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.