Eighth Sunday after Trinity – Thursday
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. —II Corinthians 5:19.
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” Christ, who was and is true God, fully paid for the sins of the world; and thus God has reconciled the world to Himself through Christ. The righteous wrath of God, which was kindled against sinful and ungodly mankind, has been appeased. As far as God is concerned, the old relationship of love that obtained before the fall has been reestablished. God is reconciled.
“Not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Since God is reconciled unto the world, He, self-evidently, no longer imputes their trespasses unto them. How could He be reconciled and still impute sin? “And hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation.” Through His Word of reconciliation (the Gospel), which He has committed to us, God informs us that He was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing the trespasses of sinful mankind unto them.
And God not merely informs contrite sinners of that reconciliation, but He also offers it, gives it, and seals it to them through His Word. In order to be benefited by God’s reconciliation of the world and the non-imputation of sins for all mankind, the contrite sinner must be personally reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:20)—receiving His reconciliation by faith.
Yes, God most kindly invites us with a loving heart, and powerfully persuades us by means of that Word of reconciliation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to accept His reconciliation. He that accepts it by faith most certainly has it, and enjoys its blessed fruits in time and eternity. He that rejects it remains under the wrath of God by his own fault and is lost forever.
PRAYER – Great God, what wondrous compassion Thou hast bestowed on me! Me – the sinner and Thine enemy – Thou hast reconciled to Thyself, and hast not imputed my sins to me, but to Christ. And to this gracious reconciliation Thou dost invite me through Thy Word and Holy Spirit. Help me, O Lord, that I may always follow this gracious invitation, and through faith rest in Thy fatherly bosom. Amen.
By grace His Son, on earth appearing,
Vouchsafed beneath thy woe to bend;
Hadst thou, damnation justly fearing,
Done aught to render Him thy friend?
Was’t not that He thy welfare sought,
And but by grace deliverance wrought?
Hymn 311, 4. (ELHB)
Morning & Evening Prayers