The word reconciled (Gr. Katallassō) means “to exchange,” and hence to change the relation of unfriendly parties into a peaceful relationship. The Bible tells us that sin had separated man from God (Isaiah 59:2). And it caused his heart to be at rebellion with the principles of God’s law (Romans 1:18 – 3:20; 8:7). Adam’s sin stained the divine image in man (Romans 5:12). And ever since man’s fall, all of Adam’s offspring have continued to fall short of the glory of God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The plan of salvation
God’s plan of salvation for man’s reconciliation was initiated back in eternity, even before man sinned (Revelation 13:8). In the case of sin, God planned to offer His Son that the evil rebellious humans might be reconciled. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Salvation and glory were made available to all those that accept God’s free gift of love. “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10).
Thus, in the hope of the atoning sacrifice, it was possible for Abraham’s faith to be counted for him for righteousness (Romans 4:3). And it was possible for him to be God’s friend (James 2:23) before Christ actually died on the cross.
Christ the mediator between God and man
By His death, Christ made it possible for the Father to do for humans what He otherwise could not have done (Romans 3:25, 26). By bearing the penalty of sin Jesus provided a path by which humans might be reconciled to God’s peace. They were brought back to their original state of perfection. And if it wasn’t for the death of Christ, all people would have reaped the deadly consequences of sin and rebellion in the Day of Judgement under the wrath of God (Romans 2:5; 3:5; 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10).
The enmity was only from man’s side (Colossians 1:21). Though God hates sin, His love for His lost children is even greater, and He has done everything in His power to bring about the reconciliation. Christ did not die to win God’s love for mankind, but to win mankind back to His Father (Romans 5:8). Thus, it is God who, in His great love, started the reconciliation. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20).
In His service,