God has – by grace alone – reconciled sinners to himself through Christ’s work (Rom. 5:10-11, 2 Cor. 5:18-20, etc.). Here’s how Herman Bavinck describes this gospel:
“Because Christ by his death has covered our sin and averted God’s wrath, God changes his attitude towards the world into one of reconciliation, and he tells us this in his gospel, which is therefore called the word of reconciliation.”
“This reconciliation, too, is something objective. It is not something which comes into being for the first time in virtue of our faith and repentance, but rests on the atonement (satisfaction) which Christ has made, and it consists of the reconciling, gracious relationship of God to us, and we receive it and accept it in faith (Rom. 5:11).”
“Because God has laid aside his hostile disposition towards us on the basis of the death of Christ, we are admonished on our part also to put aside our hostility, to let ourselves be reconciled with God, and to enter into the new, reconciling relationship in which God has placed himself towards us.”
“Everything is finished. There is nothing left for us to do. We can with our whole soul and for all time rest in the perfect work of redemption which Christ has achieved. We may accept in faith the fact that God has laid aside his wrath and that in Christ he is a reconciled God and Father for guilty and unholy sinners.”
“Whoever sincerely believes this gospel of reconciliation in principle receives immediately all other benefits which were achieved by Christ.”
Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith, p. 359.
4 Replies to “Reconciled!”
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How does this one volume compare to Bavinck’s 4 volume dogmatics? I have read a fair amount of his 4 volume set… but was wondering if it might be better to read the one volume?
Chuck: this one volume is a sort of condensed version of his 4 volumes. However, it isn’t cut-and-paste type condensing. It covers the same topics and in mostly the same order, but since it is condensed, he sometimes says things more precisely. Anyway, if you have the time and energy, I’d read it as well as the 4 volumes!
Thanks, Shane. Your comments make me want to read the one volume. I know I am a “book snob”… but I secretly hope that someone will publish the one volume in hardback with a new cover. :)
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