Be Ye Reconciled
By: Brian A. Yeager
What does sin do to man’s relationship with God? Here is the Scriptural answer: “Behold, the Lord 's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). We have read that sin separates us form God and causes Him not to hear us.
The separation that sin causes between man and God is not God’s doing. Sin is something we do (James 1:13-16 and I John 3:4). The result of sin is spiritual death (Romans 6:23). This is not something that God desires of us (Ezekiel 18:20-32). God has gone through much effort in sending His message of repentance to all whom have sinned (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 26:19-20, Romans 1:16, Colossians 1:23, etc.). God has been very merciful and longsuffering with humanity in giving us many opportunities of repentance (II Peter 3:9). If we don’t take the opportunity to repent, with Him being longsuffering, that is on us (Romans 2:4).
God wants everyone to be saved (I Timothy 2:4). God wants sinners to walk away from sin so that He can have a relationship of a Father toward His children (II Corinthians 6:14-18). We should be able to understand that God does not take pleasure in losing His relationship with the people whom He has created. The entire Bible is a testament to that. His hard work to unite Himself with those whom have walked away from Him is substantial evidence that He wants reconciliation with those He has lost. Let’s consider that.
God Wants Reconciliation With Him
Writing to Christians, the inspired Apostle Paul wrote this: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:6-10). From what we just read, we can understand the high price God paid to give us the choice to be reconciled to Him. That price was His only begotten Son dying so that we can be saved.
In another epistle, wherein sin needed to be repented of, we read this: “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” (II Corinthians 5:20). God paid the price for reconciliation. God sent the message of reconciliation. God gave the command for reconciliation. If you or I misunderstand that message, is there really any reasonable hope for us? In addition to this, God also wants reconciliation of people who have been divided in times past.
God Wants Man To Be Reconciled
Under the Law of Moses, by God’s design, there was a separation of Jew and Gentiles (Deuteronomy 7:1-8). That division, if you read the reference I just cited, was to keep the children of Israel from erring (cf. I Kings 11:1-13). Now that we are under the Law of Christ God set forth His will to unite all of humanity in one body. Notice: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh” (Ephesians 2:11-17).
Reconciliation is all about bringing things into harmony. After we find reconciliation with God, we have to be sure to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters in Christ. God desires that there be no division between us as Christians (I Corinthians 1:10). God wants the same unity between us that there is between Himself and Jesus (John 17:20-23). Conversion into Christ means being one with others (Galatians 3:26-27). Consider something, as an additional thought here, how there are some who seek to destroy God’s will of reconciliation.
Those Whom Oppose Reconciliation
A heretic is a carnally minded divisive individual (Titus 3:9-11). Such people are to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17-18). This is the type of person that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19). Today, we see these types of individuals whom work in many ways. Think of “Black churches of Christ”, “Hispanic churches of Christ”, “White churches of Christ”, etc. Are racial divisions in line with God’s desire of reconciliation (Colossians 3:10-11)? Divisions that prevent reconciliation don’t just end with racism. Many false doctrines exist that separate one from God and faithful saints (Ephesians 5:6-11 and II John 1:9-11). Wealth and how the poor are treated have often led to separation rather than reconciliation (James 2:1-9). Carnal thinking prevents reconciliation (Galatians 5:12-26).
There are so many false things that oppose reconciliation. We could go on and on. Instead of going on, let’s think personally. Are you reconciled to God? Do you help or hinder the reconciliation of others to God? Do you help or hinder brethren being united in truth?
If you err from God, realize that He wants there to be reconciliation between yourself and Him (Luke 15:1-32). If you err against a brother or sister in Christ, drop everything and reconcile yourself with he or she (Matthew 5:23-24). Reconciliation even includes physical relationships gone wrong (I Corinthians 7:10-11). What we can see from all of these things is that God wants mankind to be one with each other and with Him (II Corinthians 5:18 and Colossians 1:12-22).
Volume 16 – Issue 34 - May 8th, 2016