Posts Tagged ‘reconciliation’

Reconciliation: In right relationship with Him

March 29, 2016

2 Corinthians 5--19-20 2

The Verse of the Day for March 29, 2016 expresses God’s ultimate desire for unity for His people in terms of their relationship with Him:

2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

To more fully understand what this means and the means whereby we achieve this unity in our relationship with Him, we need to examine the preceding verse as well as the Verse of the Day:

2 Corinthians 5:20:

 So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.

Ambassadors in the natural sense are said to be mediators or those who reconcile warring factions together. Those who broker peace agreements behind the scenes are generally ambassadors. As Ambassadors for Christ, we likewise offer terms of agreement whereby reconciliation with God is restored for those who have separated themselves from God. The following poem reveals the role of believers who stand in Christ’s place, fulfilling our role:

As Ambassadors

31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one who is coming against him with twenty thousand?

32 Or else [if he feels he is not powerful enough], while the other [king] is still a far distance away, he sends an envoy and asks for terms of peace

Luke 14:31-32

 

As Christ, the Lord, implores and calls each soul to be reconciled,

So we beseech you in mercy and stand in his stead,

That mankind might reconnect–no longer exiled.

Just as a great king will send an entourage ahead

Of his army and offer terms of agreement,

Expressing his desire to redeem and restore

With a covenant that shall forever cement

And make known his will, even in times of war,

We see that behind every plan unfolds a process,

Conceived in wisdom long before the world began.

From God’s gracious right hand that shall forever bless

Flows loving favor, expressing His divine plan.

The day is forthcoming when all conflict shall cease,

As ambassadors offer final conditions of peace.

 

Listen to this stirring rendition of the Reconciliation Song by Stephen Newby and Antioch Live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the day after Valentine’s Day, still looking at love

February 15, 2016

1 John 4 9-10

On the day after Valentine’s Day, the Verse of the Day for February 15, 2016 continues to focus on love:

1 John 4:10 AMP

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath].

The lyrics to the popular love song “My Funny Valentine” also express the following profound yet simple truth:

Stay, funny Valentine, stay.

Each day is Valentine’s Day.

And so on the day after Valentine’s Day, we are still seeking to express the essence of God’s love:

The Expanded Bible offers this rendering of 1 John 4:10:

This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son ·to die in our place to take away our sins [as the atoning sacrifice/Tpropitiation for our sins].

The Message Bible speaks of propitiation this way: “as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.”

This verse also brings to mind that everything has its price, even sin. With the Fall, all humanity incurred an overwhelming debt due to sin. In one instance the word “propitiation” is translated “reconciliation,” indicating that all of humanity had an outstanding balance on their account because of sin, but God sent His son as a “more than just” payment to reconcile our account which is now stamped “paid in full.”

The Verse of the Day makes clear that God loved us, as Logos Bible software indicates, “. . . though so altogether unworthy of love. Not that we did any act of love at any time to God, but that He did the act of love to us in sending Christ.”

We close with this reminder “We Love Because GOD First Loved Us” by Grace:

Reconciled to reconcile, as ambassadors

April 8, 2014

Taken from Romans 5:10, the Verse of the Day for April 8, 2014, speaks of our being reconciled or reconnected to God:

Romans_5-10
In reflecting on that verse, I thought of the familiar passage from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 which speaks of our being reconciled that we might reconcile others to God:

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

In 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, the words “reconcile” or “reconciliation” appear five times, the number of grace. The verb means to change or exchange something. The basic meaning of the noun is “a change on the part of one party only, induced by some action on the part of another.”

Biblegateway.com notes:

Paul is the only New Testament writer to use the noun katallage (reconciliation) and verb katallasso (to reconcile). The basic idea is to change or make otherwise. In Paul’s writings, God is always the reconciler. Those in need of reconciliation are hostile human beings (2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Romans 5:10-11).

God, who initiates the relationship, changes a relationship of enmity to one of friendship. William F. Beck translated 2 Corinthians 5:18 in the following way: “But God has done it all. When we were His enemies, through Christ He made us His friends and gave us the work of making friends of enemies.”

Once we have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, we then stand in his place, and reconcile others, in light of the truth that God has committed to every born-again believer the ministry of reconciliation. The reconciled become the reconcilers, and so the exchange goes on.
Our designation as “ambassadors for Christ” inspired this poem:

As Ambassadors

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

Luke 14:31-32

As Christ, the Lord, implores and calls each soul to be reconciled,
So we beseech you in mercy and stand in his stead,
That mankind might reconnect–no longer exiled.
Just as a great king will send an entourage ahead
Of his army and offer terms of agreement,
Expressing his desire to redeem and restore
With a covenant that shall forever cement
And make known his will, even in times of war,
We see that behind every plan unfolds a process,
Conceived in wisdom long before the world began.
From God’s gracious right hand that shall forever bless
Flows loving favor, expressing His divine plan.
The day is forthcoming when all conflict shall cease,
As ambassadors offer final conditions of peace.

Susan Ashton with Margaret Becker and Christine Dente offer “A Song of Reconciliation” to close this blog entry.