2 Corinthians 5:18-21
And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;…
I. PREMISE THREE THINGS IN GENERAL.
1. That to reconcile is to bring into favour and friendship after some breach made and offence taken (Luke 23. 12; Matthew 5:23, 24)
2. That the reconciliation is mutual; God is reconciled to us, and we to God. The alienation was mutual, and therefore the reconciliation must be so. The Scripture speaketh not only of an enmity and hatred on man's part (Romans 5:10), but also of wrath on God's part, not only against sin, but the sinner (Ephesians 2:3; Psalm 7:11).
3. That reconciliation is sometimes ascribed to God, to Christ, and to believers.
(1) To God the Father, as in the text and ver. 18, and Colossians 1:20.
(2) To Christ (Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:21).
(3) To believers (2 Corinthians 5:20).
II. MORE PARTICULARLY NOTE THREE THINGS.
1. The foregoing breach.
(1) God and man were once near friends (Genesis 1:26, 27.)(2) Man got out of God's favour by conspiring with God's grand enemy.
(3) Man fallen drew all his posterity along with him; for God dealt not with him as a single, but as a public person (Romans 5:13; 1 Corinthians 15:47).
(4) The condition of every man by nature is to be a stranger and an enemy to God (Colossians 1:21; Romans 8:7).
2. The nature of this reconciliation.
(1) As the enmity is mutual, so is the reconciliation; God is reconciled to us, and we to God. His justice is satisfied in Christ, and He is willing to forgive. Our wicked disposition, too, is done away, and our hearts are converted and turned to the Lord. God offereth pardon, and requireth repentance. When we accept the offer, and submit to the conditions, and give the hand to the Lord, to walk with Him in obedience, then are we reconciled.
(2) This reconciliation is as firm and strong as our estate in innocency, and in some considerations better (Isaiah 57:4). A bone well set is strongest where broken.
(3) This active reconciliation draweth many blessings along with it.
(a) Peace with God (Romans 5:1).
(b) Access to God with boldness and free trade into heaven (Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18). When peace is made between two warring nations, trade revives.
(c) Acceptance both of our persons and performances (Ephesians 1:6).
(d) All the graces of the Spirit.
(e) The sanctification of all outward blessings (1 Corinthians 3:23; Romans 8:28).
(f) A pledge of heaven (Romans 5:10).
3. How far Christ is concerned in it, and why.
(1) God was resolved to lose no honour by the fall of man, but to keep up a sense of —
(a) His justice.
(b) His holiness.
(c) His truth.
(2) Christ was a fit Mediator.
(a) Because of His mutual interest in God and us (Job 9:33). He is beloved of the Father, and hath a brotherly compassion to us.
(b) He is able to satisfy.
(T. Manton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;