Christian reconciliation - What is it? Why do we need to be reconciled to God?
To reconcile is to make right or to harmonize. Reconciliation involves different parties coming to the same position, and it always involves change. Obviously, if enemies are to be reconciled, there must be some kind of change, or friendship will be impossible.
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Christian reconciliation is the idea of being made right with God. Before we go any further, we should clarify that our relationship with God was broken through no fault of God's. It was we who ran away from God, not vice versa (Genesis 3:8). God is perfect and we are not (Romans 3:23). He does not need to change, make concessions, or find some middle ground of cooperation with us. We are the ones that need changing.
Because of our sin, we were actually the enemies of God (Romans 5:10). Amazingly, Christ took the first step to reconcile us to Himself. "In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:19). God wanted us to be reconciled. He knew we could not solve our sin problem ourselves. So He provided a way for us to be made right with Him through Christ.
Believers have their sins forgiven, a necessary step in reconciliation with God. Colossians 1:21-22 says, "You, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him." We are no longer "alienated"; we are now forgiven, transformed, and reconciled. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we can have fellowship with God.
Now, rather than seeing us as enemies, Christ calls us "friends" (John 15:15). Jesus is our peace; He is our mediator who makes us right with God. "Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
Not only do we enjoy peace with God as a result of Christ's sacrifice, we also have peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Varied backgrounds, natural antagonisms, old grudges—none of it matters to those who have been born again. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). Ephesians 2:14-16 emphasizes the reconciliation that God has established between Jews and Gentiles: "For he himself is our peace . . . that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility."
"Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus said, and He should know (Matthew 5:9). Jesus made a way to exchange our sinful, broken lives for forgiven, connected lives. He replaced the enmity with intimacy. Just as Hosea pursued his unfaithful wife and restored her to a proper relationship (Hosea 3), God has pursued us and sought reconciliation. "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love" (Song of Solomon 2:4).
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