By Mickey McCall (Pastoral Team)
“We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Cor. 5:20b
Reconciliation: the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement.¹
We need reconciliation. The problem in finding reconciliation, or a bringing back together into a right relationship, is that we too often do not recognize that we need to be reconciled until it is too late. How many marriages end because we do not see that the relationship is ajar in some way? Surely, in able to be reconciled, one must first recognize that the relationship is in peril or even severed.
You see, God made everything. And He made it good and right, but we rebelled. We, in Adam, all rebelled and fell. Our relationship with our Creator was then severed in a very real way. We died. Spiritually, we all died, and death — physical death — also entered the world. We have been serving sin and sinful flesh ever since. Until we see the problem — that our relationship with the Creator has been cut off due to our own rebellion — the remedy will not give us hope. We must realize the need for reconciliation before the good news of reconciliation in Christ will benefit us. The truth is there, but we suppress it.
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Rom. 1:21-23
“Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image.”² Our brother A.W. Tozer brings across a good point. We, as Christians, like to form God into an image that looks a little more like us. The problem with that is, well, it’s idolatry. Instead of worshipping God as He has revealed Himself to us in His word, we just take the parts of Him we like and leave out the others, replacing them with attributes that look a little more like ourselves. Before you know it, you are no longer worshipping God anymore but yourself. How cheaply do we exchange the “glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man”?
But praise God that in love “he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Eph 1:5-6. God has made a way for us to be reconciled to Himself. It is all according to His will and for His glory. We can be brought back into a right relationship with the Father through the Son. We are no longer dead in trespasses and sin because we are crucified with Christ and, nevertheless, we live! We have been born again, and it is now Christ who lives in us because:
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:17-21
Now what are we to do with this reconciliation that was purchased for us at the Cross of Christ? How should we live? We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. We have the ministry of renewed relationship between the Creator and the creature through the blood of Jesus Christ. We have it — and all thanks, praise and glory goes to God! For He has justified us. He has purchased our pardon. He is the Savior, hero and King. We must spread the word of this hero, this King. We must tell others what He has done for us. We must preach the gospel that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” 1 Cor 15:3b-4
I think Tozer hits the nail here: “Every soul belongs to God and exists by His pleasure. God being who and what He is, and we being who and what we are, the only thinkable relation between us is one of full Lordship on His part and complete submission on ours. We owe Him every honor that is in our power to give Him. Our everlasting grief lies in giving Him anything less.”2 Because we love Him, we no longer see His commands as grevious, but we want to do His will for His glory. Our Joy is found in serving, treasuring and knowing the Lord. We are now satisfied in Him alone. He is our Father and He is a good Father. We as adopted sons and daughters, love to be in the presence of our Father. So come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, and give Him the glory great things He has done!
1 Definition from Merriam-webster dictonary
2 Both quotes come from chapter 8 of A.W. Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God”