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Summary: Key Words in the Christian Life - Reconciliation

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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.

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