Session 8 Reconciliation Notes


 Meaning: The basic verb, katallassw, means to change or exchange such as in money exchanges. Thus, when applied to salvation the idea is that the relationship between man and God changes. The word itself is made up of the preposition kata meaning according to and the verb allassw meaning to transform or change (1 Cor 15:52) which in turn is from meaning alloj another as in something different. Hence, the core concept is becoming something different (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-20). The noun form is καταλλαγή conveying that which is something else (Rom 5:11; 2 Cor 18,19; Rom 11:15).

Sometimes an additional preposition is prefixed to this word to add intensity (dia apo Col 1:20-22, Eph 2:16).


 Romans 5:10 For if while we were aenemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved 1bby His life. 11 aAnd not only this, 1but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received bthe reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18 Now aall these things are from God, bwho reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the cministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that aGod was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, bnot counting their trespasses against them, and 1He has 2committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are aambassadors for Christ, bas though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be creconciled to God.

 Context is restricted – “us” in v 18,19, 21; v 20 makes no sense if everyone is reconciled; cf Rom 5:9,10. V 19 “not counting trespasses against them” – yet many men do have their sins imputed to them, therefore “world” must be restricted and refer to believers

Colossians 1:20 and through Him to areconcile all things to Himself, having made bpeace through cthe blood of His cross; through Him, I say, dwhether things on earth or things in 1heaven. 21 And although you were aformerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now areconciled you in His fleshly bbody through death, in order to cpresent you before Him dholy and blameless and beyond reproach--

Romans 11:15 For if their rejection is the areconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but blife from the dead?

Ephesians 2:16 and might areconcile them both in bone body to God through the cross, 1by it having cput to death the enmity.

 Summary: Reconciliation is becoming something different. Believers ae transformed from enemies of God into children of God. Colossians 1:20-22

Conclusions Regarding Reconciliation:

 Reconciliation basically refers to the restoring of the relationship between God and man. Man is alienated from God and God from man because of sin (Isa 59:2). As believers, we are reconciled to God, not God to us (Rom 5:10-11; 2 Cor 5:20).

As the ground of God’s alienation from us is our sin, so the removal of that ground of alienation comes through the work of Christ on the cross. Reconciliation with God always comes back to the cross of Christ.

Reconciliation means that the Father does not reckon our sin against us but rather reckons them against the Son and reckons the Son’s righteousness to us. Thus, the Father can treat us as friends rather than enemies.

The need for reconciliation highlights the indisputable fact that human beings do not deserve it. They are aptly described as “enemies”, “alienated”, “hostile”, “trespassers”, and evil doers. Not pretty.

On the other hand, the change wrought by reconciliation is stark – from “enemies”, “alienated”, “hostile”, “trespassers”, and evil doers to “peace”, “holy”, “blameless”, “beyond reproach”, “life”, and “saved”.

The New Testament is clear that in reconciliation an actual change occurred. Men have actually been brought back into a relationship with God. The enmity been men and God really has been removed. So, the objects of this reconciling work, whoever they are, can never be treated as an enemy of God. There is nothing provisional about this concept.

Our response to reconciliation should obviously be gratitude. But, we are also informed that we should respond with tangible acts of service on behalf of the Reconciler as “ambassadors for Christ” who engage in the “ministry of reconciliation”.

So What? Personal, Institutional, and Societal Applications (Task Groups)

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2017. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source.

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