Reconciliation


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING: II Corinthians 5:17-21 = "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 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. 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. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who know no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
    2. RECONCILIATION:
      1. The word denotes a change back to a state of harmony. WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY, says for this to be done one has to adjust, settle, that which has broken the harmonious relationship, "the removal of that which caused the separation".
      2. The Greek word (KATAKKASSO) has to do with the "change from enmity to friendship, to reconcile. With regard to the relationship between God and man, the use of this and connected words shows that primarily reconciliation is what God accomplishes, exercising His grace towards sinful man on the ground of the death of Christ in propitiatory sacrifice under the judgment due to sin, 2 Corinthians. 5:19, where both the verb and the noun are used …" [VINE’S EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF NEW TESTAMENT WORDS. W.E. Vine, page 942.]
    3. THE TEXT USAGE HAS TWO IMPLICATIONS:
      1. An alienation: broken harmonious relationship with God.
      2. The offender of this broken relationship is man.
    4. THREE THINGS ARE NECESSARY FOR RECONCILIATION AND WE WANT TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THESE:
      1. A conviction of the sin that broke the relationship with God.
      2. A sense of dependence upon God.
      3. A mediator to bring about the reconciliation.
  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. CONVICTION:
      1. The guilty must see his error, realize his own sinfulness, and for man to see this God has given to man: His law, or mirror by which he may see himself:
        1. The law God has given is:
          1. "…The gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans. 1:16).
          2. That which Christ commanded to His disciples: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:19-20.)
        2. The Word as a mirror would enable man to see himself as "what manner of man he was."
          James 1:22-25 = "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
        3. God’s law enable us to see how we stand before God, for it is not that we think we are approved, we need to know. I Corinthians 10:12 = "Therefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
      2. Man will look with contempt on his life in the presence of the Son of God at the judgment, for what can he say:
        1. God sent his Son that man might be saved and not perish (John 3:16).
        2. The Word from God became flesh and "dwelt among us" (John 1:1, John 1:14).
        3. Jesus told us His word "…that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day"
          (John 12:48-50).
        4. What we need is to be like Job. "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" = (Job 42:5-6)
      3. The Holy Spirit reproveth the world of it sins:
        1. John 16:7-8 = "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for it I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment."
        2. He who listens to the Spirit’s message becomes convicted of his sins – His heart is pricked
          (Acts 2:37). And acknowledges his need of help , thus the cry of those on Pentecost "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
    2. A SENSE OF DEPENDENCE UPON GOD.

NOTE: The offender needs t learn that he cannot succeed while out of harmony with the offended. If man is not in harmony with God, he is in a state of alienation.

  1. Man’s moral life sinks to the lowest moral level when he forgets God.
    Romans 1:25-27
    = "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did exchange the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of error which was meet."

  2. Man’s physical nature saps man’s strength and shortens his usefulness in spiritual service. Galatians 6:8= "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

  3. Man’s mental capacity is hurt by the involvement of sin as there is a close relationship to body and mind. Ephesians 4:15-20 = "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ;"

                Titus 1:15 = "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled
                 and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is
                defiled.
    "

  4. Man’s spiritual ambition is doomed living apart from God. There is no hope of eternal salvation alienated from God. Ephesians 2:12 = "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."
    Acts 4:12
    = "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."


    COMMENT:
    To live spiritually, one must stay in touch with the source of life and that is God.

  1. A MEDIATOR:

      1. This is a go-between – one that comes between two parties, that are at variance, for the purpose of reconciling the differences. Our go-between is Christ. I Timothy 2:5 = "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
      2. Christ fits this position perfectly:
        1. His divine nature (spiritual) ties him to God.
        2. His human nature (Physical) ties him to man.
      3. Christ presents the terms of reconciliation:
        1. God sent Him with His terms of reconciliation. John 5:24 = "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
        2. Christ has the authority to act for God in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18 = "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
        3. Christ is the only mediator, no one else will God accept, thus He is the only door of access to the Father. A rejection of Him will be a denial of entrance to the Father’s heavenly mansion.
          John 14:6
          = "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
      4. Christ offers a common meeting place for reconciliation – the Church.
        1. Christ has by God "put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all"
          = (Ephesians 1:22-23.)
        2. Christ has made possible those far off to come to the heavenly Father and broke down the "middle wall of partition between us" making peace. Ephesians 2:13-16 = "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made night by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby."

  1.  CONCLUSION:

    1. WILL YOU ACCEPT THE TERMS OF GOD’S RECONCILIATION?
      1. Recognition of the fact man has left God.
      2. Recognition of the fact that there is no salvation apart from God.
      3. Recognition of Christ as God’s only mediator.
      4. Recognition, acceptance and compliance of God’s terms of reconciliation.
    2. GOD WILL NOT ACCEPT MAN.
      1. In worldly institutions of man.
      2. In following terms stated by someone other than His Son.
    3. GOD WILL ACCEPT MAN:
      1. When he accepts the terms presented by His Son.
      2. When he has been added to His church.
    4. WHAT SHALL YOUR ANSWER BE?

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