Reconciled to God- Romans 5:6-12

In this passage in Romans, we learn that one of the things which Jesus Christ accomplished for us is to reconcile us to God. The word reconcile is the Greek katalasso, literally “to exchange for something of equivalent value”. The basic concept of reconciliation is that man’s sin is an offense to God, incurring for man a debt. This debt is an infinite one, since all sin is against an infinite God. This owing of a debt resulted in a breaking of the relationship between man and God, and this relationship remains broken until the debt is satisfied. The concept of reconciliation, then, refers to the teaching that since the debt owed by man to God has been satisfied, the broken relationship between man and God can now be restored. We will first examine Romans 5, in order to see exactly what reconciliation is and how it was accomplished. We begin in verse 6, in which we learn that at “just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly”. This verse presents us first with man’s predicament, that he is “powerless”. What this means is that man is completely incapable of doing anything on his own to bring about reconciliation, the debt was too great for any “good behavior” on man’s part to satisfy it. Man had nothing of equal value to his sin to exchange in order to satisfy the debt he had incurred. This is true because man is “ungodly”, literally “without the fear of God”, and it is this ungodliness which renders man incapable of bringing about reconciliation. If anything was to be done to restore the relationship, it was God who would have to act, and He did through Christ, who “died for the ungodly”. We then learn, in verse 8, that this was the ultimate demonstration of love, agape love here, love for those who do not love you. God loves by dying for His enemies, the ultimate demonstration of agape love, of a love of which man is incapable on his own, which man cannot give without God. As “sinners” we were God’s enemies, and our sin separated us from God. As we have already seen, man’s sin incurred for him a debt he could not pay, so God came as a man (Jesus Christ, God in flesh) and died in our place and on our behalf. As we learn in Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death”, only death would pay the wages, would satisfy the debt, and since the debt was infinite, the payment had to be infinite as well. This is why God had to come as a man, for only the God-man could make the payment which would satisfy the debt. The blood of Christ was the blood of God, and it was shed for us, shed in our place and on our behalf, to pay for us a debt we could not pay. It was of equivalent value for all human sin, and of sufficient value to be the exchange which would bring about reconciliation, the death of Christ would “balance the books”, and make the way for the relationship between God and man which had been broken by sin to be restored. In Christ, man has been reconciled to God, and it is now possible that each one of us can live in that reconciliation, but only through faith in Christ can this possibility become a reality. We will next examine the effect which this reconciliation has upon the lives of those who accept it.

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