As we have already noted, words change meaning over the years. Sometimes they lose meaning through overuse. Sometimes they are mishandled, causing the true meanings to be corrupted or lost. The word "Christian" has been overused and mishandled over the years. It is the purpose of this study to regain its original and true meaning through the study of Biblical words and phrases.
The next word in our study is "Reconciled." To "reconcile" means to "to change from hatred to friendship;" "to cause enemies to become friends." The words "Reconcile" / "Reconciliation" often are used to describe two enemies who must change, in order for hostilities to cease. In the case of God reconciling sinners to himself, it is we who need to change, not God.
As sinners, we were classified as God's enemies. We were contrary to all that God loves. We were united with all that God hates in the world (I John 2:15-17). Christ has created peace between us and God. When we agree with God about His Son, we become friends with God on God's terms. See John 3:16-18; 5:22-24; Romans 5:6-11 (vs. 11 in KJV "atonement" is actually the word for "reconciliation"); II Corinthians 5:18-21; Colossians 1:20-22.
Reconciliation is the gift of God - to be received by men.
See Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-18; Romans 5:1-11.
- The Father designed the way for reconciliation to take place.
- The Son of God provided the way for reconciliation to take place.
- The Spirit of God revealed the way of reconciliation to us with power, so that it could take place in our heart, mind, and soul.
- We did not, could not, would not naturally initiate reconciliation with God. We would not be able to establish reconciliation with God if we had wanted to.
- It is only by the grace of God that we are able to receive His reconciliation.
Reconciliation and Repentance
By the grace of God, to understand reconciliation, we need to appreciate the Gospel's requirement of faith and repentance (Matthew 4:17; 9:13; 21:28-32; Mark 2:17; Luke 15:1-32; 24:47; Acts 3:11-26; 17:30-34; 20:21; 26:19-20; II Peter 3:9). It is our attitude that must change if reconciliation is to be received. Consider our attitude towards our sins, our so-called righteousness, our love for this world, and our pride. [To be continued]