TOPIC:“This Transforming Word - Reconciliation”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
TEXT:II Corinthians 5:17-21
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (II Corinthians 5:19)
The word reconciliation is found about twenty three times in the Bible. The Word of God speaks of a reconciliation between servant and master (I Samuel 29:4); brother and brother (Matthew 5:24); husband and wife (I Corinthians 7:11); earthly things and heavenly things (Colossians 1:20); and between man and God (Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:21). The very purpose of Christ becoming man was because He wanted to reconcile sinful man to a holy God. Note again the words of our text: “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.”
Let's look together at what the Bible has to say about this transforming word.
First of all, let us consider the REASON for reconciliation. Notice the words: “reconciling the world” (v. 19).
Man is depicted in the Bible as having plunged himself into a state of depravity and alienation from God because of sin. Man is portrayed as being in rebellion against God and out of fellowship with God. Give ear to the words of Isaiah: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you “(Isaiah 59:2).
But man is not only at war with God, he is also out of harmony with himself and with society. The Apostle Paul describes man's plight this way: “without strength” (Romans 5:6); “ungodly” (Romans 5:6); “sinners” (Romans 5:8); “enemies” (Romans 5:10); “unprofitable” (Romans 3:12); “children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2); “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:2); “dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:5); “without Christ” (Ephesians 2:12); “without God” (Ephesians 2:12) and “having no hope” (Ephesians 2:12). Man is indeed in bondage to sin, self and Satan, and under the condemnation of God.
Being in this condition, outside of Jesus Christ, man is under the divine wrath of Almighty God. Paul the Apostle writes of this in these words: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). The Apostle Jude put it this way: “Behold, the Lord cometh…to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed” (Jude 14, 15).
But though man desperately needs to . . .