Christ our Reconciliation

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and ...

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Adam enjoyed perfect fellowship and communion with God before he disobeyed Him in the Garden. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God that fellowship was broken, and Adam tried to hide himself from God (Genesis 3:8-11).

That broken relationship with God needed to be restored or man would be eternally separated from God’s holy presence.

The apostle Paul tells us God “reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-19).

God “makes one” that which was formerly a broken relationship. The word “reconcile” properly denotes to change, like exchanging money, and in relationship to persons, it is to change from enmity to friendship, and thus to reconcile.

This is what God accomplished by exercising His grace toward us sinners on the ground of the death of Christ for our sins. We are the ones who needed the change from enmity to friendship with God. We needed to be reconciled to God.

Because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ men in their sinful condition and alienation from God are invited to be reconciled to Him. The change in attitude is on our part, not God’s. Sinful, rebellious, disobedient men are the ones who need to change. God in love and grace reached down to man and provided a means whereby He could reconcile us to Himself.

The change that is needed on our part is repentance and faith. A spiritual birth brings about this change in our hearts toward God.

The apostle Paul tells us that we were the ones who were reconciled to God in Christ. “For if while 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” (Rom. 5:10). We were the enemies and hostile to God. Until this change takes place in our hearts we are under condemnation, exposed to the wrath of God.

How can God reconcile us to Himself? The death of His Son is the reason of removal of God’s wrath and thus we receive the recondition.

The emphasis of these passages is on the attitude of God in grace acting toward us to change our attitude toward Him. We love Him because He first loved us.

We receive “reconciliation” because Christ offered atonement for our sins. Therefore, God can act according to His unchanging righteousness and lovingkindness toward sinners. He did not forget that we are sinners, nor does He “make up” with sinful men. We needed to be reconciled to God because of our enmity.

Sin always separates and destroys relationships. Just like God went searching for Adam after he sinned (Gen. 3:9), He comes searching for us and reconciles us to Himself.

The only person who can mediate between the guilty sinner and God and bring reconciliation is Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5). The barrier that separates us from God was removed by the death of Christ. Our reconciliation to God is made possible because of the sinless sacrifice of Jesus as our substitute. God reconciles us to Himself through the redemption in Christ. It was an act of God because “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.”

It is an act of grace. We do not deserve it, but God in His love took the initiative and removed the barriers (2 Cor. 5:21). The reconciliation for the believer is complete. He has removed all enmity and nothing stands as an impediment to peace with God. Have you been reconciled to Him?

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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