THE DOCTRINE OF RECONCILIATION

(Lesson 16 on Bible Doctrines) 



"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 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" (II Cor.5:18,19).

"And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven" (Col.1:20).

Definition: The word reconciliation as it is used in the Bible means "to cause to conform to a standard, to be adjusted to a specified standard." Therefore, man needs to be reconciled to God; God does not need to be reconciled. God does not need to conform to any accepted norm – God is propitiated, and the sinner is reconciled.

  1. RECONCILIATION REMOVES THE EMNITY BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
    1. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son…" (Rom.5:10).
    2. "Reconciliation looks toward the effect of the death of Christ upon man, as propitiation is the Godward aspect, and is that effect upon the believing sinner which, through divine power, works in him a `thorough change’ toward God from enmity and aversion to love and trust" (Scofield Study Bible, p. 1263).
  1. RECONCILIATION HAS TWO SIDES
    1. In the active sense, we may look upon Christ’s death as removing the enmity which has existed between God and man since the fall. This enmity had been a barrier to fellowship with God (cf. Rom.8:7; Eph.2:16; Col.1:20).
    2. In the passive sense it indicates the change of attitude on the part of man toward God, this change being wrought in the heart of man by an understanding and an appreciation of the substitutionary death of Christ. The repentant sinner is now no longer the enemy of God.

Pastor James Barker
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