God has made reconciliation possible.
•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
God is filled with joy every time a person is reconciled – Luke 15
There is joy whenever the lost is found and the dead is made alive.
We have the ministry of reconciliation
•v. 18b – We have the ministry of reconciliation
•v. 19b – We have the word of reconciliation
•v. 20 - We BEG of you, “Be ye reconciled to God”
•v. 1 – Don’t receive His grace in vain
Man is not naturally reconciled to God.
“I have always been a Christian” – Luke 3:7-8
•I was born into a Christian home
•I was baptized in a Christian church
•I was reared in a Christian nation
Being reconciled is not our standing by birth;
it is our standing by death.
If we have to plead with people, it is against their nature to be reconciled.
It is foreign to the human experience.
The Story of Mephibosheth – 2 Samuel 9
Born at odds with the king:
•While he was the son of Jonathan, he was also the grandson of King Saul. He considered himself the object of hatred.
•He was unable to run. His tactic for coping, “Keep your head down. Don’t make eye contact.”
David ended the hostility – 2Samuel 9:1 | This included: Restored Dignity & Intimate fellowship
The first meeting was one of terror – 2Samuel 9:6, 8
I fear most professing Christians have no idea of what being reconciled means.
•Being reconciled is something they accept by faith.
•It is a doctrine that has little practical benefit.
What is it like to be reconciled to God?
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “reconcile”:
To call back into union and friendship the affections which have been alienated; to restore to friendship or favor after estrangement; as, to reconcile men or parties that have been at variance.
What are the distinguishing marks of a reconciled Son?
Romans 5:1-5 lists three qualities of the reconciled man.
I. He Is at Peace with God
A. Religion often strives for peace with an easily offended king. It wrongly teaches …
* Peace is achieved through treaty
* It is maintained through subjection
B. Peace is impossible with Probation
1. We are used to “cease-fire” agreements rather than peace.
The fighting may be done, but hostility is always close at hand.
“Trust, but verify” is not real confidence.
The past is never forgiven
2. Salvation is not a “cease-fire” agreement with God
C. Enmity must be exchanged for friendship
Ephesians 2:1-3 – In times past
Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door
II. He Is Bold with God
A. He has Standing
* Few things offended the religious people of Jesus day than His boldness with the Father
* Jesus taught us that we have the same standing
* 1Corinthians 6:11
a) We are WASHED –
b) We are SANCTIFIED
c) We are JUSTIFIED
B. He has Access
1. Approaching a cruel king can be terrifying – Esther 4-5
* Mordecai instructed her to address the king
* The rule was that only Haman had such access – one needed to submit his petition through him
* To enter the king’s presence without his advance permission would mean execution.
2, Many today want others to approach God on their behalf
Some ask priests to be their mediator
Some pray to saints or to Mary
To feel uncomfortable to come before God is evidence that you are not reconciled
3. Hebrews 4:16 – Let us come BOLDLY
4. Do you “access” God in prayer, or is prayer as foreign to you as it is to your unsaved neighbor?
III. He Is Confident with God – Hope & Trials (because God is love)
A. He is Filled with Hope
* What is your future?
I am going to go to college / What then?…
Go to work as an accountant … Raise a family …
* Jesus will be glorified & I will be there – Rev. 5:6-10
I want to be there when they crown Him King of Kings; …
B. He is Confident of Love
1. The world thinks “Bad things should not happen to good people”
* How can a loving God allow Columbine to happen?
* Foolish optimism: (Demotivation posters)
“Every dark cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who are trying to find it.”