2 Corinthians 5:18

Who reconciled us to himself through Christ (tou katallaxanto hma eautwi dia Cristou). Here Paul uses one of his great doctrinal words, katallassw, old word for exchanging coins. Diallassw, to change one's mind, to reconcile, occurs in N.T. only in Matthew 5:24 though in papyri (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 187), and common in Attic. Katallassw is old verb, but more frequent in later writers. We find sunallassw in Acts 7:26 and apokatallassw in Acts 1:1 Acts, Col 1:20 ; Epesian 2:16 and the substantive katallag in Romans 5:11 ; Romans 11:15 as well as here. It is hard to discuss this great theme without apparent contradiction. God's love ( Jon 3:16 ) provided the means and basis for man's reconciliation to God against whom he had sinned. It is all God's plan because of his love, but God's own sense of justice had to be satisfied ( Romans 3:26 ) and so God gave his Son as a propitiation for our sins ( Romans 3:25 ; Colossians 1:20 ; 1 Jon 2:2 ; 1 Jon 4:10 ). The point made by Paul here is that God needs no reconciliation, but is engaged in the great business of reconciling us to himself. This has to be done on God's terms and is made possible through (dia) Christ. And gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation (kai dontos hmin tn diakonian ts katallags\). It is a ministry marked by reconciliation, that consists in reconciliation. God has made possible through Christ our reconciliation to him, but in each case it has to be made effective by the attitude of each individual. The task of winning the unreconciled to God is committed to us. It is a high and holy one, but supremely difficult, because the offending party (the guilty) is the hardest to win over. We must be loyal to God and yet win sinful men to him.