“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation”.
(2 Corinthians 5:19)
There is a word of reconciliation, there is a preaching of reconciliation and there is a ministry of reconciliation, and that is where we have to go. Christ is there, Christ is in the Word. I do not know whether you really have the right view on what the ministry of reconciliation is. Election came first, after that reconciliation has been brought about, and then the Lord has given the ministry of the Word. And what is His intention herewith? To offer Christ, to preach Him! Christ is to be found in the preaching. For this purpose God has constituted the ministry of the Word. Thus we find in verse 20: “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.” Through the ministry of the Word, God offers Himself to the world. I do not know whether you believe this, and whether you have ever seen this. But what will it be for the world, when they presently will become aware of it that God has offered Himself to them through the preaching of reconciliation, and that they have rejected Him? The rejection of the offer of reconciliation will be the ground for the condemnation of the world. Not Adam’s fall in the first place, but the rejection of the offered reconciliation will mainly be the cause of the condemnation of the world. This is why the apostle says that the world will be judged according to his gospel (Rom. 2:16).
Strive after being enlightened by the Word. We may think that when we read God’s Word, we also understand it. That is not so. We cannot understand the Scriptures until we behold Christ. Think about the question of Philip to the eunuch: “Understandest thou what thou readest?” And he said: “How can I, except some man would guide me?” There is nobody who will understand the Word, unless the Holy Spirit preaches him Christ. When the Holy Spirit has shown us Christ in the Word, then we find the righteousness of the Person of Christ in the Word.
(From: Meditations, 22 January. Sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:19, 8 March 1928 in Rotterdam.)