Class Notes: 9/23/2015
Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; The doctrine of witnessing part 16
In our study of the doctrine of witnessing Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; we are examining the doctrines that undergird the gospel so that we understand how and why it is God alone who made it possible for our so great salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Eph 2:8-9;
We are now discussing the doctrine of reconciliation where God once and for all addressed the barrier between Himself and mankind and by extension the barriers that exist between people. The only solution to these problems is believing in Jesus Christ as savior and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The doctrine of reconciliation is defined as that category of the doctrine of salvation that explains the removal of the barrier between God and man through the salvation work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.
In this definition, mankind is reconciled to God, not God to mankind. God is perfect so He never described as being reconciled because He doesn't need to be reconciled.
The entire human race is comprised of unrighteous sinners who need to be reconciled. God resolves this problem in propitiation where God is satisfied with Jesus substitutionary work on the cross.
In reconciliation, mankind, the perpetrator and sinner, can be reconciled to God because of the judicial imputation of all personal sins to Christ.
God initiates with the judgment of Jesus Christ on the cross and man responds and ratifies by believing in Jesus Christ. 2Cor 5:21;
The reconciliation of man to God through the salvation ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ provides the basis for removing the barriers between God and man and, at the same time, between man and man.
While the barrier between man and God is removed instantly at the point of believing in Christ the barriers between people are not removed until believers advance in their cognition of God's Word to the point of spiritual self-esteem.
2Cor 5:19; "Namely, that God (Father) by means of Christ (agent of reconciliation) was reconciling the world to Himself by not imputing their sins to them, having entrusted to us the message of reconciliation."
Everyone's sins were imputed to Jesus Christ on the cross where God the Father judged them. The imputation of all personal sins to Christ is the basis for the removal of all barriers between mankind and God.
In the New Testament reconciliation is such an important subject that it has its very own vocabulary.
The Greek verb "katallasso" means to change someone from a state of hostility into a state of peace and tranquility, from enmity to reconciliation. God is the subject in the active voice; man is the subject in the passive voice.
"Apokatallasso," an intensified form of the verb is found in Eph 2:16; and Col 1:22; It means to transfer from the status of real spiritual death and eternal condemnation to the entirely opposite status of real spiritual life and eternal acceptance.
The compound verb emphasizes the fact that God is the only possible source of reconciliation because in the state of spiritual death man can do absolutely nothing to accomplish it.
The Greek noun " katallege" means reconciliation. The Greek noun "eirene" that is translated "peace" is a synonym for reconciliation that emphasizes the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross that removed the enmity or barrier between man and God.
Rom 5:10; states "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be delivered by His life."
All Church Age believers in their role as royal ambassadors have this ministry of reconciliation under the category of the universal function of witnessing where every believer is mandated to witness. 2Cor 5:18-20 and the spiritual gift of evangelism, Eph 2:17;
In their role as royal ambassadors every believer has a responsibility toward those who are not yet reconciled to God by personal faith in Jesus Christ alone, Eph 6:15;
The ministry of reconciliation is the equivalent of the function of witnessing for Christ. 2Cor 5:19-21,; "Namely, that God (Father) by means of Christ (agent of reconciliation) was reconciling the world to Himself by not imputing their sins to them, having deposited in us the word (doctrine) of reconciliation.
v20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us. We invite you on behalf of Christ to become reconciled to God.
v21 He (God the Father) caused Him (God the Son) who knew no sin to be made sin as a substitute for us in order that we might become the righteousness of God by faith)( in Him."
God deposited the word or doctrine of reconciliation in us as believers because we have utilized the divine solution to the problem of the barrier between God and man.
This deposit is the daily perception of doctrine relative to the doctrine of reconciliation, so that you can go to others and invite them to be reconciled to God. We depend on God the Holy Spirit not on any human system of salesmanship or gimmicks. 1Cor 2:1-2;
Reconciliation is based exclusively on the salvation work of Christ on the cross.
Eph 2:15-16; "And He (Jesus Christ) abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments given in decrees, in order that He (Jesus Christ) might cause to create the two (Jew and Gentile) into one new man in Himself since He made peace,
v16 that He might reconcile them both (Jews and Gentiles) to God in one body by means of the Cross, having put to death the enmity in Himself." "In His flesh" indicates that God the Father could only impute man's sin to the humanity of Christ.
Rom 5:8-11; "But God demonstrates His (impersonal) love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died on behalf of us (substitutionary spiritual death).
v9 Much more then, having been justified by His blood (reconciliation), we shall be delivered from wrath through Him.
v10 For if, while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son (and we were), much more, having been reconciled, we shall be delivered by His life.
v11 And not only this, but also we glory in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through Whom we have received reconciliation."
Reconciliation is totally the work of the integrity of God and of Christ's work in bearing our sins in His body on the cross. We see from this that reconciliation emphasizes God's perfect immutable integrity and therefore irrevocably establishes the eternal security of the believer.
Since we have been reconciled to God and possess His perfect righteousness, there is nothing we can think, say or do to cancel God's work of reconciliation.
We have noted that in God's Word the Greek word "eirene" translated peace is not only a synonym for reconciliation, but is the only way to completely understand what God did for us, and that there was nothing we could do for salvation.
Peace is a synonym for reconciliation, because being reconciled to God through faith in Christ establishes peace between God and the believer. Peace means that believers have His righteousness and His life.
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