Reconciliation as a general word has to do with two parties that were at odds brought back together again. In the world, to parties are reconciled on the basis of compromise; each side giving in a little. Not so with God. His heart has always been towards man, but not so our hearts toward Him. We were alienated from God, and enemies toward Him. There was an incredible distance between us. But in reconciliation, God brings the sinner to Himself (100% one direction). Reconciliation is always connected with joy. Justification gives us peace (Rom. 5:1) but reconciliation gives us the joy of our salvation (Rom. 5:11). Reconciliation takes us deeper into the positive truths of the gospel than forgiveness, justification, or even redemption, because it brings us right into God’s presence in perfect joy and happiness.
Reconciliation comes in two phases:
- First, the reconciliation of persons (Rom. 5:11, 2 Cor. 5:18). This is an ongoing work through the Gospel of God’s grace.
- Second, the reconciliation of all things (Col. 1:20). This will occur when the new heavens and earth are formed, and all things in the Eternal State are according to God’s mind.
Justification and Reconciliation:
- Justification has to do with a change of thinking in God’s mind. God reckons the believer as righteous.
- Reconciliation has to do with a change of thinking in the believer’s mind. The sinner’s thoughts of enmity toward God are replaced with a believer’s rejoicing in God.