RCL1 - The Author of Reconciliation
The Neglect of God in America today is frightening
Four of every five Americans do not attend church on a weekly basis. (Not how it was forty years ago)
When was the last time God impacted your life:
- When was His will become more precious that your pleasure?
- When was His word more treasured than the TV or social media?
God wants fellowship.
He wants me to love Him will all my heart, soul, strength, and mind.
Jesus is the example of what God desires in our day.
- His prayer in John 17 makes it clear that God was not an afterthought in His personal existence. He came to do the Father’s will.
- It also tells us that His example is our example.
The passage at hand describes our mission as one of reconciliation between God and men. It was the ministry of Jesus Christ.
In today’s world, God is the last thing on people’s mind. They assume the feeling is mutual.
Today, I want to destroy the thought that God does not care about you and me.
Why Does God Want Fellowship with Me?
- 18a – God reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.
- 19a – In Christ He was reconciling – not imputing their trespasses
- 21 – He made Him to be sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him
We have secularists today asking “Why do we need God?”
The question assumes that man made God.
The true question is “Why did God create us?”
- He did not “need” us.
- He knew we would require redemption.
*Counting the cost, He made you and me. Why?
God not only made man; He created the habitat for man to exist. He created the natural processes to sustain him and challenge him.
It would have been much easier for God to get a puppy.
I. God Made You to Love You as a Father
--A. Loving a newborn
What did your parents see when you were born?
- A life that shared their image
- Adam was made in the image of God
The angels rejoiced with every aspect of creation
When God breathed in to man’s nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul, something changed.
The Love God has for His angels is nothing compared to the love He has for you and me.
Salvation – the new birth
--B. Caring for a dependent
As the child grows, he begins to understand his own needs.
He turns to his Father and requests his strength to do what he cannot do.
Prayer – Give us this day our daily bread.
--C. Training the Youth
Imparting wisdom for life
No longer living in the trial and error existence
No longer groping as men who are blind to the future
God’s wisdom is found in His word
--D. Advancing the Kingdom – Psalm 127:4-5
Straight arrows that defend the father’s claim
*Arrows do not stay in the quiver. They are effective when they are released
They know the Father’s will and do it
When Adam was created, God made him King of the earth (Ps. 8:4-6).
--E. The Father wants His children to walk in truth – 2John 4
“How are your children doing?”
If they are …
- a) Communicating – Prayer
- b) Listening – Reading the Bible
- c) Doing what I would do – Evangelizing
I am thrilled to tell you about them
God made us to be His children. As you shower love on your kids, so He showers His love on us, whether we know it or not.
II. God Made Us to Love Him back – Prov. 8:17
What is the chief end of man?
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, (1 Cor. 10:31- Do all to the glory of God) and to enjoy him forever. (Ps. 73:25–28)
Psalm 73:25–28 (context: one who wondered if serving God was worth it)
Do you love God? (I did not ask, do you feel in love)
Can love be measured by actions? Only if they are genuine.
--A. That Love Obeys Him by faith – John 14:15
Animals obey by instinct
The earth obeys by natural laws
Only man obeys by choice
--B. That Love communicates with Him
Mankind alone is gifted with language
Who would claim love and then refuse to speak to the one they love?
--C. That Love Enjoys His presence – Psalm 27:4
--D. That Love Glorifies Him – Psalm 34:1-8
III. Genuine Love Must Be Tested
--A. Eden - Perfection
--B. The Tree – Proof
Critics ask, “If God knew man would fail, why did He put the tree in the garden in the first place?”
Furthermore, why did He place it in the midst of the garden? Why not stick it on some cul de sac twenty miles away?
- Until the fall, the tree represented obedience by faith.
- Until the fall, each time Adam and Eve honored God’s command by passing by the tree, they were practically saying to God, “I love you.” John 14:15
“God does not really love you.”
“You need to free yourself from God.”
--D. Adam’s sin devastated the fellowship God wants to have with you and me.
We look at the consequence of our sin and blame God for it
We treat Him like a selfish child insisting upon his own way.
IV. Our Failure Required His Mercy
--A. Our actions created a conflict
Sin has consequence – The wages of sin is death
Justice demands payment
Love desires reconciliation
--B. Wisdom provides the only solution –
a substitute sacrifice for sin – John 3:16