October 12, 2022

October 12, 2022

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
October 12, 2022

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die, but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

Romans 5:6-10

There are four key words that help us understand the nature of the atonement and what Christ accomplished. Those words are reconciliation, propitiation, sacrifice and redemption. Here is the word reconciliation.

The Bible clearly teaches us that man by nature doesn't want anything to do with God. Man by nature is a fugitive. Religion? Man doesn't have a problem with religion, man is incurably religious. No matter where you go in the world you'll see that man has religious instincts. But at one and the same time man, the sinner is a deliberate suppressor of the truth, Romans 1. To better understand why every person, man, woman, boy, or girl who is born into this world is rejecting God, suppressing the truth of God, we have to understand what Paul will say in Romans 8. He tells us that every man has a heart that is at enmity with God. Even though most sinners would adamantly deny that, that's the truth of the matter.

But again we were reminded in the Sunday school hour that reconciliation takes us right to the heart of the cross, and forces us to grapple with our plight as sinners. Notice in Romans 5:10 the word reconciliation is used twice, it is not used that many times in the New Testament (I think, 5 or 6 times). But here it's used twice and again it addresses the fundamental problem that we have; we are alienated from God by nature. Sort of like a bridge that's been blown up by a bomb or a hurricane storm and there's no way you can get across, no way. There is one way because God has provided that way. And the only way to get back into right relationship with God is by the cross, by the blood of Jesus. We are reconciled by the blood of Jesus. The very moment you believe, the very moment you believe on Jesus you are reconciled.

I want you to think of all of the wonderful words that are now used to describe the child of God in terms of the reconciled relationship. Think of them. Here are some of them: friend, God is your friend, husband, father, brother. Beautiful, intimate family terms except the word friend. But friend, husband, father, brother. We are reconciled to God because of the cross. You are as close as you can get to God. You can get as intimate as you can with God, because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Christ is our elder brother, God is our Father. God is put under the image of a husband, Christ is put under the image of a bridegroom and God and Christ put themselves under the image of a friend.

It really is one of those things that should never, ever cease to amaze us. I think that was something John said a couple of times, “It should never cease to amaze us what Jesus accomplished by his cross.” God is now my father, my friend, my husband, my brother; Jesus is my brother.

As we go to prayer, we shouldn't forget the intimacy and the transparency now that we can certainly bring to God by way of prayer, because we are coming to a father we are coming to a husband, we are coming to a friend, That's why we can put on our lips that very word that Paul talks about in Romans 8, “Abba father.”

I would argue this, the better your relationship with God, your divine husband, your father, your friend, elder brother, the closer will be your relationship with flesh and blood husbands, friends, brothers, and fathers. I know there's going to be exceptions to the rule, I realize that, but your vertical relationship with God should impact your horizontal relationships with your brothers, sisters, husbands, wise fathers and mothers. So the closer you get to God the better husband, you should be, the better friend you should be, the better brother you should be, and the better sister you should be.

And it also explains again why our prayers should be marked with intimacy, transparency, and honesty. You can bring anything to God, your father, your friend, all your cares, all your fears, all your joys, and all your sorrows. I think if we really grasp that Brethren, it should make us more excited to pray and to go to the throne of grace.