Power Of Reconciliation
Thursday, March 15th, 2018
“that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:19
One of the joyous word in the English language is ‘reconciliation’ because it demonstrates the power of restoration. It is not an exaggeration to say that relationships are the most important thing in life because the two greatest commandments in the Bible have to do with right relationship – first toward God and then toward one another. Whenever we see broken relationships toward God or in the church, we know that it is not pleasing to God. God is in the business of reconciling broken relationships.
- Reconciliation Produces Restoration
God demonstrated the power of reconciliation when He restored man into fellowship with Him through a threefold work of Christ on the cross. This power of reconciliation only has the effect upon those who have been baptized into Christ. Those who believe through faith that all their lifetime of sins had been laid by John the Baptist upon Jesus when He received the baptism of righteousness at the River Jordan.
The threefold righteous work that Jesus fulfilled are :
- Propitiation that brings man out from the wrath of God by satisfying God’s righteousness and justice through Jesus’ baptism and death.
- Redemption that brings man out from slavery to sin and Satan through the payment of Jesus Himself as a ransom.
- Substitutionary Death that brings man out from the penalty of death through the baptism and death of Christ in our place.
The above three righteous acts of Jesus has torn down the barrier that man’s sin has built up against God. Even though with the barrier gone, the relationship between God and man must be re-established. Reconciliation brings man out from his mental attitude of alienation from God.
With the barrier taken out of the way through the righteous work of Christ’s baptism, death and resurrection, the power of reconciliation brings man from alienation to restoration with God.
- Reconciliation Neutralizes Hostility
True reconciliation always does away with hostility. That is what Paul was speaking of when he said “and although you were formally alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death.” Col 1:21-22
If we think someone is holding something against us, then we will feel alienated and hostile toward them, simply out of self-defense. It is even more true when it comes to God when we feel our sins are still an issue. However, listen to this terrific good news from Paul, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them and he has committed to us the Word of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:19 God is not holding our sins against us anymore. The power of reconciliation that God made available to us through the baptism and death of Jesus has neutralized His just anger at our sins.
- Reconciliation Permeates Grace
The parable about the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 is a most appropriate illustration of reconciliation. Obviously the father in this parable dearly loved the prodigal son or he never would have given him his inheritance. During all those long years, the father kept on loving the son and yearning for him to come home and be reconciled to him. When the prodigal son recognized how foolish he had been, he expected there to be stern barriers between him and his father if he wanted to come home.
However, when he got to the place of willingness on his own (repentance) to come back to his father, he found that instead of being barriers there, there was nothing but love and complete acceptance. There was no resentment or wrath in the father toward that son, even though there was plenty of reason for him to be upset. The father’s attitude was expressed in his statement to everyone “This son of mine was dead and has come to life again, he was lost and has been found.” This depicts a scenario of unlimited grace permeated by the father towards the prodigal son. A very radical change has taken place and it is called ‘power of reconciliation.’
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