Question #63: Briefly discuss “reconciliation” in the New Testament utilizing three Greek words.

We needed reconciliation because we were enemies of God.
We needed reconciliation because we were enemies of God.

Answer: Reconciliation is “the work of God for man in which God undertakes to transform man and make possible and actual his eternal fellowship with a holy God.”1

In the NT, man needs to be reconciled because of his rebellious state against God (Col 1:21).  The words that clearly teach reconciliation as a change of state on the part of man due to the act of God in Christ are:

1) katallasso, to change completely (Rom 5:10),

2) katallage, a change on the part of one effected by the action of another (Rom 5:11) and

3) apokatallasso, and intensified word meaning “to completely change” (Eph 2:16).

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled (katallaso) to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (“reconciliation” from katallage)” (Rom 5:10 and 11).

“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” (Eph 2:16).

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1 John Walvoord, “Reconciliation,” in Bibliotheca Sacra, 119:476, Oct 1962, pp. 291-92.

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One-Minute Theology with Chaplain T features the question and answer portions of the Systematic Theology courses that were part of my seminary work at Piedmont Baptist Graduate School. I will be posting one Q & A everyday until my ordination council meeting set for February 2014.