The Gospel is at the Heart of Peacemaking (And forgiveness/reconciliation!)

Chris —  August 22, 2008

In Unpacking Forgiveness my central goal is to show how the Cross (and how God forgives us) is foundational to understanding interpersonal forgiveness (forgiving one another).

Today on Route 5:9 (Peacemakers’ blog), Fred Barthel emphasizes this point in a succinct way:

To to me, a person who truly “gets” biblical peacemaking is one who understands the intimate connection between what God has done for us in Christ and how we treat one another.

Reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel, and so the gospel is at the heart of our ministry. Even when we were still his enemies, God made peace with us through the death and resurrection of his Son. And since we have been reconciled with God, we can be reconciled with one another. Because God has forgiven us in Christ, we can forgive others. This is a radically different way for Christians to relate to each other—a way that glorifies his Son and powerfully appeals to a watching world. Peacemaker Ministries exists to help the church live out this wonderful truth.

Read the whole thing here.

Notice the emphasis on forgiveness and reconciliation.  Professing Christians often separate reconciliation and forgiveness.  While it is useful to study these two components, as though looking at different facets of a diamond, reconciliation and forgiveness should not be put asunder!  The Bible never speaks of God forgiving someone without Him also being reconciled to them . . . this has myriad implications for interpersonal forgiveness, and it raises a host of questions . . . some of which I address in Unpacking Forgiveness.

For now, at least take the Forgiveness Quiz.  Remember, you will be eligible for a free book.  (Click here for the Forgiveness Quiz).

I highly recommend Ken Sande’s book, The Peacemaker.

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2 responses to The Gospel is at the Heart of Peacemaking (And forgiveness/reconciliation!)

  1. Wow! How refreshing and validating to read your words. ( I was beginning to think that I was the only one who thought this way.)

    If we ask ourselves this question, “Would God ask me to do anything that He, Himself would not do?” then I think we are half way to understanding true forgiveness. Everywhere I look in the bible, I see God saying, “return” or, “repent” along with His offer of mercy. You are so right that you cannot separate forgiveness and reconciliation – hallelujah!

    Forgiveness can be very costly, but cheap grace to me, seems to cost the giver of “forgiveness” even more somehow because the pain caused to the victim is never validated.

    So many people use Matthew 6:14 to mean that unless they forgive everyone neither will God forgive them, but when we put this teaching within the context of the entire bible we simply cannot interpret it this way.

  2. Debra, thank you for your kind words! How encouraging to hear from you. I love the ability to communicate with people far away. The post that I put up this morning on Bonhoeffer, Mohler, and Mormans may be of interest. Do stop by my blog again if you have time.