But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in...THE NATURE OF THE BLOOD
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
C. RECONCILIATORY which removes ALIENATION of God.
Eph. 2:12 ‚Äúthat at that time you were without Christ, being aliens (1) from the commonwealth of
Israel and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.‚ÄĚ
v. 16 ‚Äúand that he might reconcile (2) both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.‚ÄĚ
1. Aliens, aphllotriwmenoi (apeillotriowmenoi) being aliens
apallotriw (apallotriow)- to alienate, estrange, to be shut out from one‚Äôs fellowship and intimacy.
2. Reconcile, apokatalexh (apokataleksei) He might reconcile
katallassw (katallassow)- to reconcile
Note: Rom. 5: 10 ‚ÄúFor if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled (kathllaghmen,kateilageimen) to God by the death of his son, much more being reconciled
(katallagentes, katallagentes) we shall be saved by his life.‚ÄĚ
v.11 ‚ÄúAnd not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.‚ÄĚ (katallaghn, katallagein) reconciliation.
and note in the NKJV, the direct translation is reconciliation instead of atonement which is translated in the KJV.
Red Zenda, Lethbridge, AB,Canada
There are several words found in the New Testament that speak of reconciliation.
They are as follows: katallage katallagh
‚Äď Reconciliation ‚Äď This is the only substantive in the New Testament used to
designate reconciliation. Katallasso katallassw
‚Äď To reconcile. apokatallasso apokatallassw
‚Äď To reconcile. diallasso diallassw
‚Äď To reconcile ‚Äď Though this term is not used in the New Testament of the work
of Christ, it is a synonymous term with the others, as may be seen in the
Trans. & freq. in the AV‚ÄĒ reconcile 3 times; 3 occurrences of Greek word
1. to reconcile completely
2. to reconcile back again
3. bring back a former state of harmony
apokatallaxai aorist, active, infinitive of apokatallassw
apokatallaxen aorist, active, indicative, 3d person, singular of apokatallassw
Matthew 5:24 gives a good example of the significance of reconciliation. The
passage deals with reconciliation between brothers. We have here the only New
Testament usage of the word diallasso , which the Septuagint usage shows to
be a synonym of katallasso . The passage reads, ‚ÄĚFirst, be reconciled to thy
brother.‚Äú The worshipper, while bringing his gift to the altar is reminded that his
brother has something against him. He is commanded to ‚Äúbe reconciled‚ÄĚ with his
brother. Observe the fact that the alienation here is not that of the worshipper, but
of the brother toward the worshipper. Thus the command to be reconciled is not
directed against his own anger, but against the anger of the brother. If we draw
the parallels with our relation to God, we see then the language of Scripture that
speaks of our being reconciled to God is not primarily directed toward our own
anger, but toward his alienation with us.
Romans 11:15 gives another interesting insight into the usage of the term
reconciliation in the New Testament. Here there is a contrast between the Jews
and the Gentiles, and the change of God‚Äôs attitude toward the Gentiles, which is
expressed by the term reconciliation. ‚ÄúFor if the casting away of them be the
reconciling (katallage) of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but
life from the dead?‚ÄĚ The term reconciliation is here speaking of the change in
attitude by God and not of the Gentiles. This is evident from the fact that this
term is set in contrast to the ‚Äúcasting away‚ÄĚ of the Jews, and not their attitude
toward God. Nowhere in this passage is attention focused on the attitude of the
Jews or the Gentiles, but all the way through, it is on the attitude of God to man.
Therefore katallage means the removal of God‚Äôs alienation from the Gentiles,
not their subjective alienation from God.
(a) Romans 5:8‚Äď11
As we look now to the passages that speak of the work of Christ as
reconciliation, it is well to remember the fact that sin not only incurs the wrath of
God, but also alienation from him. Thus reconciliation is not merely a reference
to the subjective change that takes place in our hearts, but involves a change of
the alienation from God. Romans 5:8‚Äď11 is one of the chief passages dealing
with reconciliation. In Romans 5:8‚Äď11 the love of God toward us is being
stressed. This love is seen in the fact that Christ died for us, and this while we
were yet sinners.
Professor Murray observes that verse 8:
. . . enunciates the essence of what follows in the next three verses. For the clause ‚ÄėChrist
died for us‚Äô (vs. 8) is expanded in verse 10 in the words ‚Äėwe were reconciled to God
through the death of his Son.‚Äô Hence it is reconciliation through the death of Christ that
was accomplished while we were yet sinners. How nullifying this would be if the
reconciliation were conceived of as consisting in the change of our hearts from sin and
enmity to love and penitence! The whole point of verse 8 is that what God did in the
death of Christ took place when we were still sinners and did not consist in nor was it
premised upon any change in us. To introduce the thought of change in us is to
contradict the pivot of the declaration.
In verses 9 and 10 justified and reconciled are placed in parallel passages.
Justified and reconciled must, therefore, belong to the same orbit; they express
similar concepts. But the term justify, particularly in this epistle, has forensic
meaning. It does not mean to make righteous; it is declarative in form and is the
opposite to condemn. It is concerned with judicial relation. Reconcile must
likewise have the same force and cannot refer to an inward change of heart and
(b) 2 Cor. 5:18‚Äď19
The same conclusion is derived from 2 Corinthians 5:19: ‚ÄúGod was in Christ reconciling
the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.‚ÄĚ Not imputing trespasses
is either explanatory of the reconciliation or it is the consequence of the latter. In either
case it shows the category to which reconciliation belongs and is far removed from that
of a subjective change in us.
In both Romans 5:10 and 2 Cor. 5:18, 19 we find the aorist tense used. The
emphasis in both is that of a completed act. The death of Christ and the resulting
reconciliation was a once for all action. Subjective reconciliation would involve a
In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we are pointed to the kind of action involved in reconciliation
spoken of in the preceding verses. It is that ‚Äėhim who knew no sin he made to be sin for
us.‚Äô This unquestionably refers to the vicarious sin‚Äďbearing of Christ and belongs to the
objective realm; it has no affinity with a subjective change registered in our hearts.
A further argument for this understanding of reconciliation is derived from the
enmity that is contemplated in Rom. 5:10. In verse 8 the Apostle referred to our
being sinners, and in verse 10 he referred to the enmity. It would be perfectly
possible to interpret the enmity of verse 10 as our enmity against God in parallel
with our sin against him of verse 8. But Rom. 11:28 gives us another usage of
this very term. Paul speaks of Israel, ‚ÄúThey are enemies on your account.‚ÄĚ The
enmity here must refer to the alienation from God‚Äôs favor. They are spoken of as
rejected and disinherited (Rom. 11:15). Further, the enmity is contrasted to
beloved. Certainly the beloved refers to God‚Äôs attitude and relation to them, and
not the subjective attitude of men. From this we see that the enmity of Romans
5:10 could very properly be understood as referring to God‚Äôs alienation from us.
This sense is well suited to the thought of Romans 5:10. For what the reconciliation
accomplishes is the removal of God‚Äôs alienation, his holy enmity. The argument is that if
God by the death of his Son removed his holy enmity against us, brought us into a state
of favor, how much more shall we be saved from the wrath of God by the resurrection of
On this point Murray is ready to acknowledge that we cannot be absolutely
dogmatic that this is the proper sense of the word enmity. If it is not, then 5:10 is
parallel in meaning to 5:8.
Romans 5:11 speaks of reconciliation as something received, ‚ÄúThrough whom we
have now received the reconciliation‚ÄĚ (ten katallagen elabomen). This
form of expression does not fit with the idea of reconciliation as a subjective
change. Rather it is viewed as a gift bestowed. The idea is that we have received
a status in which God is no longer alienated from us, one in which we have peace
and fellowship with him.
In 2 Cor. 5:19 we have reference to the proclamation of reconciliation. ‚ÄúHe hath
committed to us the word of reconciliation.‚ÄĚ We have received the responsibility
of proclaiming reconciliation. This is another way of referring to the Gospel that
we are to proclaim. The Gospel we proclaim is the good news of what Christ has
done for us, not the subjective change that takes place in us. Of course, the
Gospel will produce a subjective change, but this is not the good news that we
proclaim. In other words, the Gospel does have demands that arise from its
preaching, but the demands are not the Gospel itself. The basic message of the
Gospel is not exhortation or appeal, it is the good news of what God has done for
When we consider the exhortation of 2 Cor. 5:20, ‚ÄúBe ye reconciled to God,‚ÄĚ we
find a passage that has been variously interpreted. Even some of the most
orthodox commentators have regarded it as an appeal to us to lay aside our
This is not in itself an improper appeal as the appropriate response to the gospel
proclamation. But the evidences derived from the passages dealt with do not support this
interpretation. It is rather an appeal to us to take advantage of that which the
reconciliation is and has accomplished. It is to the effect: enter into the grace of the
reconciliation; embrace the truth that ‚Äėhim who knew no sin he made to be sin for us,
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him‚Äô (2 Cor. 5:21).
As we conclude this consideration of reconciliation it is appropriate to turn again
to Morris. He says, ‚ÄúIt is the consistent teaching of Scripture that man could not
overcome the cause of enmity. The barrier which the sin of man had erected the
wit of man could not find means to remove. But in the death of him who was
‚Äúmade sin‚ÄĚ for man the cause of the enmity was squarely faced and removed.
Therefore a complete reconciliation results, so that man turns to God in
repentance and trust, and God looks on man with favour and not in wrath.‚Äú
The disruption that sin caused between God and man was healed in the work of
Christ, and man may again be brought into fellowship with God. ‚ÄúAt no point
does the provision of the atonement register its grace and glory more than at the
point where our separation from God is the exigency contemplated and
communion with God the secured result.‚ÄĚ | more | less
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If Christ is not God (the second person of the triune God) who came in flesh to reconcile man back to God not only in the essence of His person as God-man but also in His works in the Death of the Cross, ....there is no Salvation!