The One Word Christian Message: Reconciliation
A daily diet of news begs the question, “What is wrong with the world?” Abysmal leadership, gun violence, Islamic terror, racism, police brutality, blatant sexual immorality, and the assassination of police officers is abundant proof of our inoperable human depravity. The problem is exacerbated by the fact we do not believe we are depraved (Gen 6:5; Jer 17:9; Rom 1:18–32; 3:10–12; 8:7; Gal 5:19–21; Eph 2:1–3).
Christianity preaches a true message for people to consider, and although fewer people in America are listening to us preach, the message will never change. If there was one word that represents Christianity and its primary message, what would that one word be?
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:18–20).”
Reconciliation is what we need. Our relationships are broken. The problem is sin (Rom 3:23; 6:23; 1 Jn 3:4). Adam and Eve sinned against God (Gen 3), and sin has dominated human nature ever since (Eph 2:3). Gender conflict began with them, but it was worse for their children. Cain killed his brother Abel, and murder has been with us ever since (Gen 4). The tragic story of sinful humanity continues. It is daily reported to us in the news.
Christ is Christianity. He alone is the Mediator in our broken relationships. He alone is the pontiff, the bridge back to right relationship with God. In our broken relationships with each other, He alone is the reconciler. This is true for our marriages, our gender disputes, our generation gaps, our race relations, and our problems with authority.
Sin has broken our trust. We do not trust God. We do not trust our spouse. We do not trust our neighbor. Our adversary, the devil, creates confusion, then chaos. The riot invites the crackdown, and the crackdown convinces us we are oppressed, and so we march in protest, leading to a riot. We kill back and forth never realizing Satan set the stage for us to turn on one another. Instead of turning to God for help, we convince ourselves there is a solution in gaining superior power over one another.
Christians plead with the people of the world to be reconciled to God. Christ is the answer, for He Himself is our peace (Eph 2:14). Peace with God is God’s grace to us in Christ (Rom 5:1). He gives His reconciled people peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7). When two people draw near to Christ, then there are three people involved. Like two points on a triangle moving toward the third, they are naturally drawing closer to one another as they draw closer to the mutual point of interest.
If all people would heed our word of reconciliation, they would experience the Holy Spirit’s ministry, producing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22–23). Without Christ, people do not have the Holy Spirit, and without the Holy Spirit people are at enmity with God and one another (Eph 2:15–16). This is demonstrated in our sinful behavior toward one another.
Jesus taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called, ‘sons of God’ (Mt 5:9)” Christians of every race, nation, tribe, gender, and age have been given the right to be called, ‘children of God’ because they have received Christ (Jn 1:12), by the will of God (Jn 1:13). See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us (1 Jn 3:1)?
Christ is the gift of God (2 Cor 9:15). Christ is our peace offering to God (We can bring nothing except what He has given us). When we receive God’s gift by grace, we then approach the throne of God through Christ (1 Tim 2:5). We love because He first loved us (1 Jn 4:19). God’s love is manifested through us in love for our neighbors, even those who would position themselves as our enemies (Mt 5:44). Christians are commanded to love others, and we are constrained by the love of Christ to do so. Love never fails (1 Cor 13:8).
At the throne of God, which is no longer a fearful throne of judgment for the child of God, we receive grace and forgiveness. With these precious gifts, we go into all the world to bear witness of God’s goodness in calling us to Himself (Mt 11:28; Acts 1:8; Rom 8:30).
Having received this gift of a reconciled relationship with God, and in love, we take Christ to others as a ministry of reconciliation. As ambassadors of heaven to the world at war, our word to our neighbor is, “be reconciled to God,” and then, you too, will discover the grace of reconciliation with one another.
David E. Norczyk
May 14, 2021