Summary: Key Words in the Christian Life - Reconciliation

Key Words in the Christian Life - Reconciliation

Reading: 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verses 17-21.

• One New Year’s Eve at London’s Garrick Club:

• British dramatist Frederick Lonsdale;

• Was asked by Symour Hicks to be reconciled with a fellow member.

• The two had quarrelled in the past and never restored their friendship.

Hicks said to Lonsdale.

“You must get reconciled, it is very unkind to be unfriendly at such a time. Go over now and wish him a happy New Year.”

• So Lonsdale crossed the room and spoke to his enemy.

• “I wish you a happy New Year,” he said, “but only one.”

The Christian gospel is about reconciliation:

• The death of Jesus built bridges across apparently unbridgeable gaps.

• Between a holy God and sinful people.

• To change the image, Paul in the book of Ephesians put it this way;

• It knocked down dividing walls between Jews and Gentiles.

In Colossians chapter 1 and Romans chapter 8 the teaching is even bolder:

• We are told that Christ’s death brings together ‘all things’ previously fragmented.

• Even nature itself will be redeemed!

(a). A Definition.

Question: What is reconciliation?


• The word reconcile is a key word in the New Testament:

• And a more familiar word that others we have used.

• In Regeneration – the spiritually dead are given new life.

• In Justification - the guilty are declared righteous.

• In adoption - strangers are made sons.

• In Redemption - slaves have been set free.

• In Imputation - our debt is paid and forgotten.

• In Reconciliation - enemies become friends.


The word: Reconcile (apokatallaso) means:

“To totally, thoroughly, and completely change one’s state and standing

from enmity to friendship”.


• In St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin;

• Stands what is known as the "Door of Reconciliation".

• Back in 1492 this door was all that separated two feuding Irish families;

• As the Butlers of Ormon? sought sanctuary horn the Fitzgeralds of Kildare.

• Realizing that the fighting had been getting out of control,

• Gerald Fitzgerald pleaded with "Black James" Butler to accept a truce.

• But suspecting treachery,

• Black James refused to open the door.

• In response Gerald proceeded to hack a hole in the door;

• And then thrust his arm through as a pledge of his goodwill.

• It was a daring gesture as Gerald risked his arm being hacked off,

• Instead Butler took his hand and peace was restored.

• The door was opened and the feuding families were reconciled.

• From that incident comes the expression; ‘To chance your arm’.

• These two families went from “enmity to friendship”.

• Their relationship was changed and transformed.


Reconciliation is a changing for the better;

• A relationship between two or more persons.

• Ill: Two family members who refuse to speak to each other.

• Ill: Pay settlement between employers and workers.

• Theologically it refers to;

• The change of relationship between God and man.


• The very first books shows us a picture of perfect harmony;

• Everything is in agreement.

• Heaven and earth, God and man, man & woman, human beings and animals;

• All working together in joyful cooperation.

But in chapter 3 of the book of Genesis that all changes:

• Sin enters into the picture and the results are tragic;

• We read of division, dissention, death and separation.

• Man is separated from God.

• Man runs from God and hides.

• And then in chapter 4 we read about man being separated from man;

• With brother killing brother.

• That situation continues to get worse and worse ‘evil all of the time’);

• So much so that in chapter 6 ‘God was grieved that he had made man’.

• In chapter 11 we read about the separation of races and nations;

• As Genesis continues to records the awful consequences of sin.

• One phrase that could be written over the book of Genesis from chapter 3 onwards is;

• The great need is for reconciliation, and that is what the Lord Jesus Christ has done!

Reading: Colossians chapter 1 verses 15-23:

(A)> The apostle Paul tells us who Jesus is:

Four truths about Jesus Christ in this section:

(1) Saviour (verse 13-14).

12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and BROUGHT us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We are a transferred people.

• The Greek word translated “Brought over” or “translated” or “transferred”.

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