2 Corinthians 5:17-21

We proclaim reconciliation accomplished and seek to persuade sinners, who are by nature haters of God, to be reconciled to him, bowing to and trusting his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Reconciliation began with God himself, not with us. "All things are of God", in nature, providence, and grace, "Who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ". Reconciliation began in the thoughts of his heart toward us. It was brought up in the council chambers of eternity, and settled in the covenant of grace and peace before the world began. It was executed and accomplished by Christ by his death, and the blood of his cross (Rom. 5:10, Eph. 2:16, Col. 1:20-22). The ransom price of Christís blood was paid to God the Father, against whom sin is committed, whose law we have broken, and whose justice we have offended, the Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy (Rom. 5:10, Eph. 2:16). Christís blood was shed to make a reconciliation for sin, to make atonement for it (Dan. 9:24, Heb. 2:17). Christ died to reconcile chosen sinners to God who are by nature enemies in their minds to God (Rom. 5:10, Col. 1:21). And all who have been reconciled to God by the sin-atoning death of his Son shall, at Godís appointed time, be reconciled to him in their hearts by the power and grace of his Holy Spirit. Let me just show you three things from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

1.       Reconciliation has been made for sinners by the death of Christ. The way is open for sinners to come near unto God and come with full assurance of faith. The way is Christ: His Propitiation and His Atonement.

2.       God Almighty has sent his servants to sinners with the Word of reconciliation to persuade them to be reconciled to him. Every person in this world who has the privilege of sitting under the ministry of a faithful gospel preacher is indescribably blessed of God. God has sent a man to you with the Word of his grace; and God himself speaks through that manís voice and calls you to be reconciled to him!

3.       The motive by which God urges you to be reconciled to him is the blessed promise of all things new in Christ. For sinners reconciled to God all things are new. Your old record of sin and condemnation has been blotted out by the blood of Christ. The new record of perfect righteousness has been imputed to you. Condemnation is gone! Grace has put you in the family of God!

Propitiation is the appeasement of Godís wrath by the blood of Christ. Atonement is union made between God and sinners meeting at the Mercy Seat where Christís blood covers our sins. Reconciliation is reuniting of God and his elect in the person of his dear Son, both looking to the blood of atonement. Looking upon his elect through the blood of his dear Son, God himself has no reason to be angry. He has no cause for wrath. His anger has been put away. His wrath has been fully and forever appeased. His justice is satisfied. He has thereby made us ďaccepted in the BelovedĒ. Believers, looking on God through the blood of Christ their Substitute, cease from all hostility against God. Conquered by his grace, overcome with his love, forgiven by his mercy, we gladly bow to Christ our King and kiss his royal scepter.

Don Fortner