Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.


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Theological Term of the Week

The restoration of peaceful relations between parties who are in conflict with each other. Used in regards to of the work of Christ on the cross, it points to the removal God’s enmity toward the sinner and the sinner’s enmity toward God and the establishment of blessed and abundant fellowship through the death of Christ

  • From scripture:
    All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ESV)
  • From The 1689 London Baptist Confession, Chapter 8, Of Christ the Mediator:

    The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of God, procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him.

  • From The Atonement: It’s Meaning and Significance by Leon Morris:
    There is never the slightest hint in the New Testament that reconciliation can be brought about by what we do. We created the barrier that separates us from God (and from one another), but we cannot break it down. There are theologians who stress the element of human responsibility in such a way as to indicate that man brought about the alienation from God and that man can and should end it. On this view God’s attitude was always the same. He has always loved us and he is simply waiting for us to return to him. As soon as we do, reconciliation is effected.

    But this is not what the New Testament is saying. The New Testament insists that something must be done about sin. It is not possible simply to ignore it, to count it as something that never happened. It did happen. Its results are with us. It has established a continuing enmity. For reconciliation to take place that enmity must be dealt with. And Paul emphasizes that this is what Christ did. Under this figure it is not said how the death of Christ put away sin, but it is said emphatically that is does. In redemption this is seen by way of paying the price, in justification by the bearing of penalty, and so on. There is no equivalent in reconciliation. But this way of looking at the atonement takes it that whatever had to be done was done. The important thing was the removal of the cause of the enmity and when Christ died on the cross he removed it.

    This is something that he alone could do. Man is so immersed in sin that he does not even make the motion of wanting to leave it, let alone to do away with it. And even if he wanted to it is so big a task that it is more than he can accomplish. It is beyond him. But it is not beyond Christ. It is the measure of his greatness that he was able to accomplish this great task and he did. ‘He is our peace.’

Learn more:

  1. What Is Christian Reconciliation? Why Do We Need to Be Reconciled to God?
  2. John Gill: Of Propitation, Atonement, and Reconciliation, as Ascribed to Christ
  3. Herman Ridderbos: Reconciliation

1 The Atonement: It’s Meaning and Significance, Leon Morris, pages 148-149.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order

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Reader Comments (1)

What a wonderful theological term that is! : D THerein lies our assurance!

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim from Hiraeth

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