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Though atonement entails all that is provided for forgiveness, are we traversing onward from there (Heb 6:1), or are we yet at the foot of the Cross, with Christ yet there upon it? If we lack the fullness of understanding our “reconciliation” (Rom 5:11; 2Co 5:18, 19; Heb 2:17), we will lack sufficient appropriation of “atonement” in our conscience. For those who know they have arrived at the place of atonement never needs to revisit there again but only in memory (Luk 22:19, 20; 1Co 11:23-26).

Obedience can never effect atonement, for only atonement is that which effects “forgiveness,” and forgiveness procures reconciliation. Our faith is in atonement, shown by our walk of obedience, and it is reconciliation wherein eternal fellowship dwells!


It is essential to understand the scriptural meaning of these two words: Atonement and Reconciliation. Every believer has, in some measure, apprehended the meaning of atonement, but very few, as far as I know, have entered in the light and fullness of reconciliation.

All through the OT we see that the man of faith was sheltered by the blood of atonement (i.e. Num 15:25); but it wasn’t until Christ, who dealt with the man who offended (“old man”; sinful nature—NC) in bearing its judgement on the Cross, and in it glorified the Father where man had dishonored Him, so that He “was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Rom 6:4), that reconciliation had fully come in. The word reconciliation is used in the OT incorrectly (translation related—NC), whereas the word “atonement” is never really used in the NT (Rom 5:11 should be “reconciliation”).

Now many Christians never get beyond atonement. They have faith in the Blood of Christ, and are thus sheltered in the eye of God, and all the benefits of Christ’s work are secured to them hereafter, for that work has made their title sure to all the grace that has been secured by Him; but if they do not know reconciliation, they do not come out upon this earth in an entirely new way for Him.

They may rejoice in their shelter, but like Israel in Egypt they are still morally there, and they do not see that the power of death and sin have been broken; they have not begun here on earth the heavenly journey across the wilderness to Christ in glory. Sheltered by the Blood you are safe eternally; but unless you know reconciliation there will be little growth and fruitfulness in your life for His glory.

Now, reconciliation is based on the fact that the man who dishonored God is removed from His sight; but the Man who honored Him in bearing the judgment of death has been raised from among the dead to the Father’s right hand in glory. If you only know atonement, you do not get beyond Romans 3; but when you see the Lord Jesus risen from the dead, you have “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom we also have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand” (Rom 5:2). This grace is summed up in verse 11: “We joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

The scope of reconciliation is detailed very distinctly in 2Cor 5:14-17: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh (e.g. we do not discern other’s person according to the sinful nature—NC); yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh (according to our sinful nature before being renewed—NC), yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Not a vestige remains before the eye of the Father of the one who has offended Him (concerning the believer—NC); but the One who has glorified Him fills the whole scene, and every believer in Him knows that the Father’s heart is toward them, as we see illustrated in the prodigal. The father runs and falls on his neck and kisses him—he is reconciled. And then as he enters into and enjoys his reconciliation, he begins to joy in the Father; he knows he is in Christ before Him, as a son God and joint-heir with Christ. There is not a cloud between him and his Father, and finally he learns that the Father loves him as He loves His blessed Son.

- J B Stoney

Excerpt from MJS devotional for March 28:

“The Lord may see it needful, for the trial (development) of faith, to seem for a season not to regard our supplications; yet, if we patiently and believingly continue to wait upon Him, it will be manifest in His own time, and way, that we did not call upon Him in vain.” -G.M.
None But The Hungry Heart

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