AtonementMay 3, 2011
JustificationMay 20, 2011
Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary: exchange (figurative adjustment), i.e. restoration to (the divine) favor :- atonement, reconciliation (-ing).
Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary: to conciliate, i.e. (transitive) to atone for (sin), or (intransitive) be propitious :- be merciful, make reconciliation for.
Merriam-Webster: 1. The act of reconciling parties at variance; renewal of friendship after disagreement or enmity.
2. In Scripture, the means by which sinners are reconciled and brought into a state of favor with God, after natural estrangement or enmity; the atonement; expiation.
3. Agreement of things seemingly opposite, different or inconsistent.
There are several words which are closely related—propitiation (See Dr. Jack’s Word Study on Propitiation), atonement (See Dr. Jack’s Word Study on Atonement), remission (See Dr. Jack’s Word Study on Remission), justification (See Dr. Jack’s Word Study on Justification), and reconciliation.
Reconciliation stems from the Garden of Eden where man sinned and lost fellowship with God. For as in Adam all die. (1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV) Death is separation from God. Through Adam, we received the penalty of death. God has set a great gap between us which no man can cross.
In the Old Testament, a partial reconciliation came through the offerings prescribed through the law. And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them: And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. (2 Chronicles 29:23-24 KJV) But it had to be renewed once a year for all Israel, and also whenever a person sinned he had to bring offering to the priest.
Sin separates. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12 KJV) Everyone has the mark of death upon them. Estranged from the living God man left to his own devices struggles in the darkness.
We must negotiate with God. Yet we have no means of exchange. We need a go between. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5 KJV) Jesus stepped in and negotiated our freedom and restoration through His death on the cross. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17 KJV)
Jesus provided the bridge that spanned the gap between God and man. He restored the relationship of intimate fellowship with the Father. He exchanged His life for ours to satisfy the penalty of sin. God has restored our right relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
Since we are in enmity with God, we have no peace. There is no peace for those who aren’t living in reconciliation with God. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. (Ephesians 2:14-16 KJV)
Having been reconciled and having received His favor we become His witnesses. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 KJV) We who have received his reconciliation are now ministers of that same reconciliation. We are His ambassadors. Jesus who had no sin in Himself, became sin for us, thus reconciling us and made us the righteousness of God. We are right with God.
Jesus is our reconciliation. Reconciliation is a work of grace. We can’t merit it. We can’t earn it. It is a gift. We receive the gift by grace through faith. We have access to God because we have an open door through our being reconciled to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been at peace with God through Jesus.