all that the Kingdom of God has to offer, and by faith we ARE all that God says we are…including the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  So…what God is looking for is believers who understand that regardless of how we feel…we believe that we’re God’s children…not because we feel like it, but through our faith.

I have a sense that the centurion’s entire household was reconciled to God because of the faith this man had that Jesus could just speak, and the servant was healed. I’d imagine that there are many who are reconciled to God when they are witnesses to some of the miracles, signs, and wonders.

I would have to imagine that when the Centurion returned to find that at the moment Jesus spoke that his servant was healed…his servant was indeed healed that when he went about telling the story about how Jesus healed his servant by just speaking that there were many people who were in his family, under his command, and maybe around him that became believers as well.

This goes back to the power of our testimony to the world about what God’s done, doing, and still going to do in our lives.  The most powerful thing besides preaching the Gospel is to tell people about the things God’s done in your life.  Listen…there are many times just by writing these messages that I’ve shared some of the things God’s done or is doing in my life…and there’s over 200 people who are reading these messages.  Every time someone shares one of my messages with someone…I’m sharing my testimony…and there’s a chance that my story might mirror someone else’s story…and because of that…they see that God helped me overcome…and then that causes them to have faith that God can help them overcome too.

So…there’s two things that are powerful when it comes to helping to lead a world full of people who are on their way to an eternity in hell to saving faith in Christ Jesus.

  1. The most important way is the Gospel (Romans 1:16 (KJV)).
  2. The Word of our Testimony (Revelation 12:11 (KJV))

There’s another, and that’s by the way we live our lives.  Face it.  If we want the world to want what we have to offer…we should display a life that’s different from the world, but let me make sure that you understand that just because you don’t…that doesn’t change whether or not you’re reconciled to God…it just means that maybe He has more work to do in and on your life…before He can work through your life.

Faith, my friends is the key to reconciliation. Why? Because that’s the only way we can receive it. Just as healing comes by faith…so too does reconciliation. We have talked extensively in this series about the fact that reconciliation has everything to do with Jesus, and nothing to do with you…except receiving it by faith.

Absolutely nothing comes to us from the Kingdom of God without us having faith.  Faith is the key that unlocks everything we need from God, and without faith not only can we not please God…but we cannot receive anything from God.

See…religion wants you to believe that you have to work for everything He has done.  You have to work for salvation, you have to work for healing, you have to work for reconciliation, you have to work for right-standing with God, and you have to work for the blessings that He wants to give us.

However, the truth is that God has already done everything He’s going to do through Christ.  How do I know that?  Ephesians 1:3 (KJV) says it this way:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”  See, there’s that word “all” again.  Some translations us the word “every” spiritual blessing.

Listen all that we would ever need God provided through Christ.  Listen…the Cross is a lot more than just our salvation, and our healing.  When we talk about being saved…many may know this already, but for those of you who don’t…it comes from the Greek word “Sozo”.  What does that mean?  I am glad you asked because it means: “to save, to make whole, to
preserve, or make safe”.  Thus the word ‘Salvation’ is an all-comprehensive word and it includes in itself all the benefits
of the Cross and the operations of God’s grace in the believer’s life.
To put it simply, Salvation refers to the Deliverance/Freedom/Rescue from Sin: Its Penalty, Power and Presence.

I started out writing this not exactly sure what this passage of scripture had to do with reconciliation, but what it does is illustrate faith. It illustrates that we must have total faith in Jesus…just as the centurion did that when God says that we have been reconciled to Him…that’s exactly what He means. When God says that He’s no longer counting our sins against us…that’s exactly what He means.

Listen…when are we as Christians going to understand that the if the Word of God says something…that’s exactly what it means?  If we would just simply get hold of the fact that God isn’t counting our sins against us, and we truly believed that when He said that through Paul…that’s exactly what He meant…then we would be so much more free and rested as a body, but we’re so busy trying to work for and earn something that we can’t.  We can’t earn reconciliation.

Any of you ever try to force people to reconcile a relationship?  That doesn’t work out so well does it?  First, the two people who have a broken relationship usually wind up being severed even further.  Second, then the two people you tried to force to reconcile are mad at you.  Third…which is the worst result is that the people you tried to reconcile not only didn’t restore their relationship…but it winds up costing you a relationship with one or both of the people involved.  Reconciliation isn’t something that can be forced, worked for or made to happen…it cannot be earned.

It sounds good to say that we want to live perfectly sinless, and flawless lives. It sounds good to say that we want to flawlessly follow God’s will, and direction. It sounds great to say that we’re always going to be 100% Kingdom minded, and that we’re endeavoring to remove every barrier between us and God.

Listen.  I have said it before, and I’ll probably say it in many more messages to come.  If you’re looking for someone who is perfect, always follows God’s plans and direct, never does his own thing, never sins, never misses God, never disobeys God, always speaks and acts in love, never utters a cuss word, doesn’t drink a couple of beers, and is always walking in the Spirit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year…I’m not that guy.

I would love to be able to say that I do, but being truthful…that’s a lie.  I am definitely not perfect, and I’m most certainly a work in progress.  I do not have it all together, and I’m not some super spiritual preacher who doesn’t understand how anyone can miss God because I’m so holy.

I am not holy.  Not on my own.  I am not righteous.  Not on my own.  I am not perfect.  Not on my own.  My holiness, my righteousness, my perfection…it’s all because I’m in Christ…period.

If that disappoints you…I’m sorry, but I’d rather be honest and tell you that I’m a fallen man that fails God every day…but I strive to do better than I did yesterday…every day.  I understand that my position in God isn’t chanced by what I do or don’t do…my position in Christ isn’t based upon my feelings, my works, or my abilities.  My position in Christ is based upon my faith that God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself, and now that I’m a whosoever that’s called upon the name of the Lord for salvation…I am saved, I am sanctified, I am set apart, I am righteous, I am holy, I am healed, I am redeemed, and I am reconciled because I’m in Christ…and that’s it.

But is that what the centurion believed? No. The centurion believed that all Jesus had to do was speak, and his servant would be healed. He believed reconciliation was possible not because of who he was, and what he did…but because of one word from Jesus.

Look…trusting in our own abilities instead of God’s is a sin all by itself.  Do you know why?  Because it’s pride.  When we say we know better than God, and that we can become a better person and inherit what Christ gave up for us on the Cross based upon our own works…instead of what He did on the Cross…that’s saying our works and deeds are greater that God’s work through the Cross.

Now…if you want to answer to God for what made you think your works are greater than His when He created everything you see…including YOU…then you’re welcome to keep thinking that way…but I’m going to believe that there’s absolutely nothing I can do that compares to what Jesus did…and because there’s nothing I can do that compares to what Jesus did…I’m going to believe and trust that because I’m IN Christ…I’m saved…and my eternal destination is Heaven.

Are you trusting in your abilities to reconcile you to God…or do you believe God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself?

Why are you trying to earn something that you can only receive by faith?

I’m going to close this message here with these questions…hopefully it’ll give you something to think about.  Are you trusting or working?  Are you resting or earning?  Are you in Christ or are you in the world?  I know what I am…and most importantly WHOSE I am…do you?

Conclusion:

Another awesome message on Reconciliation.  I hope you enjoyed this message.  I’m so thankful for the ability to write, and I hope that you’re being feed by these messages.

May God bless you, and make His face to shine upon you…in Jesus’ name…Amen!