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2 Corinthians 5:19; exactly who is Jesus Christ reconciling to Himself?

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2 Corinthians 5:19

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

To the novice, this looks and sounds like God sent His Son Jesus to die for all mankind, and in Him doing this, made the call of reconciliation to any and all without exception. But does it really say that? Let us take a closer examination of it and break it down.

Part  A of this verse states “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;”. If you stop right there, that sounds fine and dandy. But, let’s take a look at the Greek words used for “reconciling” and “imputing”.

καταλλάσσω(Greek word for reconciling)

katallassō G2644

1) to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value

a) to reconcile (those who are at variance)

b) return to favour with, be reconciled to one

c) to receive one into favour

Now, if God was in Jesus reconciling the world, the entire world of mankind, without exception, then you end up walking right into universalism. If God reconciled the whole world, then the whole world has returned to favour unto God. You have a bunch of “reconciled” sinners being cast headlong into hell, because the bible is crystal clear in stating that not all mankind will be saved.

Greek word used for imputing:

λογίζομαι G3049


1) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over

a) to take into account, to make an account of

1) metaph. to pass to one’s account, to impute

2) a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight

b) to number among, reckon with

c) to reckon or account

2) to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate

3) by reckoning up all the reasons, to gather or infer

a) to consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on

b) to suppose, deem, judge

c) to determine, purpose, decide

So, if God is not imputing the whole world’s sin unto them, then you have a bunch of sinners who have; A) Been reconciled to God via Jesus, and B) Sinners who die not having their sins imputed unto them. That is why I emphatically state that Christ did not die for everyone who ever was created in their mother’s womb, but only those whom were given to Christ by the Father.

Now, let’s look at “part B” of this verse:

“and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

Here you can see the word “us” inserted into the text. The “us” was the Corinthian church, or better yet, the body of believers, the Church, of which Christ is her Head, the sheep, the elect, etc. The “us” are the ones who receive the word of reconciliation, and not the whole world. Oddly enough(this also supports my claim, by the way), the Greek word for reconciliation used in this verse is:


katallagē G2643

1) exchange

a) of the business of money changers, exchanging equivalent values

2) adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favour

a) in the NT of the restoration of the favour of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ

So, again, if God used Jesus to reconcile the whole world unto Himself, Jesus rolled “snake eyes” on many, because many are on the strait and broad way that leads to destruction.

I’ll end this blog with this passage in John:

John 17

17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.



Now, before anyone says that Jesus was saying this in referring to His Disciples, look here


20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

We who have believed through the words they wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit were also included.

Willis Fletcher, Jr.


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