Romans 5:11. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We now come to the final benefit that Paul lists here in Romans 5 of our justification: since we have been justified #6) we have now received reconciliation.
Do you ever feel like God is your enemy? That he is against you? The other day I prayed for something for a family member so hard. Like “I told God what he had to do” hard. If it didn’t happen me and God were gonna have issues (as if we don’t already). My friendship with God is what allowed me to approach God in this lousy way. I say lousy because in that prayer, my reconciliation with God wasn’t founded upon my union with Christ, as much as it was on what I thought God should do in that situation.
Because we are in Christ we are reconciled to God. Friendship has been gained. The broken relationship has been restored. It has been exchanged for a new relationship. There is a new start with God. And because of this we now rejoice in God!
Your reconciliation to God can only take place in Christ. It is the fruit of our justification and the source of our peace with God. It is why we no longer fear the wrath of God. Because of reconciliation we are the friends of God.
This is how we know what God is like. Not by his answering a desperate prayer, especially one that makes demands of God. We know what God is like because of the grace of reconciliation through the life and death of Jesus.
It is the life and death of Jesus ALONE that brings reconciliation with God. This is why it is union with Christ that secures your reconciliation. But how does this reconciliation work? Does God just forgive us and “it’s all good?” Nope.
Apologies for the low video quality…
A willingness to forgive by itself will not do. There must be confession by the offending party – that is, a desire to receive the forgiveness. I can be open to reconciliation with you and leave that door open, but you have to walk through that door. I can stand at the door and knock, but you have to open the door. You have to want the forgiveness offered and see your need for it, truly. The confession then must be met by compassion and love by the offended party. I have to receive the confession and allow mercy to flow toward the one who has hurt me. This is what God offers to us in Christ – justification and reconciliation by faith. Faith is confession. Faith is walking through that open door. Faith is desiring reconciliation with God. It may be more than this, but it is definitely not less.
“To live is Christ” means that you are the reconciled humanity, the new creation. You are the end and goal of all of human history – all humanity brought under the authority of Christ to the glory of God. It is our reconciliation to God through Christ that must be our hope of glory. This end of history. Nothing more, nothing less. No answered or unanswered prayer. No demands. No fleeces. No situational appeasement by God toward us. Only Christ. Only the cross.
What do you base your friendship with God upon? Is it Christ alone? How does union with Christ reconcile us to God?