Table of Contents

Table of Contents II

Search This Blog

Friday, July 15, 2022

How We Are Reconciled to God by Grace

It is so easy in life to take things for granted.  We tend to take our life, our health, our family, our friends, our peace, our happiness, our possessions, just about everything one can imagine for granted the thought being tomorrow will be much like today.  We often fail to realize how pleasant we have it until suddenly we lose what we thought we had.

Love, friendship, and fellowship also fall into this category of things so often taken for granted.  We have a family member, a close friend, a colleague whose love and friendship we have enjoyed in a harmonious relationship up until the moment something arises in the relationship that causes friction, disruption, and alienation.  We soon learn how great it once was back before discord entered the picture and estrangement came, back when we were taking it all for granted thinking there would always be peace, affection, and harmony between us, never giving it a thought it would ever be otherwise.

Adam and Eve were the first two to experience the sorrow and despondency that estrangement brings into a relationship.  As long as they believed and trusted God life was good.  Eve, however, becoming dissatisfied convinced herself she and Adam could do better than what God had given and acting on that belief sinned, along with Adam, and broke the relationship they both had with God.  They broke trust with God.  Mankind has been doing the same sort of thing every since that day.

Adam is not the cause of my sin and estrangement from God nor is he the cause of yours.  It is our own personal sin that is the problem.  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23 ESV)  “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8 ESV)  “If we say we have not sinned, we make him (God – DS) a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10 ESV)  “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son.” (Ezek 18:20 ESV)  No, Adam is not my problem.  I am my problem.

As a consequence of our sin we become alienated from God.  “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” (Isa 59:2 ESV)  “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” (Prov. 28:9 ESV)  “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23 ESV)

If you are new to Christianity it might sound as though you are doomed.  That is not at all the case.  God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” (Ezek. 18:32 ESV)  “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise (a reference to the second coming of Christ, of Judgment Day – DS) as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 ESV)  The message of the Bible to mankind is “repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21 ESV)

As the apostle Paul would say in his preaching, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20 ESV)  God sent Christ into the world to save the world.  Jesus says himself, “I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” (John 12:47 ESV)

Once an individual becomes alienated from God through sin he/she is left powerless on their own initiative to restore the breach that sin made in the relationship.  God was offended by man’s sin and after all God is God and man is man; there is a hierarchy of power and authority.  That is why salvation is by grace, by God’s choice.  It was his choice to restore us, to reconcile us to himself, to accept us back once again.  However, it is left up to the individual to decide whether or not he/she will accept the reconciliation God offers.

“In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:19 ESV)  The message of reconciliation Paul speaks of is the gospel of Christ.

Humanity is reconciled to God by the cross of Jesus.  Peace between God and mankind became possible once again, as in the beginning in the Garden of Eden before the fall, by the blood of his cross, the cross of Jesus (Col. 1:20).  It was at the cross that the price of man’s sins was paid, the price paid for our redemption from sin.  It was with “the precious blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:19 ESV)  We were “bought with a price.” (1 Cor. 6:20 ESV)

“Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom. 5:6 ESV)  “We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Rom. 5:10 ESV) and “have now been justified by his blood.” (Rom. 5:9 ESV)  It is through Jesus Christ that we have now “received reconciliation.” (Rom. 5:11 ESV)

It is a wonderful thing when alienation between persons is resolved and old feelings of affection and friendship are restored, when the past is forgiven and put behind and peace and joy are brought back into a relationship.  Reconciliation is a wonderful thing.  Sometimes in this life reconciliation between two parties is not possible for it does indeed take two and sometimes the other party maybe will just not budge.  But we should never be that other person who will not reconcile.  God’s command is, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Rom. 12:18 ESV)

While we always ought to seek reconciliation among men and women how much more so between ourselves and God who is our God.  He is all for us; he desires that we be saved and brought into fellowship with him, and not be lost in the last day.  He has made provision at great sacrifice to himself and his son to bring about our reconciliation.  It was by his grace that these things were done.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21 ESV)  We have all been invited to come and partake of the water of life freely.  “The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Rev 22:17 ESV)  It is time to obey the gospel if you have not done so.  Obedience to the gospel message is reconciliation to God.  The message of reconciliation is the message of the cross.  

[To download this article or print it out click here.]

No comments: