The New Testament
Recovery Version Online

Table of Contents

2 Corinthians 5:20

20 On behalf of Christ then we are 1aambassadors, as God bentreats you through us; we beseech you on behalf of Christ, Be 2reconciled to God.

202 In the preceding verse it was the world that was reconciled to God; in this verse it is the believers, who have already been reconciled to God and are to be reconciled further to God. This clearly indicates that two steps are required for men to be fully reconciled to God. The first step is to reconcile sinners to God from sin. For this purpose Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3) that they might be forgiven by God. This is the objective aspect of Christ's death. In this aspect He bore our sins on the cross that they might be judged by God upon Him for us. The second step is to reconcile believers living in the natural life to God from the flesh. For this purpose Christ died for us — the persons — that we might live to Him in the resurrection life (vv. 14-15). This is the subjective aspect of Christ's death. In this aspect He was made sin for us to be judged and done away with by God that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. By the two aspects of His death He has fully reconciled God's chosen people to God. These two steps of reconciliation are clearly portrayed by the two veils of the tabernacle. The first veil is called "the screen" (Exo. 26:37, lit.). A sinner who was brought to God through the reconciliation of the propitiating blood entered into the Holy Place by passing this screen. This typifies the first step of reconciliation. The second veil (Exo. 26:31-35; Heb. 9:3) still separated him from God, who was in the Holy of Holies. This veil needed to be rent that the sinner might be brought to God in the Holy of Holies. This is the second step of reconciliation. The Corinthian believers had been reconciled to God, having passed through the first veil and having entered into the Holy Place. Yet they still lived in the flesh. They needed to pass the second veil, which had been rent already (Matt. 27:51; Heb. 10:20), to enter into the Holy of Holies to live with God in their spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). The goal of this Epistle was to bring them there that they might be persons in the spirit (1 Cor. 2:15), in the Holy of Holies. This was what the apostle meant by saying, "Be reconciled to God." This was to present them full-grown in Christ (Col. 1:28).