Genesis 1 describes the creation of the world. In the last verse, God looks on all of it and declares, “It is very good.” Barely within the turn of a page do we see a loving, intimate relationship with God become one of distance and fear. The relationship between man and woman has degraded to one of blame. The natural world is no longer free of pain or weariness. God, however, in His great love planned for reconciliation. Paul and Timothy write of God’s plan of reconciliation when they speak of He who reconciled, those reconciled, and the responsibility of reconciliation.
He Who Reconciles
Jesus, in the fullness of God, came to reconcile all things to Himself. It didn’t just mean things on earth, but in heaven as well. The blood of His cross would make the peace. His fleshly body through death reconciled us to God. The work completed, yet not completely seen, is grasped in faith and hope.
Humanity without Jesus Christ alienates self from God, being enemies in their minds. Wicked works show it to be so. Titus writes more on this when he writes, “to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient and disqualified for every good work.” God in Christ Jesus has done the work of reconciliation. When we accept His work in faith, Christ presents us to the Father. How? He presents us holy, blameless, and beyond criticism.
The Responsibility of Reconciliation
Yet the writers don’t leave it at that. There is the word, “if.” There is still a work to do. We must continue in the faith. Our roots need to go down. We need to be grounded in the truth. We dare not doubt and be as James says, “like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” Our stance must be one of holding on. I envision us as sailors in the trials and temptations of our lives. We hold on to the hope of the gospel, which we have heard and is preached throughout the world. Jesus Christ gave His body on the cross to reconcile us to God. 2 Cor.5:21 puts it this way. “For He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us.”
To explain more of the hope we have, in his letter to the Romans, Paul writes, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope, because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now….. we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” He goes on, “we were saved in this hope,”. If you can see it, it isn’t hope. If we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Lord, help us hold on, to be people of faith and hope.
Thus we see how Paul and Timothy write of God’s plan of reconciliation when they speak of He who reconciled, those reconciled, and the responsibility of reconciliation.