Reconciliation by Apostle Lafayette Scales
Apostle Scales blessed us with another meaty teaching on Tuesday, 9/20/2011, on reconciliation. First he reviewed the previous teachings. See first post here.
He spoke about how the enemy is trying to tear apart families, to redefine what a family is, to add competition into families to cause division. Then the enemy works with our words which can cause miscommunication. Our words have the power to either edify or to tear down. What the enemy does is try to change our knowledge base which changes our operation base and our predictable results. When the second Adam (Jesus) came, His sacrifice restored our Knowledge base to what God intended so that our operation base and predictable results were restored.
The next tactic satan uses is: LACK OF ABILITY TO RECONCILE WITH ONE ANOTHER
This can occur in the family, the home, the church, the workplace. If there is no reconciliation, there is no way to resolve conflict.
Believers find it easy to reconcile with Jesus, but far more difficult to reconcile with each other.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Four times the word reconcile is used in this passage. We are to become MINISTERS OF RECONCILIATION. Jesus reconciled us to God, has given us the Word of reconciliation, and now He wants us to become Ministers of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
Fifth use of reconciliation. We are to be AMBASSADORS for Christ. An ambassador enters a foreign land and represents the Kingdom in a foreign territory. The ambassador speaks for the king of his Kingdom. All of an ambassador’s clothes, food, and housing is taken care of by the Kingdom. Those are the benefits.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (see above) we are reconciled to God.
There is a process – reconciled to God, Ministry of Reconciliation, Christ reconciles the world to Himself, and then He gives us the Word of Reconciliation. We are to be the heart of God and that involves reconciliation.
Hatred, alienation, hostility, and conflict are part of the human empire. But we are ambassadors of the Kingdom.
Matthew 24 speaks of what is going to happen at the end times. There will be global conflict, pestilence, and famines all over.
Conflict leads to genocide. We have seen this many times over – the Jews, Armenians, Christians, Croatia, Serbia, Palestine, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Rwanda, and many other places.
These are indicators that Christ is coming soon.
If people label another person as unnecessary, it enables them to decide they can be removed and genocide follows.
The systematic removal of any group is genocide.
Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
We are to be salt and light to the world. If we lose our saltness, we are not as effective.
The world does not like what we represent, and it is now setting out to try and do a systematic removal of Christians from the government, the public and private sectors.
The world is moving past tolerance to an anti-tolerance stand toward Christians.
Because of the increasingly hostile environment for Christians, we need to be reconciled to each other, to build bridges. In the last days, global conflict will make it necessary that we are reconciled to each other. We are God’s ambassadors and His salt in the earth. For non-believers, salt is an irritant. If we maintain our savor we are salty, and salt can be used to enhance the flavor of food. If there is an open wound, salt can sting, but it can disinfect.
Salt is one element that maintains its character no matter what it is mixed with in the environment. If fish is salted, you see salt and fish. If pork and salt, you see salt and pork. If beef and salt, you see salt and beef under a microscope.
Salt doesn’t take the flavor of beef, but beef takes the flavor of salt.
Salt makes food tasty, it preserves and doesn’t decay. It brightens the flavor.
When salty Christians are in the environment, they brighten their world and creates a new savor.
Salt melts ice, so it can melt an icy heart and make it receptive to Jesus.
In these days of global alienation and hostility, our saltness can bring reconciliation. It can bring opposing forces together. Reconciliation restores harmony where there is hostility. Jesus reconciled us to God through His sacrifice, and we are saved by His life.
Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
When we accepted Christ, God reconciled ourselves to Him.
2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Romans five tells us that we were enemies before we were reconciled to God
Pastor Scales used to have a bumper sticker that said, “I’ve found Him.” The truth is that he did not find God. But rather, God found him. God died for me, and that was something I couldn’t do for myself. He reconciled me to God. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Since He died for our sins, we are not to hold things against others, but to reconcile with them.
Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
We are reconciled to God and we need to reconcile with each other.
In Genesis four, Cain did not reconcile with his brother, and killed him over the fact that God liked Abel’s sacrifice. The lack of reconciliation led to murder. Brother killing brother. The core is self-hatred. If I kill someone it is because they look like what I don’t like about me.
The enemy wants to keep us from reconciling.
Matthew 12:25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
If satan can keep the church divided and unreconciled he can conquer us. A nation, a house, the Church, a family divided against itself cannot stand.
Division weakens us. Unity strengthens us. Line our actions up with the truth of the Bible, and that will help us to stay unified.
Pastor Scales spoke of Philemon, who was a wealthy man. He had a slave, Onesimus, who ran away from his master and had stolen from his master. Onesimus was probably an indentured servant, and in those day, a slave who runs away or steals could be killed. The slave ran into Paul, and Paul brings him to the Lord. In their time together Paul probably asked Onesimus to talk about himself. Paul ultimately tells him that he must return to Philemon. But to make it easier, Paul writes Philemon a letter.
Paul tells Philemon, that Onesimus left him a thief and a useless slave, but is now returning as a brother. This unprofitable servant will return as a profitable servant.
When Onesimus left Philemon he was a bother, now he is a Brother.
Paul writes Philemon that when Onesimus returns as a Brother, and a profitable servant, that if Onesimus owes Philemon anything, Paul will repay it. But Paul reminds Philemon of the debt that he owes Paul, his life. Later, we will hear about Onesimus as a leader of the church, and most probably freed by Philemon.
If we consider the debt we owe to God, it is easier to forgive our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
Before we get the speck out of our brother’s eye, we need to get the log out of ours.
We need to keep perspective by remembering what God has done for us, then when someone offends us, we realize we must let it go
The enemy lies to stir up trouble, to stir up stuff in us, in the church, in the family, in the community. But we don’t have to respond.
Pastor Scales told us that when he was a Boy Scout, sometimes at camp a scout would take a stick and stir up the stuff in the outhouse. When it is stirred up, it smells worse than when things are settled.
The enemy wants to stir up stuff. God wants us to get rid of it. In our memories and our memory banks, God wants us to hit Erase and Delete. When you hit delete, the computer asks if you really want it deleted permanently. God wants us to delete these things permanently.
God wants us reconciled to Him and to each other.
1 Corinthians 7:11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
God wants families to stay together, not separate.
In an aside, Pastor Scales spoke about the 7-11 rule. That in seven seconds when a person meets someone they determine eleven things about them. Things like posture, accent,demeanor, approachability, etc.
Being split apart is not part of God’s plan. God wants reconciliation. To reconcile means to bring opposing forces together. Sometimes when there are problems, the roots may go deep. We can’t avoid the source of the problem. We need to face the problem and recognize it before we can bring reconciliation.
Apostle Scales told us that one time he was counseling a couple that had so many disagreements, he finally asked what the first argument they had was. It turned out that the wife wanted the toilet paper to come over the top of the roll, the man wanted it to come off of the bottom. Pastor Scales laughed and said, take the roll off of the holder and let each person put it the way they want it. Some deep problems can begin from little, unresolved issues.
Jesus says that before we come to the table for communion, if we have something against our brother to make it right, then come to communion. We need to let go of some stuff.
Sometimes we need to be washing each other’s feet. The dust of the world gets on our feet and gets in our walk, and it needs to be washed off.
When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, John 13:8-10 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”
Jesus was saying that Peter was clean, but in our involvement with the world, we pick up the dust of the ground, and that needs to be washed off so that our walk remains pure.
STEPS TO RECONCILIATION.
1. Confront the issue. When there is no confrontation there is no change. We need to release forgiveness, but that can’t happen until we honestly face the issues involved. Easy forgiveness is not necessarily forgiveness. People need to understand what is being forgiven.
2. Brokenness – When there is a breach between us, something is broken. God can help repair this brokenness, but we also need to find a way to help repair the breach between others and us. We need to understand fully what our actions did that caused this brokenness.
3. Repentance – Godly sorrow brings repentance. Repentance means to change our mind and go in a different direction. Out of repentance comes forgiveness.
4. Forgiveness – we need to forgive, to not hold on to the hurt and pain. To let go and move on. Forgiveness brings reconciliation.
5. Reconciliation – means to bring together opposing factions.
6. Come together to do it better, to unify.
God won’t ask us to forgive and reconcile if it was impossible to do. He gave us the example of Jesus on the Cross. While on the Cross, in massive pain, where it caused great pain to get a breath to speak a word, Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” If Jesus could forgive when he had been so battered and bruised by the people he asked God to forgive, that means that it is possible for us to do so.
7. Restoration – sometimes we need to take steps to restore the damage. For example, if we borrowed someone’s iPad and it breaks, we need to find a new one to give them, restore, what was broken. Sometimes restoration isn’t possible and then we need to go to Restitution.
8. Restitution, to give money to get something comparable. Pastor Scales gave an example of dining in a home in India. In his talking and hand gestures, he accidentally knocked a plate off the table and it broke. He wanted to pay and replace the plate, but that was not possible. The only way to make it right was to find another complete set of twelve plates. So Apostle Scales offered to buy the woman another complete set of dishes, at large cost. The woman always invites him to her house when he visits India. But had he not replaced the set of dishes, whenever this woman had twelve guests she would have had twelve cups, twelve bowls, twelve dessert plates, but only eleven matching dinner plates. Every time she saw that she would remember Apostle Scales negatively. But, because he went out of his way to make it right, to provide restitution, her opinion of him stayed positive.
9. Reparations – groups of people can be offended, for example the Jews and the Luxembourg trials, when a suit is made against Germany for the Holocaust. Now the victims were not able to have their lives restored, but property and monetary reparations were made to their families.
To reconcile, we just need to say I’m sorry. In a family we can let stuff go on for years and years. When stuff happens, we have to confront it and let it go. It is time to move on.
We are reconciled to God. We are given the Word of Reconciliation. We are to have a ministry of Reconciliation. And God wants us to reconcile one to another.
The devil wants to devour the family and the child. The world wants to hurt us. We need to be reconciled to each other and remember, God in us.
Because of the Blood we are one New Man. We can be peacemakers.
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