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What does it mean, "In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself"?


2 Corinthians 5:19

ESV - 19 That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 27 2015 1437918466 Ayo oladeru

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
On a basic human level, when two people (especially two people who have been friends, or who have gotten along with one another) have a disagreement about something, or when one does something that is hurtful to the other, it causes a rift in their relationship. The more serious the matter about which they disagree, or the more one party is hurt by the other's actions (such as if the hurtful actions of the offending party are intentional), the deeper that rift will be.

For them to return to their former state of harmony and agreement, it is necessary for them to become reconciled to one another -- that is, for one or both parties to indicate through words and/or actions a recognition of the cause of the break in their relationship; to assume responsibility (where appropriate) for contributing to that break; to express regret or sorrow for those words or actions; and to demonstrate a resolve that the cause of the break will not be repeated.

God created humanity to live in perfect harmony and fellowship with Himself. Since God is a holy, perfect Being, this fellowship therefore required holiness and perfection on the part of humanity, as well. God indicated what actions on humanity's part would break that fellowship, and also made it clear that those actions would be of such a fundamental nature that they would make it impossible for man to any longer live in fellowship with God.

When humanity deliberately chose of its own free will to break that harmony and fellowship by performing the very actions that God had warned them of (that is, by sinning), their fellowship with God was broken and humanity's nature became corrupted to such a degree that humanity was no longer capable of restoring that fellowship (even if it had wished to do so).

Therefore, the initiative for restoring that fellowship (that is, for reconciling God and humanity) fell entirely upon God. God would have been entirely justified in punishing humanity eternally for the actions on humanity's part that had broken its fellowship with God.

However, despite the manner in which humanity had rejected God and become separated from Him, God continued to love humanity so much that He chose instead to reconcile humanity to Himself (that is, to make it possible for God and humanity to one again live in fellowship and harmony) in a manner that only God could have accomplished.

He did this by becoming human Himself (while still also remaining fully God) in the person of Jesus Christ; living the life of perfect fellowship and obedience toward God of which humanity had become incapable; undeservedly enduring on behalf of all humanity the death and eternal separation from God that humanity had justly incurred because of its sin; and then rising from the dead to live eternally as proof that fellowship between God and humanity had once again been made possible (that is, that God entirely on His own initiative had reconciled estranged humanity to Himself) and that God's justice had been fully satisfied.

However, just as in the case of reconciliation between people, in order for this possibility to be realized, each individual member of humanity must appropriate for himself the reconciliation and forgiveness that God offers in Christ by recognizing his own responsibility for having caused the separation from God through sin; by expressing repentance or contrition for those sinful actions; and by resolving (with the help of God the Holy Spirit now dwelling within him) to maintain that renewed fellowship with God, both by consciously avoiding sin, and by continuing to confess and seek God's forgiveness for those sins that he will still commit in this life.

July 28 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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