Home » How to Live the Bible — The Miracle of Reconciliation

How to Live the Bible — The Miracle of Reconciliation


This is the one-hundred-forty-eighth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again….

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. — 2 Corinthians 5:14-19

Open palm hands extending outward to illustrate reconciliation

Many theologians have thought reconciliation may be as important a word as any other in the biblical vocabulary of salvation. It’s a word from the world of human relationships. It’s that wonderful thing that sometimes happens when people at enmity with each other steer a course toward each other to confess wrongdoing, to repair a rift, to make up, to set aside differences, to cease hostilities, to reconcile.

Most people don’t really believe they’re at enmity with God. They think God is quite favorably disposed toward them. After all, why wouldn’t God be? Aren’t we quite lovable the way we are?

God’s love is not infatuation or God just being “nice.” The God of love loves the unlovable with a rigorous commitment. He loves human beings who’ve ignored him, who’ve arrogantly thought they don’t really need him, and who’ve been gods to themselves. God’s love sees us for who we can be, not who we are.

Christ, who had no sin, stood in the place of the sinner so the sinner could stand before God—enmity gone, opposition put aside, friends again.

And thus we bear a message of reconciliation, and we have a ministry of reconciliation. In other words, when people in the world think of Christians, they ought to think: Oh yes, those are the people who are passionate about peace and reconciliation. They live in it and they live for it.

Ponder This

Is that what people really see in our attitudes and values?


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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s teaching pastor. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel’s many books include Spiritual Leadership Today: Having Deep Influence in Every Walk of Life (Zondervan, 2016). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.

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