Are You Reconciled to God?

Romans 5:8‑12  •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 6
How earnestly did the apostle beseech men to be reconciled to God! He says, " Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech by us: we pray in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:20, 2120Now 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. 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:20‑21).) Now some may suppose that reconciliation is not like justification; that justification is a present thing to the believer, as may be clearly seen in Rom. 4 and v., but that reconciliation, in its completeness, is a future thing. This would take away all present enjoyment of being reconciled to God. If we turn to the scriptures we shall find to our joy, that both are alike now.
First, as to justification—all is of God. It was He who sent His Son. It was God who raised Him from the dead. Is it not thus that we are accounted righteous before God, believing " on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead: who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification? Therefore, BEING justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Now, dear reader, if you believe God, is it not clear that you are both justified from all things, and also that you are reconciled, that you have peace with God? Oh, let not Satan rob you of this divine certainty. For the strengthening of your faith, read four verses in which you will find justification and reconciliation equally certain to you, and equally a present thing. " But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation." (Rom. 5:8-128But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For 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. 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:8‑12).)
Now what care the Holy Ghost has taken to show us that both are alike certain; both now: " being justified by faith:" " being now justified;" “much more being reconciled" All is of God; we joy in God. Not only shall we joy in God, when all that grieves and hinders is passed away, but we now joy in God, not through anything in us, but through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation. We joy in God: He has received the Holy One who made atonement for our sins, and we receive the result—-the peace He has made by the blood of the cross: the reconciliation. Mark, He has met the whole question of our guilt, our sins, " our offenses;" and we are reconciled to God in perfect peace and righteousness—righteousness of God.
I do not ask, Do you assent to these great foundation doctrines of God's word? but are you reconciled to God, so that you joy in God? Do not say that this is inferior truth; you want the gold. Such a craving would indicate that you have not the enjoyment of present peace, reconciliation, joy in God.
We will now turn to another scripture. "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 sometime 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 unreproveable in his sight." (Col. 1:20-2220And, 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. 21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (Colossians 1:20‑22).)
Oh, doubting one, is not this present? Look not at self, look at Him who hath done it all. We were alienated by wicked works: lie hath reconciled us by that peace which He has made by the blood of His cross. And what He has done, and what we are as reconciled to God through His death, shall certainly be manifested, even as it is now in His sight, But more as to this shortly.
So far as we have gone, can you say, Through the mercy of God, I have this perfect peace with Him, according to all that He is? You may have struggled hard to find something in yourself as the basis of all this. You may have sought to attain to a righteous state first in. yourself before you can have reconciliation—as millions seek: some by works, and an infused, inherent righteousness in us. You may say, It may be true in some uncertain way; but how can I have perfect reconciliation to God, and joy in God, whilst I find sin in me? Must not that be entirely eradicated by some means, and righteousness take its place in me? Do not you see, perplexed reader, that is the old question? Is it to be our righteousness in us; or the righteousness of God? Is our state to be the ground of our reconciliation—what we are; or is what God has done, and what God is revealed to be, through the work, of Christ for us, the only basis of our reconciliation to Him? That is the question of infinite moment.
The Council of Trent teaches it is our state; we become righteous by infused, inherent righteousness. Surely you do not wish to become a Romanist. Others suppose they reach this righteous (or holy) state by an effort of faith, sin entirely displaced by holiness. Others, again, think it cannot be reached until death—not many, I trust—but some, that it cannot be reached until the coming of the Lord. Now, do you think any of these theories would give the soul perfect peace with God, joy in God? Never. I do not believe any person, on any of these principles, knows in his own soul what reconciliation to God is, so as to joy in God. As surely as you turn to any of these, you will sooner or later find darkness to your soul. It is not righteousness of God. It is not what Christ is before the face of God.
Still γόη say, " You do not relieve me. You do not show me clearly how I can be reconciled to God now, and yet have a sinful nature which I abhor. How can I enjoy peace with God, whilst sin is still not eradicated and righteousness has taken its place?" We will turn to the chapter we first quoted, 2 Cor. 5 It is a very solemn chapter, and this is a question of the utmost moment.
You will notice that the deep enjoyment of divine certainty, even in the presence of death, showed the same peace. (Vers. 1-9.) Then the fact that we must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ. Are we justified? It will be manifested then. Are we reconciled? It will be manifested then. Blessed thoughts! Hence we are perfectly free to labor for Christ, and He will give us each our reward. We know the terror of the Lord to such as are not justified and reconciled, and thus we persuade men.
Only mark, that we are made manifest unto God, We have to do with God: and if we know that we are reconciled to God, all is as clear now to faith, as it will be then to sight. Still it is most important to think of being manifested there. Are you quite happy about that?
There is also new creation brought before us as a present thing: " Therefore, if any man be in Christ, a new creature [or new creation]." But is this present? Yes," 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," &c. Notice, that present certainty as to reconciliation, is quite as strong as to justification, as put in Romans. Thank God. There is not a word about your own state as, or in, the sense of your own righteousness, or righteousness infused into you, or displacing sin in you by any of the means named above. Be it standing or state, it is all of God. He sees you in Christ, a new creation. Oh, fellow believer, the Holy Ghost declares that God hath reconciled you to Himself. Will you doubt Him? Surely it is only as we believe God that we can proclaim the true gospel, and beseech sinners to be reconciled to God, to cease their fighting and rebellion.
But there is still the difficulty of sin in me. Does God reconcile my sinful nature to Himself? Surely not! Now mark the last verse, " For he hath made him to be sin for us. who knew no sin; that we might he made [or become] the righteousness of God in him." Compare this with another scripture: a God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin [or by a sacrifice for sin] condemned sin in the flesh." (Rom. 8:33For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (Romans 8:3).) In both places, all is of God. If the Holy Son of God was thus made sin, a sacrifice for sin, as well as bare our sins in His own body on the tree, then both our sins, and sin the root, have been dealt with by God, in the blessed Person of His Son, so that before Him there is nothing left to condemn. " There is, therefore, ηοιυ no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." Mark, it is not in us, in ourselves, but in Him. He has been made sin; He has endured its awful judgment; and in Him we are a new creation. In Him we are the righteousness of God. In Him, whiter than snow. In Him, the believer is a justified and a reconciled person. And all is of God.
Do you say, I have had the fear that I am in a condition here in which sin and the flesh are taken account of? You could not make a more fatal mistake. Your sin was taken account of when Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” To say that it is again taken account of would be to deny the righteousness of God. Your sin has been judged: there is nothing left to condemn. If you are a believer, this is as true of you as of the believer 1800 years ago. Why should you doubt? And will all this be displayed in us when in the glory? Certainly; that is, we shall be the display of the righteousness of God as in Him. Nothing short of this would satisfy the perfect love of God to us. So that as to judgment, all fear is gone for the child of God. What we are now, such we shall be presented, " holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight." Oh, take care that no one moves you away from this certain hope of the gospel. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we shall be like Him when He appears. (1 John 3) Oh, how blessed to be manifested, justified, and reconciled, without spot before God. But do not look within at your own state, or your own righteousness for all this, but at the testimony of God to His risen Son at His right hand. Think what it cost Him, that you might become the righteousness of God in Christ. If an unconverted soul should read this, I entreat you to cease your striving; be ye reconciled to God. The work is done; peace is made by the blood of the cross; Jesus risen from the dead, shows His hands and His side, and gays, Peace be unto you.
C. S.