Friday, March 2, 2012

Reconciliation Now! The Good News of Reconciliation

God the Father was in Christ on the cross, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20)

We have reconciliation available now. God reconciled the world to Himself no longer counting people's sins against them. The gospel isn't primarily about heaven and hell. It is not about law or your failure to keep the law. The good news is that sins & all barriers between us and God are taken away. The gospel is about relationship. Jesus said "This is eternal life, to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent." Eternal life isn't about a destination, though it includes one. Eternal life is an intimate and everlasting relationship with the person of God. The good news is this, that I can know God and be known by Him!!

What is Reconciliation?
Reconcile means to restore relations. The word is used in scripture in regard to the fact that in the garden of Eden people did have a close relationship with God. God in Christ restored the availability of relationship by taking away the sins of the world so there is no barrier between God and man. People just need to engage God with trust and they will get to know the amazing God He is. Reconciliation in the broad sense is God lifting mankind up from the fall to where they are free to relate to God again. So today reconciliation refers to God making relationship with Himself available to all.

Jesus is said to be the "propitiation" for our sins. That means His sacrifice removed the animosity God would have towards people for their behavior. He no longer counts sins against people. If we ever doubt the magnitude of God's generous and forgiving love for us we need only to look to the cross.

What Does it Mean to "Repent and Believe?"
The word repent means "to change your mind." The word believe in the bible means "to trust" or "to entrust." This is not a call to change behavior as is so often taught. It is a call to "Forget about what you thought you knew about God, the rule keeping & the rituals. God has revealed Himself fully through His Son Jesus the Christ. He died to take away the sins of the world. He is risen. He is alive now. Trust this risen Jesus, entrust yourself to Him. Nothing stands between you and Him. Nothing stands between you and God. He has already opened His arms to you on the cross as an everlasting invitation to embrace Him."

The following is a reason why changing your mind (repentance) is a part of salvation. "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil deeds" (Colossians 1:21). We thought we were enemies of God in our minds because of our evil deeds. Once we come to know the peace God has made with us through the death (blood) of Jesus we realize that God does not call us enemies but longs to know us as friends. Jesus is the living Word of God (John 1:1) and our living peace (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus is the living peace treaty of God. If we accept the living peace treaty of God's Son we become God's children and God's friends.

The Incredible Father
God is the Father in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). God the Father is constantly waiting for you to come to Him. The moment He sees you He runs to you filled with love and compassion and throws His arms around you, hugging you and kissing you. His forgiveness is so great that He ignores your sins even when you bring them up to Him. He cares only to celebrate that you are now with Him. When we are lost we have it even better than the sons in this story because Jesus goes out to find us to bring us to the Father.

Reconciled to God Forever
Jesus said in John 6:37 "Whoever comes to me I will never drive away." That is a true "never" for all who come to Him. Whenever you do something that you think comes between you and God it certainly does not. God NEVER drives you away once you come to Him. He does not count your sins against you, ever (2 Corinthians 5:19). He does not consider them. He does not take them into account. His perfect love makes it so you are never punished by Him (see 1 John 4:18). You have no need to fear. Allow His peace to take control of your heart (Colossians 3:15).

God is reconciled to all mankind.
    He has overcome any animosity He could have towards mankind by judging the world's sins in the body of Jesus
    He offers His friendship to all.
    His love, peace, favor, grace, & goodwill is extending to all.
    He forgave everyone and wants them to know it
God wants all people to be reconciled to Him.
    To know the peace He has made with us through the death of Jesus.
    To become aware of the good things He has done for us.
    To become aware of the good things He offers to us.
    To change our minds from distrust to trust.
    To accept all He longs to give us.

Additional Scriptures
The favor of God has appeared with salvation for all people (Titus 2:11)

Mankind treated God as an enemy yet God reconciled all men to Himself through the death of His Son. Since mankind is reconciled to God by His death people will abundantly be saved, cured, & made whole by his life. (Romans 5:10)

God has restored our relationship with himself through Christ, and has given us this task of restoring relationships. God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. Therefore, we are Christ’s representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God. God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God’s approval through him. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21, GWT)

Our message is that God was making all human beings his friends through Christ. God did not keep an account of their sins, and he has given us the message which tells how he makes them his friends. Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him take our sin in order that in union with him we might receive the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:19,21 GNB)

We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received relationship with God! (Romans 5:11)

My Paraphrase from 2 Corinthians 5-6
God the Father was in Jesus Christ on the cross making relationship with Himself available to the world by no longer counting people's sins against them. Christ died for all. God has given us this message of relationship to tell others. We speak on behalf of Christ when we plead, “Come to God!” Christ never sinned, but God made Him become sin for all so that all could be made right with God through trusting Christ and become the righteousness of God in Him.

God says to all, “At just the right time, I hear you. On the day of salvation, I help you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the right time to call out to God. Today is the right day to be helped. Do not put it off.

By knowledge, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love, by truthful teaching, & by the power of God we tell these things to all.

We work together with Christ and we implore all who receive Christ,
"Please don't ignore one bit of this marvelous life of love & kindness God gives. From now on regard no one according to the flesh. All who are in Christ are new creatures, the old has died, and a new living spirit has been received! All of these things are gifts from God:  His Son, your freedom from sin, your freedom from being charged with sin, your being made right with God, your salvation, your relationship with God, His love, His favor, His grace, His kindness, His righteousness, & your new spirit that is born of God. He brought us to Himself through Christ. Christ died for all so that we who have living spirits no longer live alone but with Him who died for us and rose again. The love of Christ surrounds us!"

No comments:

Post a Comment