Amy Biehl died a violent death in 1993. She was a 26-year-old Fulbright scholar who had gone to South Africa to help register black voters for their first free election. But even though she was seeking to help the people of South Africa, as she was driving one day, she was dragged out of her car, stabbed and beaten to death by a mob which was committed to violence in order to overthrow of the apartheid government. Soon afterward, Amy’s parents, Linda and Peter Biehl, quit their jobs and moved from their Orange County, California home to South Africa — not to seek revenge, but to start a foundation in Amy’s name. Today, two of her killers work for the foundation. They call Mrs. Biehl “Makhulu,” or grandmother, because of the way she treats them. She says, “Forgiving is looking at ourselves and saying, ‘I don’t want to go through life feeling hateful and vengeful, because that’s not going to do me any good.’ We took Amy’s lead. We did what we felt she would want.”
That is the picture of reconciliation. It not only forgives, it reaches out to restore. It pays back good for evil. It is following the heart and character of God. I am so grateful that God made the sacrifice to reconcile me to himself in spite of all that I have done, and now I want to follow Jesus and offer that same reconciliation to others — even those who may have harmed me.
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT:
Today, another great benefit of your salvation - Reconciliation
“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:9-11
Paul is using a form of argument called a fortiori, or “how much more.” It basically works like this: If the greater thing is true, then the lesser thing is of necessity also true. If God has done the harder thing, then surely He will do the easier task. – EXAMPLES - verse 9: “Since we have now…how much more shall we be…” And verse 10: “For if when we were…how much more…” Even verse 11 employs something similar: “Not only…we also.”
Since God did the more difficult task of justifying weak, wayward and wicked sinners, then to rescue us from wrath is relatively effortless. We could say it this way: If God has already done the difficult, can we not trust Him to do the comparatively simple thing of completing the task?
TWO GREAT THOUGHTS – “WHAT WE HAVE” – “WHAT WE CAN HAVE” CHRISTIAN GROWTH AND CHURCH GROWTH MEANS DYNAMIC TENSION.
Look at verse 9: “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”
STATEMENT #1: “We Have Been Justified By His Blood,” V. 9
At conversion our sins are forgiven, and all charges against us are dropped. This is a legal term from the world of law ----- in God's eyes justification is "just as if I've never sinned."
Don’t miss the fact that we are saved by “His blood.” As the song says, “there is power in the blood” not in pop psychology or in other blather baptized in the waters of Christian words. Why is the blood of Jesus so important?
• There is no forgiveness without blood. Hebrews 9:22: “…Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
• The blood satisfies the Holy claims of God. Exodus 12:13: “…when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
• The blood redeems the believer. 1 Peter 1:18-19: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
• The blood cleanses us from sin. 1 John 1:7: “…the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
The blood of Jesus justifies us. That’s conviction #1. Here’s what that means:
Significance #1: We shall be saved from God’s wrath. God’s righteous wrath was unleashed on Jesus, who died as our substitute, in our place. The word “wrath” means “an inner, deep resentment that seethes and smolders.”
The word for saved means, “to deliver or preserve a person from extraordinary danger or destruction.” Loved ones, Jesus intercepted and absorbed the wrath of God for you on the cross, where all of God’s fury was poured out.
A man died and was transported to the pearly gates. He was met by an angel who said, “All you have to do is perform one task correctly and you’ll be granted entrance into heaven. It’s really pretty easy. All you have to do is spell ‘love.’”
The man sighed in relief and quickly answered: “L-O-V-E.” The angel then asked the man if he could watch the gate for a few minutes because he had a couple errands to run. The man immediately agreed. As he awaited the angel’s return, he saw another man walk up the pearly gates. He recognized him as someone he couldn’t stand when he was alive. In fact, he had incredible conflict with him for many years. Seeing who was manning the gates, the man became noticeablyanxious. The gatekeeper said, “Don’t worry, all you have to do is perform one task correctly and you’ll get in.” The man breathed a sigh of relief and said, “What do I have to do?” To which his enemy said, “Spell ‘chrysanthemum.’”
Aren’t you glad that there’s no human gatekeeper to God’s kingdom? Flawed people cannot judge whether someone makes it or not. The task that needs to be performed has already been completed by Christ. It’s through His blood that we have entrance. We are justified by Jesus through faith, and we’re saved from wrath because we’ve been declared righteous.
Verse 10 gives us the next pair of truths: “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”
STATEMENT #2: “We Are Reconciled By His Death”, V. 10
Before we come to Christ, the Bible says that we are at war with God. The word “enemy” was often used to describe bitter military foes and meant “hated, odious and hostile.” In our context, it would be like the U.S. and North Korea. Amazingly, Jesus now refers to us not as foes, but as friends in John 15:15: “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I made known to you.” If God did all that He did for us when we were enemies, what will He do for us now that we are friends?
Significance #2: We are saved by His life.
BY THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION - Since a dead Savior can redeem us, don’t you think a living Savior can keep us? Christ not only gave His life for us, He gave His life to us
BY THE PATTERN OF HIS LIFE
BY THE POWER OF HIS PRESENCE
BY THE POWER OF HIS PRAYERS – “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”
This passage helps us see that there are three dimensions to our deliverance: past, present and future.
First, we are justified by His blood and saved from His wrath.
Second, we are reconciled by His death and saved by His life.
Thirdly, verse 11 teaches that we have received reconciliation and therefore we rejoice in God:
STATEMENT #3: “We Have Received Reconciliation,” V. 11
Would you notice that reconciliation must be received in order for it to be activated in one’s life? God initiates reconciliation with His enemies and we are recipients only when we receive what He offers. John 1:12: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Jesus said it this way in John 5:24: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” Perhaps you’ve been trusting in other methods but I’m here to tell you that if you’re in the wrong vehicle you’ll go to the wrong place.
Statement #3: We rejoice in God. The Greek word joy means “to exult and rejoice jubilantly, or to be thrilled.” Notice that we are to be thrilled with God Himself. This could be translated this way: “glorying in God.” Psalm 35:9: “Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation.”
ARE YOU REJOICING IN YOUR FAITH?
IF YOU AREN’T REJOICING IN RECONCILIATION – CONSIDER:
1) You have been justified by His blood and we shall be saved from God’s wrath.
2) You are reconciled by His death and we are saved by His life.
3) You have received reconciliation and we rejoice in God.
MAYBE YOU AREN’T REJOICING IN RECONCILIATION BECAUSE YOU DON’T REMEMBER THE ALIENATION AND ISOLATION AND SEPARATION CAUSED BY SIN…….
(PRODIGAL SON STORY ILLUSTRATES RECONCILIATION)
The son was hoping to get hired as a servant but got much more:
RELATIONSHIP - Father
RING – Authority To Do Business
ROBE – Righteousness
SANDALS – Son Not Slave
PARTY – Celebrate Return
You got all of that and more when you were reconciled with God through the blood of Christ!