Christ’s Reconciliation of His People To God
This, is a most precious doctrine!
How great is the need for a feeling sinner to be at peace with God?
And to ever be at peace with God, in some manner, he must be reconciled to Him. By nature he is born a rebel. In fact, his “natural mind,” or “carnal mind is enmity against God, it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8).
That was not merely what condition we were in before divine quickening to spiritual life: It still IS our condition relative to our fleshly being. That condition has not yet changed.
This being so, how can one ever expect to have peace with God?
“with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Do you see how God has everything needful covered?
This is surely a testimony to the perfection of His Wisdom!
He left nothing undone that is needful for our salvation. This, too, is a finished work from two thousand years ago. Let us look at the testimony of the Scripture.
Paul connected the elects’ reconciliation with their justification by His blood, and put both of them in the past tense – when He shed his blood – two thousand years ago!
“Much more then, being NOW justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were RECONCILED to God by the death of His Son, (See, His death was two thousand years ago) much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His Life.”
That is as plain as one can make it; yet very few can believe it.
Strange, isn’t it?
However, in believing it, the Gospel, or glad tidings, gives the believer much comfort and joy. Deep within our carnal nature we would think that we should do something to reconcile ourselves to God.
Simply put, it is too late, and not necessary!
Christ has already done that for His people – because they could not do it for themselves.
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have NOW received the atonement. (or reconciliation : KJV marginal reading)
Again, in II Corinthians 5:18 and 19, Paul put reconciliation in the past tense, and timed it to the event on the Cross.
“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.”
(II Corinthians 5:18-19)
We believe we have proved the doctrine. Now let us apply it. We need peace with God, not only in reality, but also in our conscience. A sensible sinner is greatly comforted in those times that he is enabled to view himself already reconciled to God. In that way he is made a friend to God and God is made a friend to him.
This is one of the reasons that Christ came in the flesh, so that He could be a perfect High Priest for us, and make this reconciliation. As the writer said, “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).
Under the law, the high priest’s business was to make atonement (at-one-ment) for the sins of those he represented. He finalized all the sacrificial offerings made by the priests. He made intercession for the sins of the people. So our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ has done all these things needful for His people. What He accomplished, and the ways in which He accomplished them, simply put, is the Gospel, or glad tidings of our salvation.
That, and much, much more, my dear young “Theophilus” is the Gospel Simply Put.
By Stanley C. Phillips