I mentioned a few weeks back that Leon Morris’ book The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance was on my reading list to start 2012. It’s been a profitable read. Yesterday I was encouraged by Morris’ thoughts regarding the biblical doctrine of reconciliation—that God has provided for the end of enmity between Himself and sinners (and for the establishment of a peaceful relationship) by the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus. After addressing passages like 2 Cor 5:18-20; Rom 5:10-11; Col 1:21-22; and Eph 2:11-18, Morris summarizes the Bible’s teaching on reconciliation with 6 points:
1. Sin is the barrier.
2. Sin must be dealt with.
3. There is a real hostility between God and sinners.
4. Reconciliation is God’s work.
5. Reconciliation proceeds from the love of God.
6. The reconciliation must be received.
That’s good. I’d clarify by offering two more points which I believe are essential:
5b. Reconciliation is rooted in the cross-work of Christ.
7. The goal of reconciliation is restored fellowship between God and sinners.
That last point is thrilling to me. Not only is estrangement and enmity ended in Christ, but a positive, loving relationship with God is gained. I don’t just get pardon—I get God!
Spend some time in the verses mentioned above. Meditate on the amazing truth that we can have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace!