Study the following passages and examine them for what they teach about how God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ’s sacrifice:
Before coming to Christ, we were His enemies. Our sin made us at odds with Him and we existed in a state of hostility toward Him. We were at enmity with Him and we were alienated from Him. This alienation was twofold: our alienation from God and God’s alienation from us. The alienation that existed consisted not only in our rebellious enmity against God but also in God’s holy alienation from us. By our sinful rebellion, we opposed him and were thus separated from Him
But now in Christ, the relationship that was once broken has been restored. We have been reconciled to God through Christ’s death and resurrection. It was not so much that He was reconciled to us but that we were reconciled to Him. Reconciliation is the work of God in bringing back sinful man into fellowship with Himself through the removal of that which caused the alienation, namely our sin. God Himself in His own Son has removed the ground of offense and the hostility which existed between us. As a result, the relationship between God and man is changed from one of enmity to friendship. And let us not forget who initiated this reconciliation! The alienation was removed while we were His enemies. It was our loving and gracious God who took the steps we could not take to restore the relationship we could not restore.
Consider the following questions:
- To what degree did you think of yourself as “alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds” before coming to Christ?
- How does the statement in Romans 5:10 that we were once God’s enemies make you appreciate Christ’s work on the cross?
- How does the fact that your relationship with Christ has been restored because of His sacrifice bring joy to your heart and make you want to worship Him?
Acknowledge your former alienation to the Lord prior to coming to Christ and express your heart of thankfulness to Him for reconciling you.