Our sins separate us from God. Isaiah 59:1, 2. We need to be reconciled to God. The Bible nowhere teaches that God is reconciled to man. Sin, that which separates us from God, is on our part. "It was we who needed to be reconciled to God, not God to us, and it is propitiation, which His righteousness and mercy have provided, that makes the reconciliation possible ..." -W.E. Vine. God "reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ." 2 Cor. 5:18. In any reconciliation, both the offended (God) and the offender (man) are involved.
How is God involved in our reconciliation to Him? He extends His boundless grace to every sinner. Rom. 5:20. "The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." Titus 2:11. Because of His love He gave His Son to die for the world. John 3:16. "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son ..." Rom. 5:8, 10. God made Christ to be sin for us. He was willing to take our sins upon Himself so that He may pay the price for our reconciliation. Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:21. God is longsuffering, not willing that anyone should perish. 2 Pet. 3:9. God is willing to forgive sins we have committed against Him. 2 Cor. 5:19. He has revealed the word of reconciliation. That word is the gospel which is God's power to save sinners. Rom 1:16. God made Jesus to become Mediator and Advocate for His children. 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1, 2. Through Christ, Christians can continue to be cleansed from sin. 1 John 1:7.
Man has sinned against God and must be involved in his own reconciliation to God. Paul wrote, "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Cor. 5:20. "With many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward (crooked) generation." Acts 2:40. Jesus Christ is our Savior. Acts 4:12. However, we must obey Him to be saved. Heb. 5:8, 9. We purify our souls by obeying the truth. 1 Peter 1:22.
What does God require of sinners who wish to be reconciled to Him? If we wish to please God, we must have faith in Him and His promises. Heb. 11:6. We must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, or we will die in our sins. John 8:24; 20:30, 31. We must repent of our sins. Luke 13:3. God desires that all "come to repentance" lest we perish.. 2 Pet. 3:9. We must confess Christ before men. Matt. 10:32. We must be baptized into Christ "For the remission of sins." Gal. 3:27; Acts 2:38. Saul of Tarsus was told, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins ..." Acts 22:16. It is through the death of Christ that we are reconciled to God. Rom. 5:10. We are baptized into His death. Rom. 6:3, 4. Peter made it clear that baptism is essential to salvation. 1 Pet. 3:21. When we arise from the waters of baptism, we must "walk in newness of life." Rom 6:3, 4. When the Christian walks in the light (of the gospel and in the example of Christ, 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Pet. 2:21), the blood of Christ will continue to cleanse us from sin. 1 John 1:7
As we continue our study of reconciliation, we note that Jews and Gentiles who obey the gospel are not only reconciled to God but also to each other. During the Mosaic Age, Gentiles were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise." Eph. 2:12. "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; ..." Eph. 2:13, 14. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:28, 29. All Christians, those who walk in the light, are reconciled to God and "have fellowship one with another." 1 John 1:7. 111 Heather Court, Scott Depot, WV 25560.
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