Summary: Reconciliation with God does not come through compromise but through the sacrifice of his Son and it brings the peace of eternal salvation now and forever; therefore, we rejoice.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit touches our hearts are the words he breathed into the Apostle Paul to write, recorded in Romans 5:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates hi own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him. For if when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more , having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
This is the the word of our Lord.
Dear friends of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Thoughts jostled in his mind as the windshield wipers threw the raindrops to the side. It had been so long since he had seen his father. He still heard the echo of the angry words they had spoken. They had not parted on good terms, each of them vowing never to speak to the other again. Each of them stubbornly kept that promise. But everything changed last night.
Mother had called. Father had had a heart attack, and the prognosis wasn’t good. He quickly made airplane reservations and was now driving to the hospital. Instead of anger, regret and worry filled his mind. All those years wasted because of a grudge!
When he arrived at the hospital, he found out that his father had regained consciousness. But even better news was that his father wanted to see him. They both realized the wrong they had done each other. They no longer wanted to be enemies. They wanted to be father and son again.
That is a picture of reconciliation. Although that might be a big word, it is an important word. Reconciliation marks a complete change of status from enemies to friends. The Bible uses that word to describe what God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. He has completely changed our relationship with him. Because of what Jesus has done for us, God no longer calls us enemies but friends. He reconciled us to himself through the death of his Son.
Can you think of any greater reason to rejoice? So our theme today is we rejoice in the reconciliation that comes only through Jesus. As the Word of God written by the Apostle guides our hearts and minds, we want to see that this reconciliation is unique. It is different in some very important ways from the reconciliation that the father and son had in the opening story. For you see our reconciliation to God was 1) secured in a very different way, and it 2) brings a very different peace.
1) Secured in a very different way
Often for two people to be reconciled, both sides have to battle their own pride and ego. Both sides have to learn to trust each other and live up to that trust. Both sides need to forgive each other and learn to compromise. For you see, both sides are usually at fault for causing the division. This is how the father and son in the story were reconciled. They secured reconciliation through compromise.
The reconciliation that God worked for us in Christ Jesus was secured in a very different way. God did not reconcile us to himself through compromise. God had done nothing wrong. He is totally good. Any compromise on his part, would be sacrificing good. That would be wrong.
What is more, we were completely unable to compromise on our part. God’s Word for today says that we were powerless . We had no strength to do what was good, no ability to take a step toward God, no inclination to trust him. In fact, as Paul reminds us, we were completely ungodly. No love for God, no respect for God’s will, no desire to worship God in truth. Why? Because, as Paul points out, we were sinners. We were filled with evil desires. Our words and actions were all corrupt. We always missed the mark of holiness. No type of compromise could bring reconciliation.