Aug 29, 2010
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Reconciliation

The Doctrine of Reconciliation

 

Reconciliation is God’s peace treaty offered to the entire human race!

Reconciliation is the RESULT of the finished work of Christ on the Cross!

Reconciliation removes the Barrier which separates God from man (EPH 2:13-16).

EPH 2:13-16  “ But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."

Our human thoughts tell us that WE have to do something to make peace with God. But the Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is our peace, and that HE broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.

We must remember not to rely on our own thoughts or opinions.

God's grace is HIS to give. And it's not based on our opinion of what it should be.

God’s ways are not our ways.  His thoughts are so much higher than our human thoughts, it's immeasurable! ISA 55:8-9

ISA 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

 

And so, in this study, let's see how GOD has offered us peace with Him.

First of all, the peace offering in the Old Testament is a picture of Reconciliation (Lev. 3; 7:11-38;  8:15).

LEV 3:1  'Now if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, if he is going to offer out of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without defect before the LORD"

This animal offered "without defect" represents a perfect sacrifice, pointing to the ultimate perfect sacrifice, the Lord Jesus, the "lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world", John 1:29.

The peace offering emphasizes the Perfect Person of Jesus Christ.

The peace offering sets forth God as satisfied and the sinner as reconciled! It represents what God has accomplished on behalf of helpless sinners!

We must remember, the Word reveals to us that it's not about what man can do for God, it is about what God has done for man!

Religion talks about what man can do for God, but these are human thoughts and human strategies.

True Christianity talks about what God has done for man, and these are the thoughts and ways of God.  And God gets all the credit; all the glory.

 

The Author of the Peace Treaty is God the Father (2 Cor. 5:18a;  EPH 1:3-7;  2:14-16).

2 Cor 5:17-19  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation."

We who have trusted in Christ are not told to improve our old, sinful nature. We are told that we have been given an entirely new nature that is perfect in the eyes of God!

Notice the doctrine of Reconciliation, or the Peace Treaty, is from God Himself and HE has done all the work for us through the Person of Jesus Christ, and this includes giving us the very nature of Christ Himself.

EPH 1:3-8b  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us..."

EPH 2:14-16  “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."

 

Man was the enemy of God (ROM 5:6-10EPH 2:1-6).  But thanks be to God: God the Father is the Initiator of the peace treaty with man!

EPH 2:1-6  “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,"

God has done the unthinkable; the unimaginable. Who are we that God even considers us?! But that's our loving God!

He offers us eternal peace with Him, by grace! This peace is granted to all who trust in Christ from the heart, as their Lord and Savior.

An enemy, the "ungodly", is then converted to a friend of God.

ROM 5:6-11  “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."

Through the Lord Jesus Christ we have received peace with our eternal God and Creator!

We who have trusted in Christ HAVE ALREADY BEEN RECONCILED.  We have been saved through the peace offering of Jesus Christ on the cross. He was the one and final sacrifice for sin.

The Lord has done all of this FOR US.  His ways are FAR BEYOND our ways. 

Would a man ever willingly die to save his enemy??

We could never imagine God Himself leaving heaven to become a man... AND for the purpose of suffering and dying in the place of unworthy sinners!

But again, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His love is not our love! thank God!

We are selfish by nature, but GOD is not.  We don’t truly understand self-sacrificial love, but GOD IS self-sacrificial love!  1JO 4:8

Without His love acting on our behalf, man would have no hope of being saved.

As a reminder, the Bible teaches that man is totally helpless to make his own peace with God (ROM 3:10, 23;  8:5-8;  EPH 2:1).

ROM 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

ROM 8:8 “and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

EPH 2:1 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

We could not do ANYTHING to please a perfect God.  We are born DEAD in our sins.  And what can a dead man do that's effective?!!

God chose to do something, knowing we would all perish.

He offered us a peace treaty, and He offered Himself as the peace offering.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the Peace Treaty (2 Cor. 5:18b;  1 Tim 2:5).  The Lord is the peacemaker (EPH 2:14).

2 Cor 5:18-19  “ Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself,

1 Tim 2:5-6  “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all

This peace treaty took place INSIDE the Person of Christ, the God-Man (2 Cor. 5:19a;  EPH 2:14-16COL 1:22;  1 Pet. 2:24). These are supernatural things my friends!

COL 1:22  “yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach

1 Peter 2:24  “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."

By the way,…

If you think your sins can make you lose your salvation, you are saying that these verses aren't true, and that His sacrificial death didn’t complete the work of salvation for us.

If His death would not be enough to save us, then why did Jesus bother to come and willingly go through such agony?

But it was enough. That's why it says Jesus is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!

Why did Jesus say “It is finished” right before He died, in John 19:30?  It's because the price for our sins has been fully paid by Him, and Jesus Christ totally satisfied the righteous demands of God the Father!

1 Peter 2:24  “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."

And we will see more of that coming up in the doctrines of Redemption and Propitiation.

 

The Good News is that God offers the ENTIRE WORLD a full pardon from their sin, through trusting faith in the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 5:19b;  Acts 13:38;  EPH 1:7;  4:32b;  COL 1:14; 2:13;  1 John 2:12, HEB 10:10,14).

Acts 13:38-39  "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes (trusts in Him) is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses."

EPH 1:7-8  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us."

EPH 4:32  “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

COL 1:13-14  “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

COL 1:19-23  “For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say,  whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —  23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

COL 2:13-14  “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

1 John 2:12  “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name's sake."

If you are a child of God, through trusting in Christ in your heart, you are forgiven!

HEB 10:10  “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

HEB 10:14  “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."

And if you are a believer, you have been made an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20a).  Our job as a saved child of God is to share this good news of forgiveness with the world.

And not everyone will listen, but that is our assignment from our loving God and Savior.

He gave US the ministry of reconciliation; our ministry is to pass on His message of peace to others!

That's why God leaves us behind after we are saved.

We remain on earth for a great reason; to spread His offering of peace to the entire world!

 

The terms of the Peace Treaty: to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. We are saved by faith alone, in Christ alone. (Acts 16:31; John 3:16,36, 5:24, ROM 10:9-11, EPH 2:8-9, 1PE 1:5).

Faith is the way we accept the peace offering of God.

Acts 16:31  They said, " Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…

John 3:16-18  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  18 " He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Christ did all the work on the cross for our salvation. Now, each man has a choice; to accept or reject God's offer of peace through His beloved Son.

John 3:36  "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

This reminds me of John ch. 8, where Jesus said those who don't believe in Him will "die in their sins".

There again we see the issue is trusting in Christ for salvation, rather than trusting in self, or some other false gods.

It's a heart issue between each man and God.

ROM 10:9-11 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

NIV

Having faith is an issue of the heart, not of the intellect alone.

 

Reconciliation is totally the work of God! Man can only RECEIVE God's offer by faith, in humility. JOH 6:28-29

John 6:28-29  “Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

Here again we see man's helplessness. Jesus is saying don't even try to save yourself! You can't do it!

That's why He says "Trust in Me, I will save you."

Again, the ways of God are far beyond the ways of man.

Man loves to add to God's work so he can take some credit for himself. But that is pure arrogance.

The Bible says there is NOTHING good about us on our own. Only trusting in Christ's work on the cross can save fallen man, and reconcile him to a perfect, holy God.

True Christianity is learning from the Bible what God has done for man. 

Please don’t fall for the traps of religion, which use scripture to put men into bondage, tempting to try and earn their own salvation!

Religion is always asking what man can do for God, to earn God's favor. But that's a deception from Satan and the kingdom of darkness.

Man can do NOTHING to please a perfect, holy God.

God has done all the work for us.  Therefore we must give Him the credit He is due.  And in this way, we will not insult the grace of God, which gives FREELY to humble man.

Anything good that we have is by His grace. And, any good works that He leads us to do is by His grace!

We cannot do ANYTHING truly good without Jesus Christ.

 

Now let's spend some more time on the barrier that God has broken down for us...

EPH 2:14-16  “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups (Jew and Gentile) into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."

Only Christ could break down this barrier! Only His sacrifice could bring peace to sinful man, because He was the perfect sacrifice!

The Lord requires a payment for sin, and it's a payment that none of us could make.

Imagine a brick wall that has no end.  It goes high into the clouds so you cannot see the top of it, and it goes side to side FOREVER! And there’s NO WAY you can get around it or through it!

That's our situation as sinners before a holy and righteous God.

And yet, Jesus called Himself “the door”; He became the only way through that impossible brick wall, for any man to reach God.

John 10:7-10  “So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  8 "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  9 "I am the door ; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way into heaven because He is the only perfect One, and He is the only One that has paid the price for our sins.

And that's why Jesus called Himself "The Door".

So, why did man need a Savior? Why couldn't man save himself, or earn his own way to God's kingdom?

There are many things that stand in the way of man's relationship with God; things that are a barrier to peace with Almighty God.

 

Let's talk about some of the reasons man cannot break through the wall on his own.

We all have personal sins.  Mankind commits acts of sin (ISA 64:6b;  ROM 3:23).

ROM 3:21-24  “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the  righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;"

Even our good deeds are like dirty rags to God, because we are sinners...

How can a sinner produce anything good?

ISA 64:6 "For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."

God does not accept the good deeds of a sinner. That's the root of the problem. Remember, God is holy and righteous, and we are not.

We all sin, and that's what makes even our good deeds unacceptable. That's why we all need Jesus Christ, and His perfect sacrifice.

 

Another problem is we have the penalty of sin which we inherited from Adam. (ROM 5:12; 6:23a).

ROM 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned (when Adam sinned)"

ROM 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

We have all inherited the penalty of sin because we are descended from Adam, the first sinner, who represented all of mankind.

Scripture says we all deserve death, and Christ is the only way to receive God's gift of eternal life.

 

Spiritual death is also in the way of man's relationship with God.  All are born spiritually dead at physical birth (GEN 2:17; ROM 5:12; EPH 2:1).

GEN 2:16-17  “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

In the original Hebrew language “you will surely die” means “dying, you shall die”.  There are actually 2 deaths in view, both spiritual and physical!

This speaks of dying spiritually first, from the "disease" of sin.  When Adam ate the fruit did he immediately die, physically?  NO, he did not.

But Adam was immediately separated from God, spiritually. He even hid from God now that he had sinned.

Adam had died spiritually, which means he was separated from God. And this is our worst nightmare, to be separated from our Creator, the One who gave us life!

And so, the Bible says we are all born spiritually dead, as part of our relation to the first man, Adam, who sinned.

EPH 2:1  “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins."

This is a reference to spiritual death, even though its speaking to those who are physically alive.

 

Man’s "relative righteousness" is also a barrier between man and God. Man's righteousness cannot compare to God’s perfect righteousness (ISA 64:6a;  ROM 9:30-33).

ROM 9:30-33  “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone , 33 just as it is written, "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

The stumbling stone was the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Jews wanted to earn their way by keeping the Law which they could not keep. They wouldn't rely on the Messiah whom God promised to save them.

 

The perfect character of God demands that our personal sins be judged. This is also a barrier to man's peace with God. (ISA 46:9b;64:6b; ROM 8:8, Ps 5:4-5,11:4-7).  

ISA 46:9  "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,

God is holy and pure, and He cannot even look upon sin, HAB 1:13. So how can He have a relationship with sinful man?

ROM 8:8  “and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Sinners cannot please God!

Ps 5:4-5 "For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. 5 The boastful shall not stand before our eyes; You hate all who do iniquity."

Ps 11:4-7 "The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. 5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates. 6 Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face."

God's holiness demands sinlessness, but we are all sinners.

 

Man’s position in Adam, as a result of the imputation of his sin to us, is also in the way of peace with God. (1 Cor. 15:22a).

Adam's sin was credited against us.

1 Cor 15:22  “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive."

In our bodies is the sin of Adam, which was passed down by blood, and imputed to us by God at the moment of our physical birth!

So we are all born spiritually dead.   And what can a dead person do to save himself??

 

Now let's discuss the REMOVAL of the Barrier between God and man. There are several doctrines in the Bible that tell us about this.

Redemption resolves man’s problem with sin (1 Pet 1:18-19;  EPH 1:7;  Titus 2:11-14;  1 Tim 2:5-6a). This is God purchasing man's freedom from the debt of sin.

Titus 2:11-14  “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."

It's through Christ's payment, His blood, that man can be redeemed.

1 Peter 1:18-19  “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."

Notice we were redeemed by His precious, perfect blood. In other words, His sacrifice was worthy in God's eyes, because Jesus never sinned.

Christ was JUDGED for the sins of the whole world, even though He was sinless.  Could there be any greater example of love than that?

1 Tim 2:3-6  "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all."

Without Christ, man has no hope of peace with God.

Spiritually dead man can only be made alive spiritually by faith in the Christ.

 

The Unlimited Atonement also resolves man’s sin problem (1 John 2:2). This means ALL sin was paid for at the cross. The Lord paid for the sins of all mankind.

1 John 2:2  “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

Jesus died for ALL MEN, no matter their culture or religion.  He desires everyone to turn to Him to be saved from their sins.

He won't force anyone to accept Him, but He desires all men to believe in Him for salvation.

 

Expiation resolves man’s problem with the penalty of sin, which is spiritual death (COL 2:13-14). Expiation means to wipe away.

Jesus wiped away our sins through His payment on the cross.

COL 2:13-14 “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

Jesus canceled out the debt that we owed God! His payment was fully acceptable to God the Father!

We can rejoice if we trust in Him!

 

Regeneration resolves man’s problem with being born spiritually dead (John 3:1-21 ).

You were already born physically, but Jesus said you must be born again, spiritually, if you want to live with your God and Creator in heaven forever. 

This is because man is born dead in his sins. And man can do nothing about it on his own!

John 3:1-21 "Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'  8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

9 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?  11 "Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.  12 "If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?  13 "No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.  14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;  15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

One is born spiritually when he trusts in Jesus Christ from the heart, as his God and Savior!  Salvation is a gift of God.  EPH 2:8-9

EPH 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

The believer is born spiritually, regenerated, by the grace and power of God.

 

Imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer results  in justification. This resolves the problem of man’s relative righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30;  2 Cor. 5:21;  ROM 4:1-5GAL 2:16). God credited HIS righteousness to believers, so they could be justified in His eyes!

In other words, man cannot be righteous enough on his own. He needs Christ's perfect righteousness to be saved!

1 Cor 1:30-31  “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

Therefore we don't boast in our own goodness; we boast in HIS goodness.

2 Cor 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

There we see the "Great Exchange". Jesus took our sins upon Himself, and He gave us HIS righteousness so we could be saved.

ROM 4:1-5  “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness."

This is the grace of our Almighty God!  He gives HIS perfect righteousness to us as a gift, to those who trust in His Son for eternal life.  ROM 6:23

Do we deserve it?  NO!!!  But God offers it freely to us because He loves us! Those who repent and turn to the Lord Jesus are saved and made righteous, by His grace!

GAL 2:16   “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified."

 

Propitiation resolves man’s problem with the perfect character of God (ROM 3:22-26;  1 John 2:2). Propitiation means that Christ's sacrifice FULLY SATISFIED God's righteous demands on our behalf.

ROM 3:21-26  “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

Christ satisfied God the Father's righteous demands!

1 John 2:1-2 "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

The payment He made on our behalf was satisfying to God's righteous demands.

 

Our position in Christ resolves man’s position in Adam (1 Cor. 15:22b;  2 Cor. 5:17).  Remember, we were all born under the sin of Adam. But when born again, we are given a position in Christ!

1 Cor 15:22  “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive."

To be made alive and "in Christ", man must trust in Him as Lord and Savior.

2 Cor 5:17  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

Only a new position in Christ can save a man from his old position in Adam.

 

All these doctrines in the Bible support Reconciliation, what we might call God’s "Peace Treaty" With Man.

Let's close with 2Cor 5:18-21. It's an excellent outline of Reconciliation!

2 Cor 5:18-21  “ Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

A peace treaty is when 2 enemies agree to stop fighting against each other.

We are no longer enemies of God because of the Work of our Lord Jesus on the Cross.

Your acceptance or rejection of Christ, whether you accept God's offer of peace, or not, determines your eternal destiny!

"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:31