Monday, March 22, 2010

God Conciliates the World to Himself

A couple of months ago, I was studying and pondering 2 Corinthians 5:18-20:

“Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation, how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of conciliation. For Christ, then, are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us. We are beseeching for Christ’s sake, ‘Be conciliated to God!’”

I was pursuing serious study in the word “conciliates” using the my Concordant Literal New Testament Concordance and the online Blue Letter Bible. In study, I learned that in verse 18, where it states “God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ”, the word “conciliates” is in the active Greek voice.
(Right now, I will quickly and humbly confess that I am no Greek scholar. My understanding of the Greek language is minuscule. However, using the CLNT Concordance and the Blue Letter Bible, any person can learn a few little things to help them with their understanding of the Scriptures.)
So, in looking up the Greek tense of the word “conciliates” in verse 18, I learned the following about the usage of the word in that particular instance:
In verse 18, “conciliates” functions as a Greek verb in the Aorist tense and the Active voice.
The Aorist tense just means that the verb is having an action without regard for it being in the past, present, or future. There is no perfect English equivalent tense for this Greek Aorist tense, but it is usually rendered in English translating as past tense.
The Active voice says that the verb is actively performed by the subject doing this verb. In other words, God actively “conciliates us to Himself through Christ”. He is the doer of conciliating us to Himself. Blue Letter Bible uses the example of “The boy hit the ball” which shows the boy performing the action of hitting the ball.
So far, we have the understanding that God conciliates us to Himself through Christ Jesus without the action being bound to past, present, or future and that He actively has done it and does it.
Here is where it became really interesting to me. When I looked up “conciliated” in verse 20 where it says, “Be conciliated to God!”, I discovered something fantastic. The “conciliated” word in that verse is in the Passive Greek voice. This means that the subject does not perform the action, the action is done to the subject. We are the recipients of God’s conciliation; we are not the doers of it. The actions of God have had an impact on the world, and the world had nothing to do with it. Blue Letter Bible uses the following example: “The boy was hit by the ball.” The boy had no participation in the ball being hit by another force and consequently it hitting him. The boy was a bystander and the ball hit him. So it is with God’s conciliation of the world.
I see the words “Be conciliated to God!” saying something like, “Hey! Realize God is at peace with you. It’s already done. Be aware of it, live at peace with Him, and be freed by it.”

Related Post:
God Has Conciliated the World To Himself

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