18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
Paul was still in the process of explaining his and his team’s integrity. Both their message and their lifestyle were consistent with God and His truth.
18 Now all things are of God,
God planned salvation, the Son executed it, and the Holy Spirit makes people aware of it. The entire work of salvation rests on God. Everything the Christian has is from God. Their new status before God is wholly of Him (2 Co 5:17).
The “all things” are the doctrines of this chapter. The love for Christ that motivated the team was one of those things (2 Co 5:14).
who has reconciled us to Himself
Reconciliation is the end of hostility between God and mankind. Sin created a fundamental hostility from God toward the sinner (Ro 5:9-11). Man ruptured his relationship with God, making him an enemy of God. Sin broke that relationship.
God’s reconciliation toward us must precede our reconciliation to Him. God had to remove the curse on sin first by the death of Christ.
We learn more about reconciliation in this passage than anywhere in the Bible. This section uses “reconciled” five times in three verses.
God removed enmity between Himself and mankind.
Reconciliation is the change of a relationship from hostility and breach of friendship to acceptance and friendship. Sin breached friendship with God. Reconciliation involves removing man’s enmity towards God.
Propitiation means that the cross satisfied the wrath of God against sin. Propitiation allowed God to reconcile with one who believes in the cross for salvation.
It is God who reconciles, but He shares the process with Christians. God both justified (Ro 5:1-9) and reconciled the believing sinner to Himself (Ro 5:10-11).