Sunday, June 23, 2013
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).
Soul salvation from everlasting hellfire is the Holy Bible’s most important doctrine, so let us be particularly careful with today’s Scripture.
Sin has separated man from God, thus necessitating reconciliation. Actually, the Greek word usually translated “reconciliation” in our King James New Testament is once rendered “atonement” in Romans 5:11. “Reconciliation” means “at–one-ment,” or “bringing two opposing parties together and making them one.”
When Jesus Christ died and shed His perfect blood, God the Father made Him a “propitiation” (Romans 3:25), a fully-satisfying payment for sin. Instead of punishing the world for their sins, God blamed Jesus Christ and made Him suffer God’s wrath instead (“not imputing their trespasses unto them;” today’s Scripture). “For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21a).
The Bible calls Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork and its merits the “atonement” (Romans 5:11), for they pay the sin debt that keeps man from fellowshipping with God. When the Bible says, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (today’s Scripture), this reconciliation deals with the whole world, not just Christians—it involves all people, saved or lost.
Now, note verse 20: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” Notice “as though God did beseech you by us”—Paul is referring to the past (notice past tense “did”), to the time when the Corinthians were lost, when he first preached to them about Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork (verse 21). Here, Paul said that although God reconciled the world to Himself (verse 19), Paul urged the Corinthians to be “reconciled to God” (verse 20)—this is the reconciliation for Christians.
Again, reconciliation needed for soul salvation is two-fold, which brings us to the doctrine of imputation….