BY: JOHN STOLWYK
What is meant by “Reconciliation”? How can I know that I have been reconciled?
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life and not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:10, 11
One of the greatest things to come to discover is the Love of God. Remember God is love, it is not what He does but what He is and that His Nature never changes. That is to say we are the ones that needed to be reconciled to His Love not Him to us! Plus there is nothing we can do to merit or gain His Love. That left us totally dependent on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ as our complete provision. Seeing ourselves in this helpless state is what caused us to cry out to the Lord for help and salvation. He did all this for us while we were His enemies! He did this for the whole world!
To be reconciled means to be restored to favor and glory. We have been restored to God as if we had never sinned! I have heard the story that God looks through blood stained glasses and therefore doesn’t see your sins. I believe that it is more than that He doesn’t see your sins it is because they no longer exist! I know this is a very strong statement but do not under estimate the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14. As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12. The New Covenant replaces and surpasses the Old with no comparison. The New Covenant states that God does not remember our sins or lawless deeds! (See Hebrews 8:12, Jeremiah 31:31-34). A sin-conscious Christian is a paradox because such a one claims a better memory than God and disagrees with God. Can we still sin? Yes. Live in sin? Impossible (I John 2:1, 3:9). Sin consciousness ruins our ability to encounter the presence of God. Someone might bring up John 16:8. Let me preface with the fact that God is in total agreement within Himself and the Godhead. If the Holy Spirit is reminding us of sin and God (The Father) doesn’t remember our sin then we have a serious problem to contend with. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness & judgment. These three elements are defined in the next three verses. Of sin because they believe not on me. He is not talking of a Christian being convicted of their sins but the world of their sin. It is only one sin that Jesus is talking about. Not believing in Him! We need to understand that God has cleansed the world through the sacrifice of Christ, 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. 2 Corinthians 5:19 God is not even imputing the whole world’s trespasses against them! God is asking one question, “What will you do with my son who has already cleansed you from your sins?” Many people quote John 3:16 but lets look at verses 17 and 18 as well. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, (because he has sinned? No! Read on) because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:17,18. God has brought man to the threshold of salvation, that is Jesus, now what is the world going to do with Him. We must understand that the sin issue was dealt with at the cross. Paul tells us that when Jesus appears the second time it will not be in reference to sin but to those who eagerly await his return, the Christ-conscious ones if you will. Hebrews 9:28
We have an enemy who loves to accuse us of past failure and sin. God does not bring sin to our remembrance as a matter of fact His desire is eradicating it even from our conscience! The Old Covenant sacrifices could never cleanse the conscience from sin they were reminded every year! …both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience…. how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:9,14 For the law... with these same sacrifices… each year… could not make those who approached perfect For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshippers, once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins. Hebrews 10:1,2 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 9:9,14 Sin-consciousness ruins our ability to encounter the presence of God. In His presence is fullness of joy, there is nothing between us, we have joy unspeakable and full of glory.
In 1 John we read, My little children these things I write to you that you do not sin. And if anyone does sins (If anyone should commit an act of sin) we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous 1 John 2:1 The thought of this scripture is that it is not the norm for the Christian to sin. Religion teaches us that we sin more than we do right. The Bible says the opposite, as a matter of fact John tells us that one born of God does not continue to sin 1 John 3:9. In other words sinning is not their lifestyle. We are inundated with sin-conscious thoughts that cause us not to see ourselves as God sees us. This also causes us not to see others correctly. The result: failure to enjoy His presence and ineffectiveness to communicate the good news. I am not saying that we do not fail or sin but God is not into reminding us of these things but convincing us that Christ is our provision and power to live in His presence unhindered by ANYTHING. The grief we “feel” when we sin is because our spirit is joined to God’s Spirit we feel God’s grief. It is not His making us feel bad but us feeling His VERY HEART! Can you see the difference? It is one thing to make someone feel bad it is another thing to feel their pain because you are a part of them.
If we can view ourselves the way God does. That is, see ourselves reconciled to God not only is our enjoyment of His presence not hindered but our communication of the Gospel becomes very effective. This is because we can now see how God views the world and bring them a really, really Good message! Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him thus no longer. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:16, 17
It is my prayer that those who read these words would be encouraged to see themselves in the Light of God and be effective ministers of the New Covenant and reconciliation for the Glory of the One who in us is worthy!
RECONCILIATION [John Stolwyk] 1