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At some point in our lives, we will all experience a personal relationship that is broken. You can probably think of one such conflict right now. Broken relationships cause pain and often leave us confused about how we can possibly fix them. Most people want to be reconciled so that the relationship can be restored in some fashion. How sad it is when a broken relationship continues to remain broken and isn’t reconciled. What joy we experience when we see a broken relationship repaired and healthy again. Reconciliation is certainly a reason for rejoicing, especially in our relationship with God! But, what does it take for reconciliation?
Six terms describe how our relationship with God is changed because of our faith in Jesus Christ—Propitiation, Reconciliation, Redemption, Forgiveness, Justification, and Sanctification. These 6 relationship changes are the direct result of Christ’s finished work on the cross so they are often called “words of the cross.” My last blog covered Word of the Cross #1 Propitiation: “God’s holy wrath is fully satisfied.” This blog will cover #2 RECONCILIATION.
The broken relationship restored
As Romans 3:23 describes, all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Before Christ, our problem was a state of alienation (separation) from God because of sin (Isaiah 59:2). There was an impassable barrier between us. A broken relationship. Some kind of reconciliation needed to be done. We couldn’t do it on our part—no matter how many good deeds we did. There was always that chasm created by sin between us and God.
BUT GOD did something about that! I love those two words in the Bible. Whenever it looks absolutely hopeless for us humans, God steps in and does the exact thing we need. God restored the broken relationship by reconciling us to Himself through Jesus’ death. The word reconcile means to re-establish friendship between two parties, to settle or resolve a dispute, and/or to bring acceptance. Wow! Did we need that!
What was God’s motivation to repair the broken relationship? LOVE
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
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. (Colossians 1:21-22)
Romans 5:10 says that God loved us so much that even while we were God’s enemies, He did what was needed to reconcile us to Himself through the death of His Son.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whomwe have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:10-11)
The barrier of sin has been taken away. A bridge has been built through Jesus Christ. As we cross over this bridge by our faith in Jesus, our relationship with God is restored, and we are saved. And, even more than that, Jesus presents us holy and blameless in God’s sight. Jesus Christ has fully paid man’s debt, removing the barrier between God and men. God’s “books” have been balanced; the debt has been paid. God stands eagerly welcoming anyone who will believe the good news and come home (Luke 15:7-10). Reconciliation is a present reality for every Christian and is worthy of our rejoicing!
Living in the present reality of reconciliation with God
God demonstrated His love for us when Christ died for us so that we could be reconciled to Him. This reconciliation extends to the whole world, that is, to everyone who chooses to receive it by faith. Because of this, God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, whereby we appeal to the world in hopes of persuading those who listen to be reconciled to God through faith in Christ. Announcing to others that they can have what we have in a restored relationship with the God who loves them.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
The same power of reconciliation is available to you through Christ for your relationships. If you are in the midst of a relationship that is broken and in need of reconciliation, pray that God would work His mighty hand in the relationship and provide you with His wisdom in pursuing reconciliation. What steps can you take to reconcile the relationship? Read the book of Philemon for practical steps and the heart attitude needed to pursue reconciliation. Depend on the Master of Reconciliation to give you the wisdom and the strength to do it.
Restored…no longer broken
You CAN KNOW and live with confidence that the barrier of sin has been taken away and a bridge has been built between you and God because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. This was God’s act of reconciliation offered to you because you believe in His Son. Your relationship with God is RESTORED…NO LONGER BROKEN. How does that make you feel? Believe it, sister. Embrace it. Relish in it. Bask in it. As Paul writes in Colossians 3:12, you are dearly loved!
The information about the 6 words of the cross and this word of the resurrection has been adapted from the daily devotional, Graceful Living Today, by Melanie Newton.
Graceful Living Bible Study (read online)
Graceful Living Bible Study (download pdf)