Reconciled By Christ

“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Col 1:21-22.

Christ’s death, through His blood shed on the cross, reconciles us to God. Despite the fact that beforehand we were alienated from God and even actively hostile to Him, through faith we are saved (Ephesians 2:8) and our sins forgiven and a relationship restored with God. It has nothing to do with our own righteousness, which is nonexistent, but the fact that Christ’s reconciliation is imparted to us (II Peter 1:4). This allows us, as Christians, to be presented holy, blameless and beyond reproach before God. “Holy” means set apart from sin. “Blameless” means without blemish or defect. “Beyond reproach” means totally without occasion for criticism. Paul was not speaking about our current conduct but about our position in Christ – how we are seen by God to be. We will continue to sin until death, as we have the temptations of our fallen nature that remains, but we have been “clothed with Christ” (Galatians 3:27) and no longer face eternal condemnation (Romans 8:1). All of this Christ does for us – a free gift if we only believe. Those that do not believe in Christ will remain hostile to Him as we see so often in our country and around the world today.

The word “if”indeed you continue in the faith could better be translated “since”. In the original it has the connotation that the writer assumes the condition to be true. When Paul says that God “reconciled” us to Him it is past tense – an established fact that cannot be changed. If someone truly believes, the past reconciliation produces a present faith – true faith always has the quality of permanence. The result of this faith is that Christ presents Believers holy and blameless and above reproach before Him. It is not dependent on our righteous but Christ’s righteousness. Of course, if we are truly Believers we will not desire to sin and when we do will be grieved and confess and repent of our sins and be cleansed from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).

How wonderful is the good news of the Gospel! We, whose best outside of God is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), through faith in Christ have been reconciled to God. What we could not do for ourselves Christ did for us on the cross.

God The Father

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:1-5.

 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:8-9.

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14.

The power of confession is amazing. When we, as Christians, sin God offers us a way cleanse us from all the unrighteousness through confession. Through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross and our faith in Him, we have forever been removed from the penalty of sin but we also can confess our sins that we commit after salvation and obtain cleansing and restoration of our fellowship with God. Confession is defined as an admission, declaration, or acknowledgment. We acknowledge our wrong-doing and turn from it in repentance. To fail to confess after sinning leads to David’s description of himself in Psalm 32 with God’s hand “heavy” upon us in conviction about our sins and eventual discipline (Hebrews 12:6).

Often we do not take the power and truth of confession and forgiveness to heart. Although we acknowledge God forgives sins, we feel like He must be disappointed with us, as we all too often fail, but this is not true at all. I am currently reading a book on prayer, “A Praying Life”, by Paul Miller and he makes the point that God looks on us as we would our children when it comes to our our prayer life and Christian walk in general. We are wobbling and unsteady at times but He is excited when we show progress, however small, just as we are with our children’s first steps. Mr. Miller makes the point that God calls all those who are weary and heavy-laden to rest (Matthew 11:28) not those who have it all together. He well-knows our fleshly frame that we are burdened with so He does not have unreasonable expectations and He is rooting us on to become the persons he beforehand determined us to be (Ephesians 2:10).

The “Believer’s Bible Commentary” puts it this way when discussing John 1:9, “The forgiveness John speaks about here is parental, not judicial. Judicial forgiveness means forgiveness from the penalty of sins, which the sinner receives when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is called judicial because it is granted by God acting as Judge. But what about sins which a person commits after conversion? As far as the penalty is concerned, the price has already been paid by the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary. But as far as fellowship in the family of God is concerned, the sinning saint needs parental forgiveness, that is, the forgiveness of His Father. He obtains it by confessing his sin. We need judicial forgiveness only once; that takes care of the penalty of all our sins—past, present, and future. But we need parental forgiveness throughout our Christian life.”

As with our own children, when we come to God sincerely confessing our sins, He will lovingly forgive us and happily restore us to fellowship with Him. What a comfort to a poor sinner like me. We are called to a live a holy life as Christ lived (I Peter 1:16), the expectations are high, but God understands the fallen nature that we struggle with and, although He never excuses sin, looks on with pride as we take baby steps forward, falling down and getting up, falling down and getting up. Our Father in Heaven loves us and as a parent is watching us each day with excited expectation.