Doctrine Part 53, Jesus Christ Chapter 8 The Results of His Substitutionary Death (Reconciliation)

Romans 5:6–11 (ESV) — 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Every month I get a statement from my bank which informs me of all the transactions which have occurred in my bank account for the month. I then have to compare what the bank statement has with what my records indicate. When my records match the banks statement it means that I have reconciled my records with the bank. Reconciliation can then be defined as causing to conform to a standard. In the case of the bank account, the standard is the banks records and you have to conform your records to theirs.

In creation there can be only one standard. That standard is set by the Creator. The standard by which each individual is measured is God himself. We have looked at the perfections of God in previous posts, and those perfections are what we are measured against. Romans 5:6-11 indicate how we measure up to God’s standards. In verse 6 it say’s we are weak and ungodly. The very fact that we are ungodly indicates we cannot measure up to God’s standards.

Since we are ungodly and deserving of the wrath of God, Christ’s substitutionary death demonstrates God’s love. God did not have to do this and we could have all been condemned because of our sinful nature. God is not just a God of wrath, but is also a God of love, mercy and longsuffering. When the time was right for God to demonstrate this love He sent His Son to take on the penalty for our rebellion and suffer the fate that we deserve.

The very fact that this was accomplished, reconciled us to God. God looked at the standard which was Himself, then He looked at the price that needed to be paid for man’s rebellion. He then determined that He would pay that price himself so that man could then be reconciled and no longer in debt for sin. Christ met God’s standards in every way. He was totally man and yet did not sin. He lived according to the standard God had set and thus was accepted by God. Because He was acceptable to God and was eternal God himself, He became the perfect substitute to pay the penalty for all mans sins. Once that was accomplished God could look favorably on all those who are in Christ because His wrath had been satisfied and man had been reconciled to His standards.

2 Corinthians 5:17–19 (ESV) — 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Note that one of God’s purposes in history is to reconcile the world “fallen man” to himself. This does not mean universal salvation. It means that God so loved the world that He provided a means by which humanity can meet the standards God has set. That only occurs for those who are “in Christ”. Though God has reconciled the world to himself the individual must come in faith to receive that reconciliation. To those who do believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ receive that reconciliation and become messengers to the rest of the world. We then become His Ambassadors’ to spread the Gospel to the rest of the world and provide reconciliation to all those who accept that message.

It is Christ’s death which provided us reconciliation. Appropriate that by believing what God has done for you.

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