To be “reconciled” is to make two things equal, bringing two things into harmony with each other. For instance, if you attempt to reconcile US currency with European currency, you will want to exchange the one for the equivalent amount in the other.
In a spiritual sense, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 speaks of the “word of reconciliation.” “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” Briefly consider some important elements of God’s word (the gospel of Jesus Christ) as the “word of reconciliation.”
Tells about the reconciliation that is possible
The gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that reconciliation with God is possible after we have sinned. It tells us that we had separated ourselves from God because of our sin (Isaiah 59:1-2; Ephesians 2:1-3). It describes how that no good deed we could do could reconcile us to our holy and righteous God (of our own merit – see Ephesians 2:8-9). Fortunately, it tells of the reconciliation with God that has been provided through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-10)! Again, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 speaks to the fact that only God could provide what mankind needed in order to make an “even exchange” to be right in His sight again. This was provided through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!
Tells why we should seek reconciliation
The gospel of Jesus Christ does not just tell us that reconciliation is possible; but, it also gives us the proper motivation to seek this reconciliation! It tells us of the opportunity to spend everlasting life with God in Heaven (see 1 Peter 1:3-9 and Revelation 21-22). It also warns us about the danger of failing to be reconciled with God – which results in spending eternity in Hell fire (see 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 and Revelation 21:8). Therefore, the gospel gives us all the motivation we need to persuade us to give up the pursuit of the temporary pleasures of this life in order to seek the eternal things of God (see 1 John 2:15-17)!
Tells how to be reconciled
Having been given the information that God has loved us all enough to send His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins (making this reconciliation possible), the gospel tells us about our responsibility to be obedient to God. Hebrews 5:9 says that Jesus Christ is the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him! God plainly gives instructions, requiring us to (1) hear His word (Romans 10:17), (2) believe (John 8:24), (3) repent of our sins (Acts 17:30), (4) confess Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10), and (5) be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Though we do not earn our own reconciliation through doing these things, God does require these things of us in order to be reconciled.
Tells how to remain reconciled
Not only does the gospel tell us that reconciliation to God is possible through Jesus Christ and about His requirements to be reconciled to Him; but, the gospel also discusses what we must do in order to remain in a reconciled condition. Galatians 5:4 plainly identifies that it is possible to be separated from God – even after we had been reconciled to Him. So, our responsibility is to live in such a way so as to remain reconciled to Him (Revelation 2:10). The gospel (God’s word) gives us all of the information we need to know to do every good work God wants us to be doing – and to avoid all of the things which are contrary to His nature (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17)!
Tells about the ministry of reconciliation
Part of what God expects of those who have been reconciled to Him through Christ Jesus is to take part in the ministry (service) of reconciliation! Paul said that God has given them the “ministry of reconciliation” (in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19) which would involve the proclamation of the “word of reconciliation.” Though we are not apostles (like Paul was), God has still given us the responsibility to tell others how they can be reconciled to Him through the sacrifice of His Son (see 2 Timothy 2:24-26). After all, shouldn’t those who have experienced this reconciliation desire to tell others the wonderful news about salvation they have learned?
God is trying to reconcile the world to Himself through Jesus Christ. Are you listening to His word of reconciliation? If not, hear it today! If you are, make sure that you are continuing to live in a way that keeps you reconciled to God – and that you are telling others about their opportunity for reconciliation!