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RECONCILIATION* by John Baker

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RECONCILIATION* by John Baker Empty RECONCILIATION* by John Baker

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Feb 2011, 12:39 am

RECONCILIATION*
* by John Baker, *
*

To understand reconciliation it helps to understand its antonym,
alienation. Alienation means to be outside - isolated -separated -
estranged. We must accept the fact of alienation in order to receive the
great truth of reconciliation.

The unbeliever is in a threefold state of alienation:

* From the commonwealth of Israel. Ephesians 2:11-12
* From the life of God. Ephesians 4:17-18
* From God Himself. Colossians 1:21

In Christ we have been reconciled to God, to Israel, and have eternal
life. Reconcile means reunite; reconnect; restore; or change completely
the relationship.

Following are two non-doctrinal examples of reconciliation:

I Corinthians 7:10,11 - "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but
the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she
depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and
let not the husband put away his wife." In this case to be reconciled
means to be reunited.

Mathew 5:23,24 - "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and
there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there
thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy
brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Here the exhortation to
change enmity for friendship or a strained relationship for
reconciliation. The idea is to change the relationship completely. To be
reconciled is to be reconnected; to be brought into a friendly
relationship and back on speaking terms.

How does this apply to the alienation of Jew and Gentile? (Ephesians
2:11,12) The barrier between Jew and Gentile has been broken down and
both have been reconciled unto God in one body. This was accomplished at
the cross where Christ slew the enmity (see Ephesians 2:13-16). There is
a new relationship in the body of Christ between Jew and Gentile. There
is a new relationship between both Jew and Gentile and God. Both Jew and
Gentile have been reconciled by the cross and brought into a new
relationship with God described as the one new man; the body of Christ.
The previous priorities by the Jew have been put aside. The Gentiles
were alienated and separated, but now, they have been brought nigh
through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. "And came and preached peace
to you which were afar off (Gentiles), and to them that are nigh (Jews),
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father"
(Ephesians 2:17,18).

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not
imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word
of reconciliation" (II Corinthians 5:19). Through the death of Christ
God changed completely the position of mankind (the world) in its
relationship to Himself. The Bible never states that God is reconciled.
God's righteousness never changes. God is immutable-never changing.
Through the finished work of Christ on the cross, God sees the world
reconciled. He is not changed or reconciled Himself.

Some Scriptures that talk about reconciliation are:

Romans 11:15 - The casting aside of Israel is the reconciling of the world.

Colossians 1:20 - all things are reconciled.

II Corinthians 5:19 - whole world reconciled.

>From these references we conclude that reconciliation does not
necessarily mean salvation. Reconciliation does mean that the world has
been brought into a position or relationship to God whereby He can deal
with the world in grace instead of wrath. In simple terms,
reconciliation means man has been made saveable. This was all made
possible by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The whole world
was not saved, nor is the whole world going to be saved. At the cross of
Calvary God made reconciliation; this is an accomplished fact. Now,
because of this accomplished fact, God can deal with the world in His
grace. In II Corinthians 5:19 it says that God is not imputing our sins,
but instead He is offering peace. Because of the cross, and what was
accomplished there, God is able to deal with the world in His grace. The
world has been reconciled through the blood of His cross. Man has been
made saveable. The world is so altered, so changed in its position in
respect to the holy judgments of God that it is rendered saveable.

II Corinthians 5:20 exhorts believers "Now then we are ambassadors for
Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's
stead, be ye reconciled to God." As Christ's messengers we have been
committed the word (or message) of reconciliation. We are to go forth in
His behalf, beseeching others to appropriate this reconciliation as
their own. Having been reconciled - be ye reconciled is not double talk.
Man still has to accept God's grace and reconciliation. This is where
faith comes into the picture. We are to put our trust in His finished
work and appropriate the truth of reconciliation as our very own. God is
beseeching the world to receive the reconciliation which has been made.
God is offering peace and reconciliation and we are to be His messengers.

One of the obstacles between man and God is the law. This is God's
standard and it condemns all, for none can meet God's standard. The Lord
Jesus Christ took away this obstacle at the cross and the world has been
reconciled. The demands and condemnation of the law have been satisfied,
the guilt has been paid for, and the heart can be changed through the
power of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is all possible because God was in
Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. *

*

Glory be to God for fulfilling His promises in raising Jesus Christ from
the dead. Nevertheless, does His resurrection have any meaning to you?
Has it had any impact in your life? Have you experienced the work of
salvation that Jesus Christ perfected in His resurrection?
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