2 Corinthians 5:16-21
One of the great truths demonstrated at the cross was reconciliation. Reconciliation is “the establishment or restoration of loving fellowship after estrangement” (The Reformation Study Bible, 2015, p. 2057). It’s necessary because our sin alienated us from God and made us his “enemies” (Romans 5.10). Unless reconciliation takes place, an enemy is still an enemy.
When Jesus died on the cross, he satisfied God’s judgment and made it possible for us—as God’s enemy—to find peace with him. The exercise of God’s grace and forgiveness, when we believe and receive, reconciles us to God.
We move from being God’s enemy to his friend, from a state of condemnation to one of forgiveness, and from being at war with God to living in his peace. We’re restored to friendship and harmony with the Creator of the universe!
This result (of moving from enemy to friend of God), while wholly the work of Jesus on the cross, involves action—a decision—on our part. While God offers his grace and forgiveness to us, it’s our responsibility to believe (who Jesus was and what he did for us on the cross) and receive (accept his grace and forgiveness).
This isn’t something available to us because we’re good, better than the next person, or because we’re Americans. It’s available to us because of God’s goodness. But we must respond!