Introduction Why Did Jesus Die? 1)To justify us before God God’s righteousness = Verdict against sin & Vindication of the sinner Ground and means of justification 2)To reconcile us with God
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1. Nature of Reconciliation The painful reality of broken relationships is all too real today: in the family, in schools, in society, between nations What is reconciliation? To overcome alienation, heal broken relationships and bring enemies into a state of friendship It is not to paper over the cracks, but to face up to and resolve the cause of the disruption
2. Need for Reconciliation Because we cannot neutralize wrongdoing We cannot undo the done deed and our words remain forever uttered Our wrongful acts always stick to us as our fault/guilt Because sin always leads to alienation (Gen. 3) Alienation from creation, people, and even ourselves Alienation from God: The result of sin is that we do not stand in a neutral position before God become his enemies
3. Provision of Reconciliation God the Father is the Reconciler Verse 18: ”All this is from God” It’s the reverse of pagan religion where humans seek restoration of the gods’ favour: It is God providing the sacrifice not us It is God giving, God not counting trespasses, God appealing, God making Christ sin for us, … “The only thing of my very own which I contribute to my redemption is the sin from which I need to be redeemed” (W Temple)
3. Provision of Reconciliation Christ is the Agent of Reconciliation God did not decree it, or change his mind about sin, nor did he ‘reconcile himself to the situation’ The full meaning of reconciliation is in view, not some superficial ones God reconciles us to himself in Christ 1)Verses 19 & 21: In Christ, God was not counting their trespasses against them. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin 2)The wrong deed/word remains done/spoken, but the guilt that rightfully sticks to us is removed
4. Results of Reconciliation 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! We are constituted by our relationships: If we are reconciled with God, reconciled with people and with ourselves we become a new creation! Reconciliation is an accomplished reality (v.18) and because it must be appropriated, a continuing process (v.19) We are called to be God’s ambassadors representing and proclaiming what has been accomplished (v.20)
Conclusion 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. How has our reconciliation with God changed our lives? How do we represent a reconciling God to the people around us?