What Is Reconciliation? How Does The Bible Define It?

What Is Reconciliation? How Does The Bible Define It? April 16, 2015

All of us have been through times where we had a disagreement with someone. In many cases we are able to resolve our differences and continue with a normal relationship. In others, we made the best of the situation and tried to forget about it. However, sometimes the disagreement was never resolved and everyone involved went their separate ways being bitter and without reconciling their differences. For this reason, we will look at what is reconciliation and how does the Bible define it?

What is reconciliation? 

The common definition of reconciliation as it relates to relationships is (1): 1. The restoration of friendly relations. 2. The action of making one view or belief compatible with another.

We see from this definition that the words restoration and compatible are part of reconciliation. However, the root of reconciliation is the word conciliation, which is the action of stopping someone from being angry. When we have reconciliation, it means that we restore our relationship to one that enables us to be compatible and friendly with one another again.

How does the Bible define reconciliation? 

In the Old Testament the word reconciliation is the Hebrew word kapar, pronounced kaw-far’. This is one of the most theologically significant words in the Bible. In addition to reconciliation, kapar is also translated into English words such as forgive, purge away, and merciful as well as a few others. By far, the most commonly translated word for kapar is the English word atonement.

When the word atonement is broken down to its historical parts (a-tone-ment) it means a condition without tension. When Christ died on the cross for us, He removed the tension between us and God (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.) His shed blood, reconciled the conflict between us and the Father. With this in mind, reconciliation has its Biblical foundation in the atonement of Christ.

What does the Bible teach us about reconciliation? 

The first thing the Bible teaches about reconciliation is that we must make it a priority to reconcile. This is stressed in Matthew 5:21-25 where we are told that if we have an unresolved disagreement with someone that we should resolve it as soon as possible, even before we go to church again. This is reinforced in Hosea 6:6, Matthew 6:6, and Matthew 12:7 where Jesus told us that restoring relationships are more important than religious practices.

The second thing the Bible teaches about reconciliation is that if we are approaching someone about a situation, we should do it in a spirit of meekness and keep it private (Matthew 18:15). The goal is to communicate that you want to resolve the problem, not make the other person look bad or put them in their place. When we take this approach, it communicates grace and love to the other person. This is reinforced in Proverbs 10:12, Galatians 6:1-5, and Ephesians 4:1-3, 25, 29-31 where we are told that love should be our motivation for reconciliation.

Finally, the Bible teaches us that reconciliation means that we must be willing to ask for forgiveness and forgive if asked (Matthew 18:21-35). The very term forgive is a word that was made up of the words force and giving. Together, they describe forgiveness as the process whereby the offended party “gives” up the right to “enforce” justice. Therefore, forgiveness involves a two-way transaction: the humbling and asking for forgiveness by the offender and the release of the right of the offended to enforce justice.

How should I make reconciliation with someone? 

Practically speaking, a person in the wrong should humble themself and confess to the other person that they have sinned against them. They should then ask for forgiveness for what they have done. The other person should grant forgiveness based on the fact that the person confessed their sin and asked for forgiveness. This is what Proverbs 10:12 means when it says: “Hatred stirreth up strife, but love covereth all sins.” Love enables us to forgive all sins!

Unfortunately, many people today do not follow this Biblical model. Instead, they just tell the other person they are sorry and move on. Apologizing is not part of the Biblical reconciliation process. This is because the original meaning of the word apology (apo-logy), means without the Word. An apology does not involve a two-way transaction and does not acknowledge guilt. Therefore, if someone does not want to Biblically resolve an issue, then the process given in Matthew 18:15-20 should be followed.

An example that I often use to demonstrate the use of forgiveness is as follows. Imagine that I borrow your truck and am driving it down the road and someone runs a red light and hits me in your truck. I am not found to be at fault so then I have done nothing wrong. Biblically, the situation should be handled “without the Word.” I have not sinned against you nor anyone else so an apology would be appropriate.

On the other hand, if I was the one who ran the red light, then I am guilty of sinning against you and the other driver by my actions. Biblically and legally you have a right to expect justice and restoration of your truck. Since I sinned, I need to confess my sin to you and ask for your forgiveness. Since sin is involved, an apology would be inappropriate.

Now for the hard part. Let’s say that I did $5000 damage to your truck. If you forgave me, do I have to pay for your truck? The answer is found in the following verses:

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-12)

Remember, reconciliation has its Biblical foundation in the atonement of Christ. When Christ forgives us, are we still accountable for our sin? No, our sins are forgiven, our debt is paid by the atoning blood of Christ! So, if I wrecked your truck and you really forgave me, you cannot hold me accountable for paying for your truck! Likewise, you are not allowed to bring it up again. This is because once sin is forgiven, it should be remembered no more (Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:16-18).

However, because of your grace to grant forgiveness, I should be motivated by your love to do everything in my power to get your truck repaired out of love, not obligation. It is the same way with Christ, because He demonstrated His love for us while we were yet sinners we should want to have reconciliation with others out of appreciation for what He has done (Romans 5:8-9; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 5:21; 1 John 4:19).

Conclusion 

Reconciliation is the process of restoring a relationship to one that is friendly and compatible with each other. God values the reconciliation of relationships more than religious practices. For this reason reconciliation should be a high priority and done in private with an attitude of humility and love. The person who has sinned should confess their sin and ask for forgiveness from the other person. Once forgiveness is granted and reconciliation is completed, the sin is no longer allowed to be brought up. Our motivation to reconcile with someone should be because of our love for Christ because of the reconciliation He gave us with God by His death on the cross.

Article by Dr. Michael L. Williams

Is Soul Sleep Biblical

Dr. Michael L. Williams is a pastor, author, Christian educator and Biblical counselor who has served in ministry since March of 2000. Dr. Mike holds under-graduate through post graduate degrees in Christian Education and formerly worked as a nurse. Dr. Mike is the Senior Pastor of Selah Mountain Ministries, which he founded in March of 2010 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA (selahmountain.org). In addition to counseling, he teaches how to overcome life issues Biblically on topics such as anger management, marriage, addictions, and other subjects typically referred to as mental illnesses. Dr. Mike is also a writer at What Christians Want To Know. Dr. Mike lives with his wife Pamela Rose and adult daughter Hollie Rose. He and Pamela have other adult children and several grandchildren as well. Learn more about Dr. Mike at his personal ministry web site Wisdom4Today

Resources – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version. (1) Google. (2015). “Reconciliation”. Retrieved from Google, https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=reconciliation

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  • Brian weza

    I love the definition of reconciliation and how to go about it, God help me to put it into practice.

  • You are not interpreting this notion properly.

    Respectfully,

    There are multiple levels of understanding in all things. There are at least three levels, at a minimum, but could be ten or twelve. The numbers of levels depending directly proportionally on your level of understanding.

    The idea of reconciling with another individual is an understanding in itself. To find understanding is a wonderful thing, but one would hope that you wouldn’t let your relationship with others get to a point that it needed true “reconciling”.

    The acme of cosmic law across the universe, is the balance that is required to bring the system into equallibrium. Absolutely every thing in the cosmos from quantum physics to quantum mechanics lies under the umbrella of this law of laws.

    Newton told us about it with his maxim,,”for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and his understanding of, “what goes up, must come down”.

    Thoth gave us his understanding in, “As above, so below”.

    The Freemasons call it ” equallibrium”

    The Yin and Yang is bound to all things. It is inescapable. There a is a reason the Yin and Yang is spinning. It is in motion always.

    The biblical definition of “reconciliation” is about reconciling your self the Old Man. You are reconciling to the cosmos. You are reconciling your self against your self.

    You come in with nothing, you go out with nothing, or you have moved your karmic account in to the positive by essentially paying it forward.

    It is about you paying for your malevolence against the cosmos. You have to pay for your own “sins”.

    The old testament does not mention the word “forgiveness” one time. But the book of Revelation does tells us that we are judged by our good works, but does not say the word forgiveness. In Rev. Chapter 20, when the dead are gathered and the book of life is opened, there is a second book. The dead gathered each have their own book. This is their Akashic record. This is their karmic account. They are being judged by their good works. The church would have you think this will come to pass at the end of time. It comes to pass every time you move through the bright light.

    This is on judgment day, and the council made you think this as a one time deal. It is once, per trip through. You are judged every time you move thought the bright light.

    There is no “forgiveness”. You must pay for your lack of understanding. You must pay for your “sins”, but there really isn’t sin. There is no straight line in the premier statute of the entire cosmos.

    That line between the light and dark is curved for a reason.

    If you step just a short way then you will have to recompense that amount back to the OldMan. If you created a lot of malevolence, you should expect to have to remit that same amount.

    The greater your understanding of this notion will ease the amount of reconciliation you must make.

    Understanding the bible is full of allegory and metaphor, there are places in the old testament that show us individuals that have true understanding, and forgiveness is nothing more than a notion the council invented to try to lure “customers” away from Buddhism and the other dogmas. The new testament was a composition of the council where they insert the idea.

    The idea that Jesus “died” to atone for our sins is just another concept to increase “sales” and really doesn’t make much sense, that Christians are free to run roughshod over the kingdom of God, bringing malevolence on whomever they wish is narcisstic at a minimum, and totally wrong.

    This is why the Jews do not use Jesus as a Christ. They atone to god their own selves. They have understanding about the notion.

    The council failed to understand, and because their motive was to bring lambs into the fold to fill the coffers of the church.

    The reason that Enoch was escorted from the building is that Enoch told the truth of the matter, but it took the church 700 years to figured that out and rip his text out. Enoch discusses reincarnation, atonement, the true notion of “hell” as a place on earth. He also tells us precisely who brings the darkness that will be the fourth and final battle of good and evil, the Armageddon, as well as telling us the precise location it takes place.

    It is virtually impossible to find understanding in the bible without these omitted sections. But its plain to see that Constantine and the council took liberties to offer a better product than the competition.

    Why would you want to have go through the suffering, and the ordeal of transmigration, and rebirth?

    They came up with snake oil, and sold that.

    Its so much easier in our church, we can sign you up for our new forgiveness plan, and our man Jesus will take the burden of your transgressions, and you can eliminate all the trips through the grinder. We can get you to heaven in one easy trip, on our forgiveness plan, which sells for the low low price of 10% of everything you have.

    Before the council, there were no churches, there were temples. There were no pews. There were no collection plates. There was an offering box. They took what was a very personal spirituality and created a big circus for their own end.

    The council brought everyone in together to create a psychological competition by passing the open collection plate down the rows. They guilted the lambs. One wouldn’t want to be seen not making an offering. But there are those who derived their validation by conspicuously offering the most. The church used our primal instinct to compete, against us all. They created a competition. For their personal enrichment, which is another misunderstanding of the council.

    It states clearly that anyone that changes the texts will be stricken from the book of life, in Revelation.

    In Rev.13, the seven headed beast, is an metaphor for an individual that possesses understanding. He has seven divine heads. Seven brains of understanding. That one has a fatal wound that has healed, is allegory for an Angel.

    The “beast” is because he was a “son of Seth” or Ben Elohim”. He was a nephilim. The definition of “Nephilim” is not “giant”. It is “man of renown”.

    Being a beast does not make him malevolent. In fact, “the whole world marveled and wondered after the beast” Rev13:3

    The thing is the council, in the interest of sales and profit margins, changed to texts to replace atonement with the fictional “forgiveness”.

    This is because the truth is the church sought to insert themselves as middlemen in our spirituality. And they came up with Jesus the patsy, who for a fee, would assume your sins.

    The notion that your sins can be transfered to any other person or entity at all is wrong, but the church had no interest in the truth. Or Enoch would still be there, because the bible cannot be understood without his text.

    The Jews understood the notion and continue to have an annual day of attonement., in yom Kippur. They atone themselves to god.

    The idea they sought to eliminate is that you must pay for your own transgressions. That one must make his own account square with the cosmos. You absolutely can not transfer your bad deeds to another.

    There is the reason that the true understanding of “reconciling” is not understood by the Church. They eliminated it in favor of the false concept of “forgiveness” at the expense of those that bought into the plan. They sold a concept that caused people to think that they would be forgiven and the poor saps that bought it would go out and dig them selves into a pit of karmic debt that they can not climb out of.

    In actuality, ascending isn’t even about religion, it is about understanding. The true meaning of life is to find understanding, which is the same concept as “enlightenment”.

    Once you have understanding, and your Akashic record is reflecting of the fact that you have reconciled or better, moving your account forward of the balance, you then qualify to go to heaven.

    Thank for your time, and I hope you find understanding.

  • Jack Wellman

    Well done my friend. Exactly what I needed to know more about. Thank you Dr. Williams.

  • For reconciliation between two parties to occure requires more than forgiveness (e.g. repentance by the offender and the desire for reconciliation). For reconciliation between God and a human sinner, the issue of God not condoning sin has to be dealt with. I present a more thorough-going logic of reconciliation in my free book “Achieving Atonement” available online, e.g. from Academia.edu
    at https://www.academia.edu/36826441/Achieving_Atonement.