Answers to Questions from the Bible Treasury Volume 13.

Reconciling — 2 Corinthians 5:19

Bible Treasury Volume 13, p. 32. February 1880.

Q, 2 Corinthians 5:19. What would have happened if men had received the Christ of God? We see Him forgiving governmentally, as in Matthew 9. W.

A. The blessed Saviour was "reconciling," acting toward this gracious end, during His life. "God was in Christ," etc. He was rejected. God knew that redemption by His blood was necessary to reconcile; so that in reality He was made sin in order to put the ministry of reconciliation in the apostles. And when it is said, "God was in Christ reconciling," it is a question, not of the basis necessary for giving effect (which is the thing treated in the verse but one following, 21), but of the ways of God with regard to man by Christ during His life.  If Christ had been received, the result would have proved that evil was reparable. Now we know that the truth is quite otherwise. But God presented the thing to the responsibility of man before manifesting this moral impossibility. Though He called to it, He was calling them according to the knowledge He had Himself of that which He was going to do. "What shall I do? I will send my beloved Son. It may be they will reverence him, when they see him." There is what was presented to man. The object of faith is the person of Christ. Believing in Him one enjoyed the efficacy of His death, during His life true to Him in ignorance, later on with intelligence.

There is a governmental pardon, which could not be save in virtue of expiation, it is true, but which is notwithstanding another thing. Besides, the pardon accorded in detail in view of the offering of Christ was according fully during His life here below in view of the ways of God in grace. The effect was shown, the case occurring, by a healing as proof. But grace at all times has its application in view of the work of Christ. (See Romans 3:25-26.)