Summary: What is reconciliation? Explains the what, the why, and the how of reconciliation.
“Being Reconciled to God”
INTRODUCTION: We are not reformed, re-educated, or rehabilitated. We are re-created. When we become a Christian we are not just turning over a new leaf. We are not just changing our habits, trying to do better, or joining a church. In this scripture is one of the most well known of scriptures. Verse 17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he/she is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”
I don’t think we ever hear much about the rest of the verses. Paul talks about reconciliation. What does he mean by that? How do we use that word? Sometimes in divorce cases we hear that the couple has irreconcilable differences. There is no chance for a reconciliation. There is no chance of them getting back together.
Sin has separated us from God and no matter how hard we try to get things straightened out with God on our own, we just can’t do it. Sin created a barrier between God and us. There was a wall that caused irreconcilable differences. We were considered to be enemies of God and at best strangers. But God was willing to do something to change all of that. He wanted to be able to become reunited with people. He wanted to get back together with us. He wanted to be on speaking terms again.
ILLUSTRATION: One woman who went to church all the time would always say, “I was ALWAYS a Christian. There was never a time that I was not a Christian. I didn’t NEED to get saved.”
This is not scriptural because Romans 3:23 tells us “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
1. The WHY of Reconciliation: The first step toward reconciliation between us was on God’s side. You know the scripture in John 3:16, “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This scripture goes on to say “whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
GOD was the reconciler because of His LOVE for us. Humankind was what God reconciled and CHRIST BECAME THE CHANGE AGENT.
Colossians 1:20 tells us that “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Christ) and through him to reconcile to himself all things whether things on the earth or things in heaven by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.”
God was glad to do this for us.
2. The WHAT of Reconciliation: We have just experienced Easter and all that led up to resurrection day. What took place on the cross?
vs. 21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
I Peter 2:22, “He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
vs. 24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness.”
Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are--yet without sin.”
I John 3:5 “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins and in him is no sin.
Here is Jesus who is without any sin willing to take on our sin so that we could get back together with God. That doesn’t sound like a fair trade does it??
3. The HOW of Reconciliation: Christ was TREATED AS IF he were a sinner. He became the object of God’s wrath. He bore the penalty and guilt of sin. HE TOOK THE RAP FOR US.
He took on the identification of the sinner. God made him to be sin for us. For you and for me.
Reconciliation is the divine act between God and humankind--He took the sin and exchanged it for his right standing or righteousness.
Christ has already done his part to bring about reconciliation with God, but the CHANGE to be EFFECTED must be on our part.
Right now the transaction is not complete until we respond.
Romans 10: For if when we were God’s enemies were reconciled to him through the death of his Son how much more shall we be saved through his life.”
Here we have to ACCEPT the reconciliation he has already made by Christ through FAITH.
Romans 3:22 “This righteousness from God comes through FAITH in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
Our sin poured into Christ at his crucifixion (the cross)