Everyone Reconciled

by Joe Johns

I want to introduce to you Fellowship’s four freshly expressed value statements. These Biblical values drive the kind of Gospel movement we envision God wants to sweep us up into over the next decade.

This God dream for Fellowship begins by asking:

What would it take to see the Gospel flourish in 10,000 people living in the neighborhoods around us?

Or put another way,

What would it take to reduce lostness in southeast Fort Wayne by 20% over the next decade?
Such a God-sized dream of Gospel saturation is fueled by 4 values we see embodied in the life of Jesus. In Jesus, we see what a flourishing human life looks like. His Gospel invites us to trust and follow him out of a perishing life due to our sin and be saved into a flourishing life through discipleship to Him.

Last week, we looked at the first value:

Everyone Loved -- We all have worth as humans created by God.

This week, we take on the second value:

Everyone Reconciled -- We all have sin needing Christ’s reconciliation.

I had a friend who was about 10 years older than me when I was a young adult. This person had a huge positive impact on my life. But a series of events happened that left our relationship fractured. There were many reasons and details as to why the relationship went south. But, suffice it to say that at the bottom of the mess was sin on both our parts.

As a Church, we recognize that everyone sins. (Romans 3:23). We believe sin is real and consequential before God. Ultimately, sin and its brokenness separates us from God and one another. (Romans 6:23)

We see the effects on this division and separation because of sin all across our world, down to even the most personal of friendships, like the falling out I had with my friend. Because of sin, divisions, disputes, and disunity abound in the world.

But the Church is (and should!) be different. Why?

Because in Christ, our sin is reconciled. (Colossians 1:19-23)

In Christ and only through Christ, can we be reconciled back into right relationship with God, each other, and the world around us. Consequently, no worldly division, conflict or bias should easily separate members of Christ’s body. Paul himself says, if God is for (reconciling) us, then who can divide us? (Romans 8:31)
But despite Jesus’ prayer for unity in His Body (John 17:20-21), we know the reality is that churches can and do become divided and split. This fact breaks God’s heart and should break ours too.

That’s why we say Everyone Reconciled.

It’s a way of reminding ourselves that seeking and staying unified is a priority. Conflict is inevitable, but division is not. Though we sin against others, God is still reconciling us by his grace and summons us to embody this reconciliation as ambassadors of Him (2Corinthians 5:18-21).

Fellowship is a diverse community with people from all economic, social, educational and ethnic walks of life. To the world, we are unlikely partners. But in Christ, we are partners in the gospel (Philippians 1:15). One new human family who have become siblings in Christ regardless of former blood lines (Ephesians 2:14-20). The worldly ways of dividing people based on their differentness mysteriously disappear in Christ (Ephesians 3:6).

Becoming this kind of Kingdom community will not be easy. It will require much effort. (Ephesians 4:3). Jesus says it’s relatively easy to love those who are like you, but something better (and harder) to love those who are not (Luke 6:32-36). But when we do, Jesus assures us that this is the way the world will know we are His reconciled people to God’s glory (John 13:35).

May we at Fellowship long to see Everyone Reconciled in Christ.

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