REVISITING THE BELIEVER'S POSITIONAL RICHES IN CHRIST
Part III: Applying The Truth That Believers Are Reconciled To God
A. When we speak of making "reconciliation" in human relationships, we often mean that each party involved in the initial condition of enmity makes some compromise from their former states to reach compatibility.
B. However, man's relationship to God cannot involve mutual compromise, for man exclusively is estranged from God in sin where God is eternally perfectly righteous and cannot compromise with sinful man! (John F. Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord, 1974, p. 155-156.
C. Thus, the reconciliation that must occur through the application of the death of Christ on the cross elevates man "to God's level morally and, therefore, is far deeper in meaning than reconciliation on the human plane where harmony between parties estranged is often accomplished by compromise," Ibid.
D. One of the positional riches in Christ that a believer possesses is that he is positionally reconciled to God, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 237. The doctrine of reconciliation of which this positional truth is a part provides applications of great benefit (as follows):
II. Applying The Truth That Believers Are Reconciled To God.
A. To appreciate the believer's positional reconciliation, we view the whole doctrine of reconciliation as follows:
1. At the first level, the doctrine of reconciliation affects the WORLD:
a. God has reconciled the world to Himself in not imputing man's trespasses to him, for He has graciously imputed those sins to Christ in His death on the cross for man's sins, 2 Corinthians 5:19.
b. 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:
a. Positional reconciliation involves the believer's unalterable, unconditional STANDING IN Christ:
i. 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.
ii. Thus, whether one is carnal (cf. 2 Cor. 13:1-3) or spiritual, Christ was made to be sin for the believer on the cross that the believer might be made the righteousness of God in Him, 2 Cor. 5:21.
b. Experiential reconciliation affects the believer's alterable, conditional WALK WITH God:
i. Believers are made ambassadors to the world in God's behalf to urge the world to be reconciled to God by faith in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:20.
ii. As Paul applies this ambassadorship to his ministry to 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 Corinthians 5:20:
1) When a believer sins in his Christian walk, fellowship with God is broken although his position of being reconciled to God remains in effect, cf. 1 John 1:3, 6 with 2:1-2.
2) However, if a believer confesses to God in prayer his sins committed in his walk, the Lord forgives him and cleanses him from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9.
3) Thus, the godly are ambassadors to the unsaved or carnal believers to urge them unto positional or experiential reconciliation with God as applicable, 1 John 1:9; 1:7; 2 Cor. 5:20 with 13:1-3.
B. Thus, the believer's positional reconciliation is the unconditional acceptance he enjoys by a holy God that is not based on any work by the believer either before or after his salvation, but by Christ's work 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 trespasses against him regarding his salvation, but holds him accountable ONLY for the ANTIDOTE for his state -- faith in Christ. As reconciliation affects the BELIEVER, he is POSITIONALLY unconditionally, unalterably reconciled to a holy God, and he is EXPERIENTIALLY set to enjoy fellowship with God PROVIDING he walks by the Spirit's power and has his post-salvation sins confessed. The godly believer is given an ambassadorship calling to urge the lost and carnal believers to be reconciled to God.
Application: (1) The doctrine of reconciliation leads believers to strive in all matters but one: it calls us to urge the lost to trust in Christ for salvation; it calls us to confess our sins and heed God or to urge carnal believers to do so to fellowship with the Lord; it calls us to be God's ambassadors to tell these truths to the parties involved. (2) Yet, our POSITIONAL reconciliation as children of God is ALWAYS, UNCONDITIONALLY PERFECTLY SURE, so may we REST in our positional reconciliation with God, our fixed status in Christ as God's beloved children!