April 21, 2023

The God of Reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ. . . .

—  2 Corinthians 5:18

Because of sin, we human beings are in rebellion. We are at war with God, with ourselves, with our neighbors, and with God’s creation. By ourselves, we would never return to God. We cannot change our own heart. Without God, we don’t even realize that we are mired and stuck and lost in the misery of sin.

Salvation is not a human initiative. God took the initiative to reconcile us to himself. God loves us so much that he sent his Son to save us. The innocent seeks the guilty. The agent of reconciliation is Jesus Christ. And now through Christ we can turn to God.

Jesus is the one and only way to God. He is the door, the gateway, to salvation. He is the mediator who reconciles us to the Father. To reconcile us to himself, God did not keep our transgressions on our account. Instead, he laid them on Jesus Christ.

On the cross the Son of God paid in full the debt that was against us and completely set us free. And God credited us with the perfect righteousness of Christ so that no condemnation can weigh on us any longer.

What a great salvation you have accomplished for us, O God! Only the finished work of Christ could justify us. And you credited his righteousness to our account. Thank you, Father. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Hernandes Lopes

Rev. Hernandes Dias Lopes grew up in a Christian home in Brazil. Following his 1981 graduation from Seminário Presbiteriano do Sul in Campinas, Brazil, he served two congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Brazil. In 2000, he earned a doctor of ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Rev. Lopes has been the voice of the television program Verdade e Vida (“Truth and Life”) since 2006. In 2010 he was appointed Portuguese ministry leader for Back to God Ministries International. Rev. Lopes and his wife, Tinha, have two college-age children.

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