An improved relationship between individuals or groups who were previously estranged (Matt. 5: 24) and in particular the relationship created by Christ's work of redemption between God and mankind. It is God who effects this reconciliation (2 Cor. 5: 18) even when mankind was at enmity with God (Rom. 5: 10). The process included, above all, the death of Christ on the cross (Col. 1: 22), and the result is a peace with God (Eph. 2: 14) and the inauguration of a ‘new creation’ (2 Cor. 5: 17) of cosmic dimensions (Col. 1: 20).

A ministry of reconciliation is entrusted, so Paul believes, to himself (2 Cor. 5: 19); therefore he travels as an ambassador of Christ to ‘sell’ the gospel without charging fees (1 Cor. 9: 18).