Charles Stanley (August-12-2021) Daily Devotional: From Alienation to Reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 – 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
One of the hardest truths for many nonbelievers to accept is that they’re enemies of God. Even though they aren’t close to the Lord, they still consider themselves good people. Surely, they think, I haven’t done anything bad enough to make myself His enemy. But the truth is, everyone begins life alienated from God because all mankind is born into sin (Psalm 51:5 – Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me; Rom. 5:12 – Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned).
To be saved, a person must first understand that the gap between perfect God and sinful man is vast. Human beings like comparing themselves with others to illustrate how good they are, but the standard for goodness isn’t other people; it’s a holy, perfect God. The only way to reach Him is through faith in His Son for forgiveness and reconciliation (John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me). Whoever rejects Christ’s offer of salvation simply cannot spend eternity with God.
Only the cross of Christ spans the gulf between alienation and reconciliation. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and underwent the punishment we deserved. Now any person who trusts in the Savior’s substitutionary atonement can enter into a new life of communion with God.