Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 5

The task of reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5:18-20

The word for Ďreconciliationí in the original Greek language is KATALLAGE. It means to make enemies into friends. That was the special work that God had given to Paul. Paul had to arrange for the people who were Godís enemies to become his friends.

It was like when some of the kingís officials had left the country to fight against their king. The king would consider it his right to punish those men in a most severe and cruel manner. However, suppose that, in an act of great mercy (kindness), the king wanted to forgive those men. The king would choose some of his most loyal and honourable officials (called ambassadors in verse 20). Those loyal officials would go to the kingís enemies, and try to make arrangements for them to return in peace.

Paul did not consider that he deserved to carry out such an important task on Godís behalf*. However, God had appointed him. For that reason, Paul tried to persuade people to accept Godís offer*.

There were two things in particular that Paul urged people to do. They should accept Godís kind offer that they can have a right relationship with him, because of Christís death*. Also, they should make sure that Godís kindness has the proper effect on their lives*. The result should be that they turn from every evil act to serve God in a holy manner*.

It is very wonderful that God is willing to forgive our evil deeds*. Christ, Godís Son, died to suffer the punishment for our evil deeds*. Of course we should accept Godís kind offer. Of course we should not delay*. We should allow God to do everything that he wants to do in our lives. We should accept his friendship, then we should live as the friends of God ought to live.

Next part: Christ, who had no sin, became sin for us (5:21)

 

* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.