Recently somebody on Facebook posted this question:
Hi Steve. What is your 'breakdown' of the word Reconciliation? When we were reconciled to the Father, what did that encompass?
I guess what I'm asking is; what words (do you believe) are included
under the Reconciliation banner? (e.g. forgiveness, redemption,
salvation, righteousness etc.).
Thanks Steve. I appreciate you.
question, Grant. Maybe this illustration will provide the best answer I
know how to give: When the prodigal son (Luke 15) was in the far
country, who had the problem? It wasn't
his father. It was him. He needed to be reconciled to his father. The
father's heart toward him had never changed at all but he *believed* his
father's heart had changed. In fact, one might say that he was
"alienated in (his) mind" (Col 1:21).
was he reconciled to his father? The Bible says that he came home to
his father with a prepared speech about how he badly he had sinned and
that, if his father would just accept him, he would become his lifelong
servant. (See Luke 15:18-19)
when he actually got there, the father wouldn't even listen to the
speech. Instead, he fell on his son, hugging him. Was the son reconciled
to his father then? YES! Did he know it? No, because he still tried to
give his silly, "I'm sorry. I'll do better" speech.
father would *not* let the boy give that speech. He shouted over his
son's attempt, 'Bring out new shoes! Put a ring on his finger! Prepare
the steaks for a big barbeque! We're gonna party like it's 99!"
the boy was reconciled to his father, but he hadn't yet accepted it, so
he benefited nothing at this point. Despite the fact that it was
"finished" as far as the father was concerned, the son had to
accept/believe/receive in what his father had done. Namely, forgiven
him, embraced him, and totally accepted him.
we know how the story progresses, we understand that there did come a
moment when the son *did* accept his father's acceptance. He gave up the
silly notion that he had to do something to get back into his father's
favor. He finally simply *melted in his father's love and accepted his
(the father's) acceptance.*
Bible says that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself,
not counting their trespasses against them" Was He simply making it
possible for the world to be reconciled or was He actually *reconciling*
the world to Himself? Of course, it's the latter.
have all been reconciled to the Father by the finished work of Christ.
We are "in the hug" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
nobody can personally experience/enjoy that reconciliation without
believing/receiving it. That's why the Bible goes on to say (after
telling us that God was reconciling us all in Christ) that we are to
appeal to people to "be reconciled to God!" In other words, stop
resisting your Father's hug and stop trying to impress Him with promises
about how you're going to do better. Just stop and melt in His loving
embrace! Accept His acceptance! THAT is when reconciliation is what our
God intends for it to be.
nothing left for Him to do. He HAS reconciled us all to Himself. Now we
appeal to unbelievers to "be reconciled" to Him by simply accepting the
truth about the matter, namely that we are all "accepted in the
comes with reconciliation? The same thing that came to that younger son
in Luke 15. The whole farm. But, as the older brother showed us, it
means nothing unless you know it's yours, stop struggling to prove
something or earn something and just enjoy what has been yours all
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