Alienation and Reconciliation
Col. 1:21 – 23
Last week we talked about the Divine Pre-eminence of Christ, His superiority, supremacy, and incomparableness. The Epistle to the Colossians is the most Christ centered epistle in the New Testament. No other book is so concerned with the exaltation of Christ. One writer says that the theme of the Epistle is “Christ’s supremacy versus Heresy”. We would be talking today about the work He had done for us while we were yet sinners.
I. Alienation (v. 21) – the effect of the fall
A. Because of sin, man was separated from God. In consequence, man has to experience physical death and spiritual death (Mat. 7:23, Rev. 21:8).
B. Nature as well as the whole universe was affected by the fall of man. The once submissive animals are now wild and violent. (Rom. 8:19-22).
C. Angels also were affected by sin. When Satan sinned he took into himself vast number of angels. Therefore the heavens themselves were unclean in the sight of God.
D. The entire nature of man, mentally, morally, spiritually, and physically has been affected by sin.
1. The understanding is darkened, Eph. 4:18, 1 Cor. 2:14
2. The heart is deceitful and wicked. Jer. 17:9-10
3. The mind and conscience are defiled. Gen. 6:5, Titus 1:15
4. The flesh and the spirit are defiled. 2 Cor. 7:5
5. The will is weakened Rom. 7:18
6. We were utterly destitute of any godlike qualities. Rom. 7:18.
E. Man are now “alienated” or “estranged” or “separated” from the Holy God. Men were out of fellowship and intimacy with God. Unregenerate men are called children of the devil (Jn. 8:44).
F. The term “enemies in your mind by wicked works” means attitude of rebellion. People are at enmity or hostility with God because of their attitude and behaviour. Sin begins in the mind and then expresses its way by our works or deeds.
II. Reconciliation (v. 21 b) – the solution
A. Reconciliation is one of the 15 key words in the vocabulary of salvation. Conversion, redemption, regeneration, substitution, justification, propitiation etc., are just a few.
B. The basic meaning of reconciliation in the NT is to change from enmity (hostility) to that of friendship. (Eph. 2:16, Rom. 5:10)
C. The means of reconciliation:
1. The blood of His cross (v. 20).
2. In the body of His death through death (v. 21-22).
D. On the cross Christ tasted death and the far reaching result of His work is that eventually “all things” (v. 20) on earth and in heaven will be reconciled to God. By Christ’s sacrifice, peace has been made. The false teaching that Christ did not die physically on the cross is still popular today.
E. In spite of this, rebels remain. While grace and mercy now abounds, men and demons persist in refusing to acknowledge the divine authority of Jesus.
F. For the angels who rebelled, no pardon was declared. For sinful sons of Adam, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness is extended, and he who will put his trust in Christ will be reconciled to God. Rom. 5:1.
G. Reconciliation of “all things” heaven and earth is for the future. Verse 20, connects to the future in Rev. 21:3 where the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
H. Reconciliation is an act of love and grace. Good works can never reconcile us to God. Not on our morality or religiousness. We are reconciled to God because of what Christ did for us. (2 Cor. 5:17-21). Will you at this moment trust Christ’s death to reconcile you to God?
I. The word “all things” however, is wrongly used by false teachers who call themselves “Reconciliationists” or “Restitutionists”. They teach that Satan and the fallen angels will eventually be saved. The Bible however, does not teach universal reconciliation. Mat. 25:46, speaks of everlasting punishment for the wicked.
J. For the lost, no future reconciliation is mentioned in the Word of God. No new birth, no repentance, no saving faith in Hell. Not a drop of the living water will ever reach there to quench the spiritual thirst of the unsaved.
K. The aim of reconciliation in v. 22 is to present you holy. Jesus Christ presents us positionally perfect before God by His death. He will present us to God the Father in a way that is acceptable to Him.
L. Unblameable or Blameless does not mean “sinless”. No Christian is without fault. Blameless means not subject to judgment (Eph. 1:4, 5:27, Phil. 2:15, Jude 24). A child of God will never be charged because of Christ. We are unreproveable, in the sense that we are “unaccused” and therefore free from all charges. Satan accuses Christian (Rev. 12:10), but Christ is our lawyer (1 Jn. 2:1) before God. Because of the death of Christ, the believer is free from any charge that Satan may accuse him. (Rom. 8:33).
III. Steadfastness – our obligation (v. 23).
A. Steadfast means Firmness of standing; Firmness of mind or purpose; fixedness in principle. Immovable. We must be steadfast in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58), in keeping the faith (Col. 2:5), in continuing in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship (Acts 2:42), In holding fast what is good (1Th 5:21), Even under affliction (Ps 44:17-19; Ro 8:35-37; 1Th 3:3).
B. Those who continue in faith are described by Paul as “grounded” which means built upon a foundation. We must be spiritually stable, grounded in the truth as written in the Bible.
C. As we have studied, the source of our faith, love, and hope is the gospel and the source of the gospel is God. The message of the gospel tells us about the hope that is laid up for us in heaven. This truth is heard by the Colossians from Epaphras, who then have heard it from Paul, who heard it from God.
Because of sin we were alienated from God. Jesus Christ reconciled us to God. He will present us Holy, blameless, and unreproveable before God. Our obligation now is to be steadfast, unmovable in faith. Are you reconciled with Christ? Now is the time to be reconciled with Him. For those who are already reconciled to God, stand fast.
Preached: 24 Feb. 2013