Holding to Truth

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Reconciliation, Enjoying God, and Becoming His New Creation

Christ made a full reconciliation for us so that we may enjoy God! He did more than take away our sins so that God could forgive us. He removed every barrier or distance between us and God so that we could enter into an intimate fellowship with Him!

Two steps of reconciliation to enjoy God in full

 

That’s because God’s goal in reconciling us was not just to solve the problem of sin between us and God but to bring us back to fully enjoy God so that we could become a new creation in Christ.

Second Corinthians 5:17-18 reveals how reconciliation is for God’s new creation:

“So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new. 18 But all things are out from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ…”

Sadly, many believers only know that God’s salvation is for us to be spared from God’s eternal judgment—the lake of fire. Yet, at the same time, they miss the fact that God has a greater purpose in saving us, that is, for us to fully enjoy Him so that we could become His new creation, His masterpiece.

But what is this new creation God is seeking?

Footnote 3 on verse 17 in the Recovery Version says,

“The old creation does not have the divine life and nature, but the new creation, constituted of the believers, who are born again of God, does (John 1:13; 3:15; 2 Pet. 1:4). Hence, the believers are a new creation (Gal. 6:15), not according to the old nature of the flesh but according to the new nature of the divine life.”

It is this new creation, this masterpiece of God’s divine life, that will consummate in the holy city, New Jerusalem, as the eternal romantic union of God and His redeemed people, for eternity (Rev. 21: 2, 9; 22:1-2). This is the eternal destiny of every reborn child of God!

God dealt with all the problems separating us from Him to bring us, who were lost sinners, back to His awesome purpose. He sent His Son to accomplish redemption for us, make propitiation for us, justify us, and reconcile us fully to Himself.

These steps bring us back to God’s original purpose to enjoy Him, be filled with His divine life, in order to express Him  as His new creation (Gen. 2:9; 1:26).

Now let’s consider how reconciliation enables us to enjoy God for His new creation.

Reconciliation enables us to enjoy God for His new creation

What is reconciliation in the Bible?

Reconciliation is not only a matter of resolving the conflict between two parties.  It is also a matter of removing the distance between them.

I may have caused you some harm resulting in a barrier between us. Even after the damage is corrected, you still may not feel pleasant toward me and even stay away from me. Such was our estranged condition before our righteous and holy God.

If our problem before Him were only a matter of being a sinner then propitiation and forgiveness would be adequate. But our fallen condition also created enmity between us and God, making us His enemies.

As God’s enemies something further was needed. We needed reconciliation to remove the distance between us and God. Christ took care of this two-fold problem in two steps:

First, reconciling sinners to God from sin—2 Cor. 5:19

In 2 Corinthians 5:19 it says,

“That God in Christ was reconciling the world to Himself, not accounting their offenses [sins] to them, and has put in us the word of reconciliation.”

It is for this first step of reconciliation that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). it is through such an action that we could be forgiven by God and brought back to Him.

We need to stop and thank our Lord for this wonderful action,

Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins, for paying the price to redeem me.  Thank you that based on Your righteous act, God can no longer condemn me. I am forgiven of my sins and reconciled to God!

Second, reconciling the believers living in the natural life further to God—2 Cor. 5:20-21

However, even after we receive God’s eternal salvation, we may still live in our old, natural life, in a way that is separate or independent from God. So we need to experience a further step of reconciliation.

In 2 Corinthians 5:20-21  Paul goes on to say,

“On behalf of Christ then we are ambassadors, as God entreats you through us; we beseech you on behalf of Christ, Be reconciled to God. Him who did not know sin He made sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Here Paul was not speaking to sinners in the world but to the Corinthians believers. He addressed them as called saints  (1 Cor. 1:2). Yet, he also said that they were still soulish, fleshly and even fleshy (2:14; 3:3, 1) living in their natural life. They were living in jealousy and strife, walking according to the manner of man. Is this not often our case as well?

Those Corinthian believers, like ourselves, had experienced the first step of reconciliation.  Yet, they had not experienced the second step. They had not been reconciled to God in full.

We also need to be enlightened to realize our need for this further step. We may be content to have eternal salvation but miss this second step of reconciliation. Without this we can’t fulfill God’s heart’s desire, enter into Him, be joined and mingled with Him, in order to express Him as His new creation.

Under the Lord’s enlightenment we should stop and pray,

“Lord Jesus, I do not want to merely be a saved person. I want to be one fully reconciled to You. Thank you that you not only died for my sins to save me from God’s eternal judgment. You also were made sin on my behalf so that I might become the righteousness of God in You. Apply Your death to my natural life that I may live in You a life that is always pleasing to God, a life in the new creation.”

The two steps of reconciliation illustrated by the two veils in God’s dwelling place

The two steps of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5 are typified by the two veils in God’s dwelling–the tabernacle.

First, there was the screen—Exo. 26:37.

The screen was the outer veil, also called the “first veil” in Hebrews 9. The screen was at the entrance to the tabernacle forming the entry into the Holy Place.

Passing through this screen, or first veil, signifies the first step we, as sinners, take in being brought back to God and being reconciled to Him.  It was through the reconciliation of the propitiating blood that we entered into the Holy Place by passing this screen.

This step enables us to receive something from God. Here we can enjoy God’s supply and enlightening as portrayed by the table of bread and lampstand in the Holy Place.

2 Steps of Reconciliation to Enjoy God

Second, there was the veil—Exo. 26:31-35; Heb. 9:3.

As there was a veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, so a veil still remained between the Corinthians and God.

This “inner veil” separated the Holy Place in the tabernacle from the Holy of Holies signifying  our spirit where the Lord’s presence is today (2 Tim. 4:22). This veil needed to be rent so that saved sinners might be brought back to enjoy God in the Holy of Holies. This portrays the second step of reconciliation we need today.

By this second step of  reconciliation we’re ushered into the Holy of Holies to enjoy God in a full way. That’s why Hebrews 10:19 can say,

Having therefore, brothers, boldness for entering the Holy of Holies in the blood of Jesus.

It’s also why Hebrews 4:16 can say,

Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.

Within the veil is where we need to be–every day. It is where we can enjoy being infused with the God of glory Himself (2 Cor. 3:18).

We need to pass this second veil, which had been rent already (Matt. 27:51; Heb. 10:20), in order to enter into the Holy of Holies to live with God in our spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). It is only when we are brought to such a place to live and walk according to such a spirit (Rom. 8:4)  that we can reach the goal of the Christian life.

Footnote 2 on 2 Corinthians 5:20 further says:

“The goal of this Epistle [2 Corinthians] was to bring them there that they might be persons in the spirit (1 Cor. 2:15), in the Holy of Holies. This was what the apostle meant by saying, “Be reconciled to God.” This was to present them full-grown in Christ (Col. 1:28).”

May we all pursue to experience these two steps of reconciliation so that we may fully enjoy God and be constituted His new creation in reality.

If you’ve been impressed by something from this post, please share it in a brief comment.

References and Further Reading:

This post was inspired by the Life-study of 2 Corinthians, Message 14 by Witness Lee and draws heavily from Footnote 2 on 2 Corinthians 5:20, in the Recovery Version.

The diagram comparing the three parts of man and the dwelling place of God is based on the one in chapter three of The Economy of God by Witness Lee, Copyright, Living Stream Ministry.

The following hymns express the sentiment of this post:

 

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

2 Replies

  1. Didier Kirady

    Amen … To be reconciled fully back to God, to be persons who live by their regenerated spirit, so as to walk according to the spirit, being brought unto maturity in Christ, fulfilling God’s purpose in having the one new man, of the new creation, in Him. Lord Jesus, with boldness we approach the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help. O Lord Jesus! Keep us in our spirit Lord, pursuing You more, until we all arrive at the one new man in Christ our Lord! … Hallelujah! Thank You Lord Jesus! Praise You O Lord our Savior God! Amen.

    1. Tom Smith

      It is so good to realize that reconciliation in the Bible is not just to appease God’s anger related to our sinfulness. His reconciling us is to bring us into the Holy of Holies (Heb. 10:19; 4:16) so that we can enter into the most intimate relationship with Him, be infused with His life and become His new creation to express Him. Thanks for the comment.

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