Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 26, 2015

“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself”

Today’s devotion comes from Ezra chapter 10.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+10&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel;  for the people wept bitterly.  2 Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land;  yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.  3 So now let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God;  and let it be done according to the law.  4 Arise!  For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you;  be courageous and act.”  Ezra 10:1-4.

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Nothing is more important to us than reconciliation with God.

Today’s Scripture shows the extent to which the people tried to be reconciled to God.  But, our hope for reconciliation with God is not based on our promise (“covenant”) to put away our sins nor our actions to do so (“let it be done according to the law.”).

Our hope for reconciliation with God is based on His promise (His covenant) and His actions “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.”  2 Corinthians 5:19.

Regarding God’s promise (His “better covenant”), “6 But now He (Christ) has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.  8 For finding fault with them, He says,

“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not continue in My covenant,
And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”  Hebrews 8:6-12.

“As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”  Psalm 103:12.

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son (Christ), much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”  Romans 5:10-11.

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him (Christ), and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross;  through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”  Colossians 1:19-20.

“For He (Christ) Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”  Ephesians 2:14-16.

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