God’s Grand Plan of Reconciliation
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight — 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. NKJV
Have you ever been in a situation where there were two people who just could not get along and you were the one trying to bring them together?
As a pastor I have learned that there are two sides to every story and usually there is more than enough blame to go around. And that both parties need to give and to forgive in order to reconcile them to each other.
But when it comes to our reconciliation with God, God is not at fault. It is you and me that are in the wrong. We want to live our lives our way, spend our time doing what we want to do. We are proud and even sometimes a little arrogant in our relationships with others we consider beneath us.
And must of all we do not like to be told what to do. We have not liked it since we were children and longed for the day when we could be our own boss.
Tragically that includes God. We know the will of God but convince ourselves that He will not really care. Our own consciences convicts us but we continue on.
All the while God stand ready to reconcile us to Himself. No it is not God who needs to change. Instead God provided the means by which He could forgive us. And then He uses the Wrod of God and the Holy Spirit to reach us.
It Pleased the Father
I. In Christ should dwell all fulness.
A. In previous message we have spent some time on this so we move on.
II. By Christ to reconcile all things to Himself
A. God is in the process of restoring the creation.
1. God made everything perfect.
2. It was man who rebelled against God and ruined paradise.
3. Sin, death and the curse came upon the entire creation because of our sin.
4. But God did not abandon His creation.
5. He set out to reconcile it to Himself.
B. Whether on earth or in heaven
1. This includes all of god’s creation.
2. The animal and plant creation.
3. There is a day coming where the lion and the lamb shall lie down together.
4. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all of God’s creation.
5. We will see how wonderful God made this world in the beginning.
C. Having made peace by the blood of His Cross.
1. This all goes back to the Old Testament sacrifices.
2. The sacrificial system of the OT was to show that man was not good enough to approach God.
3. There was no magic qualities in His blood.
4. Rather it was the satisfaction for our sin on God’s part that was obtained by Jesus’ sacrifice.
III. And where were we
1. Rom. 5:10 For if when 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. NKJV
2. All men are alienated from God, and all are enemies in their minds to him, and show it by their wicked works; but this is spoken particularly of the Gentiles. (from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)
3. 'being in a state of continued alienation;' objectively banished from God, through the barrier which God's justice interposed against your sin; subjectively estranged through the alienation of your own wills from God. (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
B. Enemies in our minds.
1. Eph 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. NKJV
C. Evident by our wicked works.
1. Our works make it evident that we are enemies of God.
2. For they are opposed to the very character of God.
IV. How did He reconcile us?
A. In the body of His flesh.
1. Paul uses both words for the physical here.
a. The Gnostics held that Jesus did not have a physical body.
b. They held that all material things were evil.
c. So Paul uses both body and flesh to describe the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
2. Through death
a. He died so that we might live.
b. He died in our place.
c. He paid the price for our transgressions.
3. By His blood v-20
a. As we notice earlier, blood was an important part of the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.
b. Blood represented the life of the victim.
c. So then His blood connected with His death provided the basis for God once again making us right with Himself.
B. So as to present us holy and blameless and above reproach.
1. In justification we are declared guiltless, holy, acceptable to God.
2. Through the atoning death of Jesus we are made holy, blameless and above reproach in God’s sight.
3. Someone will ask, is there not something for us to do?
4. The answer to that is not in order to reconcile us to God.
5. But as we will see in a minute, those who have been reconciled with have a changed life. And although it will not be perfect, it will be a life dedicated to God.
V. How do we know we are reconciled
A. If you indeed continue in the faith.
a. This has the idea of being on the right foundation.
b. Our faith must be settle on the person of Jesus Christ.
c. The beginning of our faith is so important.
a. The idea is of being settled.
b. We are sure of what we believe
c. We are not tossed about by every new teaching that comes along.
B. If we are not moved away from the gospel
1. That is by the false teachers that we among them.
2. From the gospel
a. The one first delivered by Paul
3. Which has been preached everywhere
a. The one of which Paul was made a minister.
Has that Gospel changed our life?
Are you grounded on Jesus Christ?
Are you settled in your faith so that no one will ever move you?
All that is available in Jesus.