Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part III: Applying The Truth That Believers Are Reconciled To God
  1. Introduction
    1. When we speak of making "reconciliation" in human relationships, we often mean each party gives some ground from their respective former stances to become compatible.
    2. However, reconciliation between a sinner and a holy God involves NO such compromise on God's part; the SINNER alone must be moved to enjoy the same moral plane as God for reconciliation here to occur, an event that takes a miracle due to man's helpless condition, Ryrie, Jesus Christ Our Lord, p. 155-156.
    3. One of the positional riches in Christ that a believer possesses is that he is positionally reconciled to God, cf. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology , volume III, "Soteriology," p. 237. The doctrine of reconciliation of which this positional truth is a part provides applications of great benefit:
  2. Applying The Truth That Believers Are Reconciled To God, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
    1. To appreciate the believer's positional reconciliation, we view the whole doctrine of reconciliation:
      1. At the first level, the doctrine of reconciliation affects the WORLD:
        1. God has reconciled the world to Himself in not imputing man's tresspasses to him, for He has graciously imputed those sins to Christ in His death for man's sin, 2 Corinthians 5:19.
        2. Thus, the only sin for which man goes to hell is his sin of rejecting Christ as Savior, Rev. 20:13, 15.
      2. At the second level, the doctrine of reconciliation affects the BELIEVER:
        1. Positional Reconciliation involves the believer's unalterable, unconditional standing in Christ: (a) The moment one is justified by God, he is put on the same moral plane as God due to the way Christ's cross eradicates the issue of sin between him and God, 2 Corinthians 5:18, 21. (b) Thus, whether one is carnal (cf. 2 Cor. 13:1-3) or whether he is spiritual, Christ was made sin for the believer on the cross that the believer might be made the righteousness of God in Him, 2 Cor. 5:21.
        2. Experiential Reconciliation affects the believer's walk with God in an alterable, conditional way: (a) Believers are made ambassadors unto the world in God's behalf to urge the world to be reconciled to God by faith in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:20. (b) As Paul applies this ambassadorship to his ministry unto believers at Corinth (2 Cor. 1:1-2), believers as ambassadors are to urge less mature, carnal believers unto practical reconciliation to God to match their positional reconciliation with God, 2 Cor. 5:20: ((a)) When a believer sins in his Christian walk, fellowship with God is broken although his position of being reconciled to God remains in tact, cf. 1 John 1:3, 6 with 2:1-2. ((b)) However, if a believer confesses his sins committed in his Christian life, he is forgiven by God's grace, 1 John 1:9. ((c)) Accordingly, the godly can work as ambassadors to unsaved or to carnal believers to urge them either unto positional and experiential reconciliation with God [as the case may be], cf. 1 John 1:9 with 1:7; 2 Cor. 5:20 with 13:1-3.
    2. Thus, the believer's positional reconciliation is the unconditional acceptance he has by a holy God not based on any human work done before OR after salvation, but due to the work of Christ on the cross!
Lesson: The doctrine of reconciliation affects the WORLD in that God has so expended His wrath against man's sin at the cross that He is no longer holding man's tresspasses against him, but holds man accountable ONLY for faith in Chist. As reconciliation affects the BELIEVER, first, he is POSITIONALLY unconditionally and unalterably reconciled to a holy God; second, the believer is thus equipped EXPERIENTIALLY to enjoy fellowship with God PROVIDING he walks by the Spirit's power and has his post-salvation sins confessed; third, as godly, the believer is given an ambassadorship to urge the lost and fellow believers to be reconciled to God.

Application: The doctrine of reconciliation leads us to strive in all matters it addresses but one: it calls us to urge the lost to trust in Christ for salvation; it calls us to urge the CARNAL to confess his sins and obey God for fellowship with Him; it calls us to urge the GODLY to be God's ambassadors to TELL these things to these parties respectively. However, our POSITIONAL RECONCILIATION as BELIEVERS before GOD is always PERFECTLY SURE and UNCHANGING, so we ONLY REST on it -- our FIXED RECONCILIATION in Christ to God as His SONS is our priceless POSITION!