Reconciliation: A Transition (Part 5 of 8)

RECONCILIATION means to restore to favor or fellowship. Biblically, reconciliation is all that God has done to remove the Barrier between God and man (Eph. 2:13-18).

The entire process of reconciliation occurs the instant a person believes in the person and work Jesus Christ. The process involves six acts of grace on God’s part and one act of volition on your part.

So far we have disused three of the six bricks that make up the wall that separates us from God.

There is, however, a distinction between the first three bricks and the second three that we need to discuss. You see, the first three bricks were obliterated at the cross. You had nothing to do with the process. Jesus did it all that day, that horrible, infamous, iniquitous day. That day our Lord, Jesus, hung on that ugly, disgusting, dirty cross condemned to pass into eternity with common criminals. One of whom He graciously took home with Him. It doesn’t matter what you do or think, the first three bricks are no longer an issue. That day, Jesus took care of business for the entire human race.

Let’s take moment to see where we have been.

First, remember, you were a slave. Jesus saw you there, in the slave market of sin. You were naked and in chains, in bondage to sin. And through His tears, He took pity on you and bought your freedom. But it cost Him His life. He laid it down for you. Do you know what value that act imputed to your soul? Christian, never take yourself lightly. You were bought with a price. In order to redeem you, God the Father did the unthinkable. He sacrificed His only Son. I’m sorry, but if it were my decision to choose between you and my son, Michael, I would let your hand slip from mine and say, “Goodbye.” I just don’t love you that much. Get it?

Second, you were dead, condemned, sitting on death row, awaiting execution. And then someone came to see you. The jailer announced Him, “Sir, you have visitor. His name is Jesus. He wants to talk with you.” He entered your cell and sat down next to you on your soiled cot. Then He said, “The cell door is open. You should go now.” Without even a “thank you” you bolt. But the next day you can’t stay away, so you go back to that dingy, filthy, awful place that held you captive for so many years. There was something going on there. They were going to pull the plug on someone today. Who? As you stood there, you saw a familiar face. Jesus! You scream, “No! He’s innocent! You have the wrong guy! It was me; not Him. Please, don’t hurt Him; it was me!” But nobody heard, and all you could do was watch. And so, it ended there. There was nothing you could do. And you know what? There still isn’t.

Thirdly, and maybe this will be the most difficult concept to grasp, you are a thief, a miscreant, a felon. Before you get your panties in a knot and hang up, just listen. I’m going to tell you a story. There was once a man. He was a good and honest man, well respected and held in high esteem by his fellow citizens. One day he bought a lamb. He brought it home and it climbed into his lap. As she gazed into his eyes, he thought, “What a beautiful creature this is, so innocent, so childlike.” And so, he nurtured her and loved her. She ate from his plate and slept at the foot of his bed. And every morning she would greet him and nuzzle her face into the palm of his hand. One day a traveler came to town and needed a place to stay. He had money to pay for his berth, so the town’s people referred him to our friend. That night the visitor  slipped out and proceeded to rob our friend’s neighbors. The next day the thief was caught and convicted of his crimes. Our friend, not wanting his good name to be soiled, inquired, “What can I do to cleanse this man of his guilt and clear my good name?” Well, he only had one thing of value and that was his lamb. So he offered her in exchange for the thief’s freedom. She was eventually slain and the thief went on his way. She was beautiful and perfect, and he was ugly and flawed. But she was an acceptable offering who paid the ultimate price in order to free a man who didn’t even say, “thank you.”

Well, there it is. The first three bricks have been removed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The next three are a different story. These will require personal responsibility on your part.

Responsibility, hmmm … not a popular word today.

It’s OK. I’m a retired Marine Infantry Officer and a school teacher/administrator of thirty-one years. I’ve held a lot of little hands and said, “Follow me!” to a lot of men, and they did. Stay with me here. I have you, but you have to do the work. It’s just a choice, but it will mean the difference between life and death for so many if you choose to accept the responsibility of the Great Commission.

The next three bricks in the wall can only be removed by you.

If you are not a Christian, I pray that you will make the right choice concerning the information I have provided you. Christians! Pay attention. You need to understand your salvation. These doctrines are fundamental to your faith and essential for the accomplishment of your mission.

That is all,

D. E. Coulter

 

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