Daily Update #347

Colossians 1:21-23

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

“The holy and faithful brothers in Christ” (Col. 1:2 ) must have been thrilled to receive this remarkable letter from Paul and Timothy. Today we conclude the 14 verse purple patch that sets out the eternal supremacy of Jesus, by considering what it means for us. I have included above two verses we looked at yesterday (Col. 1:19,20) since they introduce the theme of reconciliation with God. Jesus Christ became the ultimate peacemaker by sacrificing His life on the cross and rising from the dead. Paul is now urging the Colossian Christians to enjoy their peace with God and to understand the impact that Jesus is having upon them and their world. How should we respond?

1. Firstly, we need to remember what we were before Jesus made it possible for us to be restored to His Father in heaven. Once, our sinful lives were in rebellion against God. We were as distant from Him as an isolated alien in a foreign land. That is what we are all like spiritually until we entrust our lives to Jesus. Once, we did not belong and we couldn’t experience the friendship with God for which we were created (v21).

2. Secondly, we should rejoice that through Jesus our reconciliation with God is complete. But now, solely as a result of God’s love and Jesus’ obedient self-sacrifice, we have a secure peace with God forever. A long term process of sanctification is still being worked out  in our daily lives. The ultimate goal here is for the Holy Spirit to transform us and make us increasingly like Jesus – “holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (v22). This is something that God wishes to accomplish in each one of us. We are expected to co-operate by being obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. See also Philippians 2:12-13.

3. Thirdly, and finally, we must avoid complacency. Only through Jesus can there be forgiveness and peace with God. Our role is to sustain our faith to the very end of this life. God’s wonderful plans for us are conditional upon this –“if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel”        (v23a). As FF Bruce wrote, “Continuance is the test of reality.” (See Philippians 1:6)

Compromise is often vital in human to human reconciliation. But now, with our holy God there is no need of this. His plan of salvation and restoration is perfect. If we stay close to Jesus, we will enjoy our new peace and friendship with God today and always!

Today’s Prayer: Thank you Father that you have made it possible for us to be reconciled to you in spite of our continued failures as your children. We praise you Jesus for all that you have done for us. May we persevere in following you, always relying upon the truth of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.  (MM

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Tomorrow’s Reading: Colossians 1:21-23