I can still vividly remember seeing them, though it was way back in the 1960s: two men walking side by side down the aisle of a Hertfordshire Baptist church, carrying the offering they had just taken up. Nothing remarkable in that, you might think. But one of those men was British and the other was German. The latter had been brought to the UK as a prisoner-of-war during World War II and had decided to stay.
He was a Christian and had joined this particular church and, on getting to know the other man, discovered that both of them had fought in the same battle against each other! Here they were now, no longer enemies but fellow servants of the Lord Jesus Christ! But they had been, in fact, brothers in Christ even when they were in opposing armies. Both of them had been reconciled to each other because both of them had been reconciled to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Last month I reflected briefly on Revelation as one purpose of the Incarnation, now I turn to Reconciliation. “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them”. II Cor 5:19). Wonder of wonders! God, the holy and sinless One takes the initiative in reconciling lost, rebellious, unclean sinners to himself. And he doesn’t just brush off the dirt and leave us in our unrighteousness; rather “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. (v21). Christ took our sin in order that we might receive his righteousness.
If God could effect so great an exchange, how deeply offensive our sin must be to him. If God could effect so great an exchange, how great must be his grace! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (v17).
“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.” (Isaac Watts)
Your brother in Christ,
FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT AND PRAYER
The Bible Focus Team have been considering the possibility of a “Reunion” in the Spring of 2022. It would be something of a mini-version of the September event, but more informal and interactive. There would be opportunity for worship and to minister to one another in prayer and in sharing in the Word of God, to renew friendships made on previous occasions and even something to which you could invite your friends.
Further details will be available in due course, but in the meantime please join us in prayer about this, and let us know any thoughts on the matter that the Lord may lay on your heart.