Another King James Bible Believer

The Doctrine of Reconciliation - “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself” - 2 Corinthians 5:19


 

The Doctrine of Reconciliation - “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself” - 2 Corinthians 5:19



I have actually had some “free will” Arminians show me this verse in their attempt to “prove” that the doctrines of God’s electing grace are not true.


They say things like: “See, Christ died for everybody and he offers reconciliation to anybody who will just choose to accept him and believe in him.”


Far from denying the doctrine of God’s electing grace to salvation, the doctrine of Reconciliation, as laid out for us in God’s Book, PROVES it when we look at the verses that deal with this doctrine and are rightly understood.


I am convinced that unless God opens our eyes and gives us understanding, we are as blind as earth worms.


It is like when the Lord Jesus told his disciples very plainly on three different occasions that “The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall rise again.” (Compare Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23 and 20:17-20) yet they did not understand what he was clearly saying to them.


Even after he gave them strong exhortations to pay attention to what he said, they still didn’t “get it”.


“Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.  


“BUT THEY UNDERSTOOD NOT THIS SAYING, AND IT WAS HID FROM THEM, THAT THEY PERCEIVED IT NOT: and they feared to ask him of that saying.”  Luke 9:44-45


Let’s first take a look at the passage in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and see if the “Christ died for everybody and offers us reconciliation, but it’s up to you to choose to accept it” belief fits what the Scriptures actually SAY or not.  


Then we will look at the other passages that deal with the doctrine of Reconciliation.


2 Corinthians 5:17-21 King James Bible.


17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.


18 And ALL THINGS ARE OF GOD, WHO HATH RECONCILED US TO HIMSELF BY JESUS CHRIST, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;


19 To wit, that God was in Christ, RECONCILING THE WORLD unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.


20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, BE YE RECONCILED TO GOD.


21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


IF the “free will” Arminian is consistent on how he usually interprets the word “the world” as meaning “every individual without exception” then we can only conclude that everybody HAS BEEN RECONCILED to God and they didn’t even have to “make a decision to accept Christ” for this to happen.  


That is the false teaching called Universal Salvation - everybody gets saved - and this is definitely not what the Bible teaches.


The verse is in a past tense. God WAS (not “is”) in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.”


And verse 21 (which I think is one of the most amazing and precious verses in the whole Bible) is again in the past tense.


“For he HATH MADE  him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


It was at the cross of Calvary where the great legal transaction took place, and Christ bore the sins of his people and paid for them with his own blood. 


A phrase that I believe is generally misunderstood by many Christians is “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, BE YE RECONCILED TO GOD.”


21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


This is a rare passive command. “Be ye reconciled to God.” It does NOT say “reconcile yourselves to God” but “Be ye reconciled to God.”  It is in the “passive voice” both in Greek and in English. The idea is “Let this happen to you.”


It is the message we preach and those that have ears to hear will hear it. And only God’s people have ears to hear.  See John 8:47 and 10:26


He is exhorting us to trust in what God has already done for us at the cross.  Christ has finished the work of redemption and forgiven us of our sins. Receive it, be assured that this is true and rest in it.



Verse 18 is also in the past tense. It says: “And all things are of God, who HATH RECONCILED US  to himself by Jesus Christ”


It does not say “has provided for the possibility of being reconciled” or “hopes to reconcile” or even “tries to reconcile” but HATH RECONCILED US TO HIMSELF BY JESUS CHRIST.”


And it was then, during those 6 hours of suffering on the cross, that our sins were transferred to him, and his perfect righteousness was given to us, his people.


Another thing to notice is that little word “might” that is used in the phrase “that we MIGHT be made the righteousness of God in him.” 


This verb is in the subjunctive mood in both the English and the Greek. It does NOT mean “maybe” or “perhaps”, as it "It might rain today." - maybe it will, maybe it won't.  But rather it expresses the idea that someone did something in order to achieve a particular purpose.

 

It means "SO THAT" or "FOR THE PURPOSE THAT".

 

As in “I refused a party invitation so that I might spend Sunday with you.”  See the MacMillan Dictionary of the English Language.

 

Or as the Bible frequently uses this little word to express THE PURPOSE for which something is done  -

 

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it MIGHT be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."  Matthew 1:21-13.

 

“Therefore it is of faith, that it MIGHT be by grace; to the end the promise MIGHT be sure to all the seed” Romans 4:16 and Romans 5:20 “Moreover the law entered, that the offense MIGHT abound.”

 

2 Corinthians 8:9 “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty MIGHT be rich. “ or Galatians 1:4 “Who gave himself for our sins, that he MIGHT deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”

 

"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I MIGHT take it again."  John 10:17

 


The other word the “free will”, “everybody can be saved if they choose to accept” Christian fails to understand correctly is the word “the world”.


If this word always or even usually means “everybody without exception” then the Bible itself becomes absurd.  See many examples of this in my article on John 3:16 and how the expression “the world” is used.


http://brandplucked.webs.com/john316.htm


The word “the world” has at least 4 different meanings in Scripture.

 

The most common meaning is “the physical earth”.


The second meaning is “a whole lot of people, but not every individual”.


The third use of this word is often used to refer to “those who are hostile towards God and his people”


And the fourth meaning of “the world" is to denote the Gentile nations in contrast to the Jewish nation. 


"I say then, Have they (the Jews) stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them (the Jews) be the riches of the WORLD (the Gentiles), and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness. For if the casting away of them (the Jews) be THE RECONCILING OF THE WORLD (the Gentiles), what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead." Romans 11:11,12, 15.


Again it should be noted that not every individual Jew fell; many believed. And not every individual of the "world", the Gentiles, was reconciled either; most were not. 


The word "world" signifies a general category of men, not every individual within that category. The same is true of the word Israel. 


"For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel...That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." Romans 9:6-8.


Let’s look at the other New Testament passages that deal with the doctrine of Reconciliation and find out WHEN it happened AND FOR WHOM.


Paul is obviously writing to Christians in the book of Romans  5:10 where he says: “ For if, when we were enemies, WE WERE RECONCILED TO GOD BY THE DEATH OF HIS SON, much more, BEING RECONCILED, we shall be saved by his life.”


HOW and WHEN were we reconciled to God? It was by the death of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  And this verse is as true for us today, who weren’t even born yet, as it was for those first century Christians.


In Ephesians 2:13-18 we again read of the Reconciliation Christ accomplished at the cross for his people.


13 “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off ARE MADE NIGH by the blood of Christ.


14 For he is our peace, who HATH MADE both one, and HATH BROKEN DOWN the middle wall of partition between us;


15 HAVING ABOLISHED in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;


16 And THAT HE MIGHT RECONCILE  BOTH (Jew and Gentile - but not EVERY Jew and Gentile)  unto God in one body by the cross, HAVING SLAIN the enmity thereby:


17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.


18 For through him we BOTH (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”


Once again, that little word “might” in verse 16 - “that he MIGHT reconcile both unto God” - expresses THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH something was done. Not that it may or may not happen.


And when did this reconciliation take place? It was AT THE CROSS.  


Everything God did for his people to redeem us was done at the cross by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.


In Colossians  1:20-22 the time, place and manner in which God reconciled us are very clearly stated.


Here we read:


20 “And, HAVING MADE PEACE THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS, by him TO RECONCILE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  (The physical creation was also redeemed too - See Romans 8:20-22)


21 AND YOU, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, YET NOW HATH HE RECONCILED


22 IN THE BODY OF HIS FLESH THROUGH DEATH, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight”


Is there anything in all these verses about YOUR part that YOU must do in order to be reconciled to God? Anything at all about your “decision to accept Christ” or even your “faith”?


No. God did it all at the cross for his people. He laid down his life for the sheep. (John 10:15) He loved the church and gave himself for it. (Ephesians 5:25) He gave his life as a ransom for many, (Matthew 20:28) and “for the transgression of my people was he stricken” (Isaiah 53:8)


“and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) and that is exactly what he did at the cross when he RECONCILED us to God in the body of his flesh through death.


And those of us reading these words today were not even born yet.  But we were chosen by God IN Christ before the foundation of the world, and we were IN Christ when he died, and were QUICKENED TOGETHER WITH CHRIST, and RAISED UP TOGETHER with him, and are now seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-10)


The blood of Jesus has redeemed, not just the elect Jews, but God “did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name” (Acts 15:14) 


The Lamb of God has “redeemed us to God by his blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” - in other words - “the world”


That is how the Bible uses the word “the world”, and it tells us when this reconciliation took place. It is not an “offer” of reconciliation if you only choose to accept it. 


It is an accomplished redemption that God DID in Christ for his elect people at the cross of Calvary.


Later on, after we are born here on this earth, when we hear the gospel that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead, if we are among those God has chosen, he then gives us both repentance and the faith to believe what he has already done for us in Christ.


The last verse that has the word “reconciliation” in it is found in the book of Hebrews 2:16-17 and we see that Jesus made reconciliation for a specific group of people referred to as “the seed of Abraham” and “his brethren”.


 16. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him THE SEED OF ABRAHAM.


17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto HIS BRETHREN, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of THE PEOPLE.” (the seed of Abraham and his brethren)


Abraham is the father of the promised seed, and of all believers. (Romans 4:11, 12 and 16)


“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be SURE TO ALL THE SEED; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16)


Romans 9:6-8


Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:


Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.


That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but THE CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE ARE COUNTED FOR THE SEED.”


The fundamental errors of those who believe “I chose of my own free will to believe and accept Christ” are:


#1. There is NO verse in the entire Bible that teaches this.

 

See "Did you choose God or did He choose you?"

http://brandplucked.webs.com/godchoseyou.htm 


#2. The “free willer”, if he follows through on the logic of his thinking, does NOT believe that ANYBODY was actually and in fact redeemed or reconciled to God by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.


In their view, Jesus Christ made redemption and reconciliation only “POTENTIAL” or “possible”. They think there is something missing for it to actually take effect, and that is “their faith” or their free will choice to “accept it”.


That is what they think is the missing ingredient for anything Christ did at the cross to have any benefit to anyone.


Yet not one verse of the Scriptures we just looked at says anything at all about the necessity of their “decision to accept Christ” in order to make these things true and effectual. 


# 3. Whether the “free will” thinker realizes it or not, he is in a very real way calling Jesus Christ a Liar and a Failure.


Why is this so?  Simply because if any single individual Christ came to redeem and reconcile and cause to be born again is lost because he “refused to believe”, or “did not accept” or “would not” come, then Jesus Christ lied when he made the following statements:


“ALL that the Father giveth me SHALL COME TO ME; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  (John 6:37)


“For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them; EVEN SO THE SON QUICKENETH WHOM HE WILL.” (John 5:21)


“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM.” (John 17:2)


If someone whom the Father HAS GIVEN to the Son, and whom the Son WILLS TO QUICKEN, and is among the ALL that the Father gives to the Son who WILL COME, is in any way capable of “rejecting the offer” or “does not accept” or “will not come”, then there are only two possibilities. 


The person who refuses to believe and does not “accept” was NOT among those whom the Father HAD GIVEN to the Son to give eternal life to, and they were not among those the Son WILLED TO QUICKEN, nor among the ALL that the Father gives to the Son who WILL COME, but instead were NOT chosen by God and NOT among those whom Christ died for.


OR… Jesus Christ flat out LIED TO US when he said these things.


Are you willing to go that far with your Free Will Fantasy beliefs?  Or will you bow before the Sovereign God who “predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good purpose of HIS WILL.”?  (Ephesians 1:4-6) 


The one objection to all these doctrines of God’s electing grace I hear over and over again from the “Free Will” club is: “Yes, but we’ve got to BELIEVE. THAT’S what makes the difference.”


So I always ask them to please read the article “Why do some believe the gospel and others do not?”, which proves from the Scriptures that God both blinds the eyes and hardens the hearts of some so that they CANNOT believe, and he gives both Repentance and Faith to his people. 


I have now had several of them come right out and tell me: “I’m not gonna read your stupid article. I already know what I believe.”


This reminds me of an old joke a Baptist preacher once told me. He said: “You can always tell a Baptist.  Just not very much.” ;-)


For those who ARE willing to read it, here is “Why do some believe the gospel and others do not?”


http://brandplucked.webs.com/originoffaith.htm


ALL of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible,


Will Kinney