“And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven. And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight.” (Col.1:20-22)
How we should rejoice in the mercy of God! When we realize that the world was alienated by sin, we can see the necessity for God to institute His great plan for reconciliation. We will mainly consider this great truth from the cross of Christ to its further development in the epistles, especially of Paul.
In Romans 5:10, we are told:
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
This very clearly teaches that reconciliation is dependent upon the death of Christ. This is God’s way of reconciling the world and individual sinners to Himself. God doesn’t need to reconcile Himself to the sinner, but the sinner needs to be reconciled to God. It is totally a “one way street.” God hasn’t done anything wrong. In family or business disputes, it is usually true that both parties are wrong, For instance, in I Corinthians 7:11, the apostle Paul instructs the departing wife to be “reconciled” to her husband. However, in the case of the “world,” we are shown that “all the world has become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19). Knowing that “God so loved the world,” we can readily understand why He was willing for His only begotten Son to die to provide reconciliation whereby sinners can be saved by simply believing:
“That Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried and that He arose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (I Corinthians 15:3-4)
Another great truth involved in the study and understanding of reconciliation is that through the death of Christ, Jew and Gentile have been brought together in one body. It should be understood that in the major portion of God’s Word, there was the distinction made between the Jew and the non-Jew (Gentile). When we see this, the Old Testament, Gospels, and the first part of the book of Acts become more meaningful. In the book of Ephesians we are taught that Gentiles were “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” The use of the word “aliens” shows that Gentiles were alienated, consequently the need to be reconciled. Ephesians 2:11-18 then proceeds to show how God reconciled both, Jew and Gentile, into one body. Then it is summed up in Ephesians 2:16:
“And that He might reconcile both unto God in one Body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.”
Both, Jew and Gentile, were guilty before God. Since Israel rejected Christ and God’s offer of the Kingdom, they were set aside and became “outsiders” as well as the Gentile. Both needed to be reconciled to God. The means for this was the death of Christ on the Cross. The person to be commissioned for the work or ministry of reconciliation was the Apostle Paul (II Corinthians 5:17-20). It is through the Apostle Paul that we are introduced to the “joint body” in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Ephesians 3:1-10). Our heavenly Father makes no distinction between Jew or Gentile today in saving the lost. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ saves to the uttermost, all who come to Him by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. In Colossians 3:11 we are told:
“Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all and in all.”
Not only has God reconciled the world and the Jew and Gentile into one body, the Church, but we can rejoice in reconciliation to know this includes every individual who comes to Christ. In the great and important passage found in Colossians 1:20-21, we find that God has reconciled “all things unto Himself.” This includes even the creation that was affected by the original sin of Adam. However, God, through Christ, has even taken care of the redemption and restoration of His creation (Romans 8:21-22). It is so important to see, though, that God is interested in the individual. Notice in Colossians 1:21:
“And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in Your mind by wicked works, yet now has He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight.”
This great truth of reconciliation is clearly taught in II Corinthians 5:14-21. This needs to be read and studied carefully. It teaches us of so many things, but we see that when God reconciled the world to Himself, He provided for individuals that would believe the gospel of God’s grace. In verse 20, of the above passage, stress is laid upon the individual. Notice the underscored pronouns, (underscoring is made by the writer), in the following Scripture:
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
It is wonderful to see the results that have and will be accrued by God’s act of reconciliation. These should make us rejoice in reconciliation. First, we see that “old things have passed away.” These “old things” not only consist of sins, but the letter of the law and the ordinances and requirements of the law. We also see that “all things are become new.” Not only a new life, but new ways of looking at life. Also, “the new man,” the Church which is Christ’s Body, is now preeminent in God’s plans and purposes (Ephesians 1:19-23). Practically, it enables us to have new friends, new relationships with our heavenly Father, other believers and ourselves. Also, a brand new outlook and future. REJOICE IN RECONCILIATION!