Thursday, August 4, 2016

Devotion: The Message Of Reconciliation

There is an old cliché (with some variation) that people in many Christian circles repeatedly say, “I’m just an old sinner, saved by grace.”  The problem is that they do not realize that this is actually “an untrue confession.”  Yes, we said “an untrue confession.”  Right this very minute someone is saying to themselves, “But aren’t we all sinners?”  To that, we would have to answer “Yes” and “No.”  We know it sounds a little confusing and it may sound like we are playing on the wording, but let us try to explain.

In our most recent message, we mention how important the words that we speak are.  We mentioned that we have the ability to choose between life and death, blessings and cursings through the words that we speak (Proverbs 18:21).  We even mentioned that our very salvation hinged upon words that we speak or confess not to forgo the required believing on one’s heart (Romans 10:9-10).  However, keep these thoughts in mind, we shall return to them shortly.

Now back the question, “But aren’t we all sinners?”  At one point in each of our lives, the answer would have been “Yes.”  At one point in our lives, we were all considered “to be sinners.”  According to scripture, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19).  Tradition teaches us “we are all sinners” because we have violated the law.  While we do commit and/or practice sin, we are sinners because we have a sin nature, a nature that was created by Adam.  We know that by man, Adam, came sin and with sin came death.  And these things were passed to all mankind, so that all mankind were guilty of sinning and all men would die.  The fact that God would impute the disobedience of one man to the entire human may seem a little unfair to many of you, but it really is not as unfair as you think.  All of this changed when Jesus went to the cross.

“So by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).  “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:21-22).

God offers to impute the righteousness of Christ to the account of a believer, making that person’s record as good (or as perfect) as Jesus Christ’s just as he imputed the sin of Adam to the account of all of mankind making everyone sinners.  Imputed righteousness in place of imputed sin; sounds fair to us.

Now back the question, “But aren’t we all sinners?”  The answer is “No.”  Now, God considers those who are in Christ, to be righteous, imputing the righteousness of Christ to their account, making their record as good (or as perfect) as the record of Jesus.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:17-19).

Man, Adam to be more specific, not God, changed the original creation, the original nature of mankind.  However, it has been God’s plan, hidden since the beginning of time, to reconcile mankind back to him.  And it was God who reconciled his creation back to its original state, not a new state.  For if a man be in Christ, he be a new creature, redeemed for his old sinful nature to a new nature for him, the nature of the original man, before the fall.  This be the ministry of reconciliation; the renewing of that relationship that existed with the original man before his fall from God’s grace.

Because we confessed with our mouth the Lord Jesus and because we believe in our heart that God did raise him from the dead, we accepted the free gift of salvation.  And because we accepted the free gift of salvation, “we are saved by grace.”  And since we are saved by grace, “we are no longer considered just old sinners but the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ.”  Again, we may continue to commit sin, but we are no longer called sinners by God and to continually confess, “I’m just an old sinner, saved by grace” completely nullifies what God says about us and what Jesus Christ did for us.

We pray that today’s inspirational message will give you a new perspective on an old cliché and help you to understand the ministry of reconciliation.  We also pray that this message will bless you, inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

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