Message Scriptures:

Reconciliation – Day 1 – (2 Corinthians 5:16 – 21):

We begin today’s study in 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. Hidden in these verses is one of the more well-known that most Christians can at least paraphrase if not quote word for word. However, these verses are absolutely critical to the Christian walk, and tells us some very important news. I am going to let you know right away that I’m going to step on the toes of religious people in this series, and it’s going to start right away on day one.
Tucked away neatly in this passage of scripture is the best news the religious world refuses to acknowledge, and that’s that God is “not counting people’s sins against them”. You can see why religion doesn’t want to acknowledge this truth because it goes against everything that they teach in their pulpits. They want you to believe that your sin is keeping you from the presence of God, and that if you continue to sin after you come to the Lord as Savior that you can lose your salvation…and go to hell. They don’t want you to believe that your sin was nailed to the Cross along with Jesus, and that your sin (neither prior to salvation or after salvation) is forgiven. They also want you to be fully conscious of your sin, and want you to believe that your sin is keeping you from having a strong, intimate personal relationship with God.
That is NOT the ministry of reconciliation. That is the ministry of condemnation. Listen. I don’t know what’s so difficult to understand about “God is not counting people’s sins against them.”, but I don’t know how God could make it any more clear that it’s not your sins that’s keeping you from having the close, personal, intimate relationship with Him your seeking…it’s the religious mindset that keeps you bound & conscious of your sin. It’s not your sins that’s sending you to hell because it wasn’t your sins that was sending you to hell to begin with. It was Adam’s sin that sentenced all of us to eternal separation from God…not yours. It was the fall in the garden than sentenced us all to die, but that’s why what Christ did on the Cross is so important.
He didn’t die on the Cross so that you could be found guilty of your sin. He died on the Cross AS your sin. He died on the Cross to take away the sin of the world. He died so that we could live in Him.
It’s going to be hard for me to remain on topic with this series, but day by day we’re going to really get to understanding what reconciliation is about…because having the understanding of this is vital to our walk with Christ. Pastor Stephen Robbins preached several times that the number one area that Christians struggle in is their own personal walk with God, and the number one reason for that struggle is that we are under such condemnation because of our sin.
What awesome news to read that God isn’t counting our sins against us because Jesus paid for them. That’s the ministry of reconciliation in a nut shell. God was in Christ reconciling the world to HIMSELF. If God was counting our sins against us, if there was sin in our lives that God couldn’t forgive and forget then we couldn’t be fully reconciled to God, and the Bible would have to have written that God made Jesus to be some of the sins of the world. But…it doesn’t say that. The Bible says that Jesus became sin so that we could become the righteousness of God.
If there was sin being counted against us…we could not be the righteousness of God. If there was sin that wasn’t nailed to the Cross then Paul would have had to say “God is not counting people’s sin…except for —– against them. But the Bible doesn’t read that way because God really is not counting your sin against you.
When God looks at you…He doesn’t see your sin, He doesn’t see your wrong-doings, and He doesn’t see what you see when you look in the mirror. What does God see? He sees the shed blood of Jesus! When God looks at you He sees His Son’s blood covering you from head to toe and all points in between. That’s what it means to be IN CHRIST. When God looks at you He sees JESUS.
So…I hope over the course of the next 7 days to get you to see yourself in a different light because what religion wants us to do is focus on ourselves and what we can do in order to become holy, righteous, sanctified, and redeemed….but we can’t. We can’t be more holy, we can’t be more righteous, we can’t be more sanctified, and we can’t become more redeemed by anything we do or don’t do. The ONLY reason we are holy, righteous, sanctified, redeemed, and reconciled to God is because we are new creations in Christ Jesus…and the reason our holiness, righteousness, and reconciliation will never be more than what it is…is because Jesus did it absolutely perfectly and flawlessly…and it is HIS. He took what we did so we could receive what He has.
It’s all about the Cross. It’s all about Jesus. It has everything to do with the Cross and Christ…and nothing to do with us. If there was anything we had to do in order to earn our place it wouldn’t be good news…and there would be no real hope of reconciliation…because none of us can or ever will be able to live sinless lives.
Reconciliation is possible only because of the Blood of Jesus. Another set verse of scripture for this series is going to be John 14:6…”Jesus said; I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by Me.” We receive nothing in this Christian walk on our own, of ourselves, or because of our own merits…everything we have is because of Jesus…period.
Blessing & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer
 “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” 1 Corinthians 16:24 (NASB)