Pristine Grace

God the Reconciler
Romans 5:11
by Rolfe Barnard

In the opening chapters of the book of Romans, we stand face to face with GOD THE JUSTIFIER (3:25-26). "God set forth Christ to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forebearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness; That He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus," All that Christ is, all that Christ does and has done on our behalf enables God to be just and justify those who believe in Christ.

Now as we begin Chapter Five, we are introduced to GOD THE RECONCILER (5:11). "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation." In scripture reconciliation is presented in two aspects. [1] As a finished work accomplished by the death of Christ, and the sinner enters into the benefits of it by faith. [2] As a present work of our High Priest. Reconciliation for the sinner who believes is the result of the death of Christ; reconciliation for the believer who sins depends on the present priestly ministry of Christ. It is concerning the first aspect of this truth that we now deal. Reconciliation is an accomplished fact. It is not something that is to happen or that may happen if certain conditions are met; but it has been accomplished. It was accomplished on the cross of Christ; it is a work done on Calvary by God, for God and to God. Note the words "we WERE reconciled" and God WAS in Christ reconciling the world to Himself."

God accomplished reconciliation through the death of His son (II Cor. 5:19). It is God reconciling us to God by the death of Christ. Reconciliation is not that the hearts of sinners were changed toward God, but that the change was and is in the attitude of God toward men. This reconciliation (Rom. 5:11 and II Cor. 5:19) was wrought on the cross for God that He might be FOR the sinner and NOT AGAINST him. God cannot be indifferent toward sinners. Sin made the sinner the enemy of God; AS SUCH God must regard him or reconcile him. This He did on the cross!