Reconcile - It's the Whole Point

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 6, 2013 0 comments

One of the things I hated most about school growing up was any time that I had to do a lot of reading. As an adult, I rather enjoy it. But as a child and then a teenager, I felt reading just took too much time when I would have rather been hanging out with my friends or doing something outside. Most of my friends felt the same way, so we used to joke and say our favorite author was a guy by the name of “Cliff Notes”. We really liked him as a writer because he could make the same point to us as other authors in far less words!

The Bible is a book with many writers, chapters, and verses. It has many different translations, interpretations, and topics. Maybe some of you have had a hard time getting started with reading it because you have looked at it and thought, “Where would I begin?” You may have wished there were some kind of shortened version, or maybe just asked someone to tell you what you need to know rather than have to read it yourself. Well, the nice thing about the Bible is that the entire book really does point to one main truth – reconciliation.

It’s been said that the first three chapters in the Bible in the Book of Genesis are about the creation of everything, including man, and the subsequent fall of man, but that the rest of the entire Bible is about God reconciling man back to himself. That reality should be all the reason you need to ignore the lies of the enemy who constantly tries to make you believe that God could never love you because of the things you have done to hurt him and others. It is important to include our sin as part of the story so that we know exactly why we need reconciliation. But aside from simply noting it, God has never been concerned with beating you down for anything you’ve done wrong. His Word is designed to show you that all you have to do is be willing and he will reconcile you back to himself. Not only was God wanting to reconcile you, he was willing to pay your ultimate consequences himself in order to do so.

One of my favorite New Testament passages and one you have seen me quote before if you are a regular reader of the blog is Colossians 1:21-23. The Apostle Paul essentially sums up the entire focus of the Bible in these three verses. “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel” (NIV). That’s it in a nutshell, friends. I mean, what else do we really need to know?

The unique thing about the Bible is that even though it all points to one simple point, you can always dig deeper if you want. Let’s look at the three main points in those verses that speak to our situation as sinful human beings. First, there was a time when we were alienated from God. Do you know that you were, and some of you may still be, “alienated from God”? That’s a hard truth to accept because many of us want to believe that we can just be good people, be kind to others, and obey the law and God will accept us. But the reality of reconciliation is that it can only happen where there is a need for it. The idea of reconciling two people back together implies that there has been some sort of separation. We must accept that our sins, regardless of how well we think we’re doing compared to others, have separated us from God.

Secondly, we are the objects of the reconciliation, not the subjects of it. What I mean by that is that God is the one who does the reconciling. There is nothing you or I could’ve done to reconcile ourselves back to God. We weren’t just enemies; we were hopeless and helpless. God is holy and cannot excuse sin, but he loves us too much to sit idly by while we completely destroy ourselves. Therefore, the ONLY possible way for us to be reconciled to him was if he took care of it for us. He did this “by Christ’s physical body through death”. Thankfully, God never tells us what to do to reconcile ourselves. He just says “be reconciled”, knowing it has already been done and we simply need to walk in that reconciliation.

In the well known passage in Matthew 5:23-24 that deals with conflict between fellow believers, Jesus says the same thing. He says that if you are offering your gift at the altar (worshipping) and realize that there is a problem between you and another believer, you are to “leave your gift there in front of the altar and first go and BE RECONCILED to your brother” (v. 24 [caps mine]). He doesn’t say “go and reconcile yourself”. The point is that God has already done the work and if we are Christian brothers and sisters, we know it! Notice that Jesus also does not say that we need to go and figure out who was right and who was wrong. He essentially just tells them to walk in what they already know through faith in God!

The third and final point in those verses to the Colossians that Paul makes is that we must “continue in our faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel”. God has already reconciled you. It is in the past. But it is also a present thing and, ultimately, a future thing regarding eternal reconciliation. The only way you can change your state of reconciliation with God is if you decide that it’s not enough, not worth it, or not true. The enemy will tempt you into believing these things because he desperately wants you to miss the whole point of God’s Word. I encourage you to stand firm in your faith and knowledge that no matter what you’ve done, you are no longer alienated because God himself is the true reconciler and no enemy or temptation can change it!