a quick google search for the definition of the word reconcile brings the meaning as “to restore friendly relations between” and “make (one account) consistent with another, especially by allowing for transactions begun but not yet completed.” the Latin root translated for this word is “to bring back together.” the fall of man introduced sin, separation from God, and death. the balance shifted from cool walks in the garden to intensified physical experiences and the numbering of days. had this been merely an experiment, the fall was the “back to the drawing board” moment, but Adam was no laboratory animal. while God spoke the universe into existence, He took the time to form man personally and breathe life into him. the Creator loved His creation, and a plan to restore this new being to prominence with the King was in motion.
free will is an incredible gift until abused. when the garden inhabitants exercised their free will, inconsistent with the instructions afforded them, they unleashed devastation and turmoil they could not have imagined. i believe that had they spent their lives in complete obedience, the defiance of free will would still claim sin’s reward at some point in history. Jesus is the revelatory Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8, KJV, Tyndale 1987). before the construction of the world, the foundation was in place. before man had ever considered rebellion, He prepared the sacrifice for redemption. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14). from before the beginning, this was the plan. restoration of the life account of man, taken through the wages of sin, needed a transaction to complete an eternal consistency, cohesive and harmonious with a Holy Lord.
Paul gives us a glimpse of this completed act in his second letter to Corinth. verses 17-20 of chapter 5 reads, “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.”
focusing on verse 18, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” the Strong’s translation for reconciled, used in “God, who hath reconciled us to himself” is katallaxantos (2644), meaning to change, exchange, i.e. to compound a difference. in terms of finance, compound means to pay interest on both an amount of money and the interest it has already earned. in addition, the definition of the word earnest is something of value given by a buyer to a seller to bind a bargain, a token of what is to come. its original Hebrew meaning is a pledge, i.e., part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security for the rest. Jesus sees to that not only is the debt paid, but to add interest on top of it! 2 Corinthians 5:5 speaks of the earnest of the Spirit. perhaps a double portion of the Spirit similar to Elisha’s petition. Jesus mentioned, “we would do greater works than these” (John 14:12). Ephesians chapter 1 tells us that the earnest of our inheritance is Jesus sealing us with that holy Spirit of promise.
along with the reconciliation of the sin debt and the compounded earnest of promise, Paul charges us with the ministry of reconciliation. the latter portion of 2 Corinthians 5:18 uses a different word here, katallagēs (2643). Paul no longer speaks of the exchange of the cross, but this word translates, “restoration to favor.” Jesus restored the ability for humankind to walk with Him in a relationship. those who choose to walk with Him are mandated to reach out to others and restore their favor with God. just as Christ’s sacrifice restored divine order through His death, burial, and resurrection, we compel souls to favor through repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
the mercies of God have accounted for a voluntary, eternal relationship with the Master. He wants beings that want to be with Him. enter free will and a plan to reconcile those seeking restoration to favor from the curse of sin. it still amazes me how God works in lives and situations. we never see the big picture until the results of the matter. we reach. we restore. all the while, we trust in His promises and walk daily with Him in spirit and truth. Amen.