Romans 5:10 For if, while 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!
The necessity of reconciliation bespeaks estrangement. It is those whom are estranged from one another who need reconciled. The need for reconciliation presupposes a previous relationship that was fractured and needs to be restored. This is indeed the case. By way of creation we, as in Adam, were all sons of God but with the Fall that original relationship was so sundered that God took us as enemies as we took Him as an enemy. The hostility was mutual and could only be satisfied with a one of a kind reconciliation.
That reconciliation required someone who could mediate the sundered relationship and provide a means to put an end to the mutual raging hostilities. Such a reconciliation required a mediator who had the capacity to meet the demands of an offended deity as properly brought against the sons of Adam and one who could, at the same time, represent the offended God. That mediator was and is the Lord Jesus Christ who reconciled God to us and us to God. The Lord Jesus Christ, with and in His work on the Cross effected the reconciliation of the Father to man by quenching the Father’s just wrath against man’s sin and effected reconciliation of man to God by being the offering that the sin of man required. This is why St. Paul can say to the Church, “Therefore we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This reminds us again of the centrality of Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross. If we are not found in Christ and His reconciling work we have naught to deal with but a God of wrath. No Christ … no peace with God. This is why Christians are adamant that there is no salvation outside of a known Christ. A well intended Jew, Muslim, or Hindu maintaining their identity as Jew, Muslim, or Hindu is un-reconciled and as un-reconciled God’s intent for them is their complete and utter destruction both in this life and the life to come. The Father can only be experienced and known as reconciled as gazed upon and approached through the Mediatorial reconciling work of the Son. Besides, no-one un-reconciled by the Son desires themselves to be reconciled to the Father but instead as un-reconciled they are full of hatred and vitriol for God. Any kind words that may be upon their lips for Jesus hides the dagger with which they intend to use to extinguish the biblical idea of God.
There is good news in this for the sinner. They can be sure that if they genuinely desire to be reconciled to God that is indicative of the fact that God has reconciled them to Himself in Christ. No sinner has a heart to be reconciled to God who cannot be confident that God has reconciled Himself to that sinner as they look to Christ. The earnest and genuine desire to be reconciled then is a warrant that reconciliation has taken place.
When we consider “reconciliation,” we consider it as occurring in the family since inasmuch as when we are reconciled we are adopted as “Sons of God.” Other aspects of the Atonement (reconciliation is only one) happen in other conceptual worlds. Redemption, conceptually speaking, happens as in the slave-market world. Propitiation, conceptually speaking, occurs as in the Temple sacrifice world. Justification, conceptually speaking, happens as in the Court-room world. But reconciliation, conceptually speaking, happens as occurring in the context of the family world. Before reconciliation we were strangers and aliens but now because of the reconciling work of Jesus Christ we are now members of God’s Household (Ephesians 2:19).
Reconciliation is an objective reality. Having been reconciled we are forever reconciled. This is something we need to keep close to us when we become overwhelmed at the sight of our sin. There are times when our sin absolutely haunts us like a specter reminding us how unworthy and guilty we really are. When those times come, as they must come for all believers, we must remember we are reconciled with a reconciliation that cannot be canceled or forfeited.
We should also note that the death of Christ did not make the Church’s reconciliation possible. The death of Christ made the Church’s reconciliation actual. There is nothing the elect have to do in order to make certain their reconciliation. It was all accomplished at the Cross. This is true for the members of the Church who were alive when the Cross took place and it was true for all the members of the Church who were yet to be born. The Cross was the Church’s reconciliation.
This stands in direct contrast to those who say that Christ made reconciliation available for every one. No, if Christ only made reconciliation possible on the provision that we give our assent then Christ didn’t provide reconciliation but only made it possible that we could reconcile ourselves.
This stands in direct contrast to those who say that we only have to believe in order to be reconciled. No … we will believe because we have been reconciled. Our reconciliation is not contingent on our belief. Our belief is contingent on the fact that we were reconciled @ the Cross.
Christ did the work of reconciliation on and at the Cross. To suggest that the reconciliation was mostly or provisionally completed is to empty the Cross of its glory.
One thought on “Reconciliation”
Perfect! Peace through Christ only, on His terms.