CHRIST THE RECONCILER OF ALL THINGS
The lesson aim for today is to clearly see Christ as the way to reconciliation with God. Knowing the manner in which one is reconciled to God is vitally important, because to be confused on this point would lead one away from God and not to Him. Jesus Christ is man's only hope for reconciliation.
1. GOD HAS RECONCILED ALL THINGS TO HIMSELF—THROUGH CHRIST - vs. 20.
The Apostle now shifts his focus. Whereas the recent focal point has been the person of Jesus Christ, the thought now turns again to His work. Specifically, the locus becomes the reconciling work of Christ. The text makes it clear that Jesus Christ has “made peace through the blood of his cross.” As described in Romans 5:1, we now have peace with God as a result of faith in Christ. Here, the agency of that peace is clear: the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It has become the basis for our reconciliation to God.
The precept of reconciliation is full of implications. Mankind once was in harmony and fellowship with God. However, sin ruptured that fellowship and relationship. Only by the shed blood of Christ can our relationship with God be restored. In so doing, we have been reconciled back to a harmonious
relationship and fellowship to Himself and the Father. The agent making this possible is His shed blood. He further notes this reconciliation to be of “things in earth, or things in heaven.” What is evidently implied is not only our reconciliation, but that also of the entire creation which was corrupted through the entrance of sin. (See Romans 8:22.) All has been reconciled through the efficacy of His shed blood.
2. GOD HAS RECONCILED THOSE WHO WERE ALIENATED AND WERE ENEMIES OF GOD—THROUGH CHRIST - vs. 21-22.
God has reconciled those who were alienated and were enemies of God. This verse shows that Paul was not thinking about universal salvation. He is addressing believers, those who truly believe that the blood of Jesus Christ has reconciled them to God. He wants them to remember how wonderful reconciliation is. God had done a marvelous thing for them.
A. Believers had been alienated from God. The word means estranged and separated because of dislike; it means to be unattached because of indifferent and unfriendly feelings.
B. Believers had been enemies of God. The word means hostile, hateful, and rebellious. Just think for a moment: think about how men act toward God.
C. Believers have been reconciled to God by the body of Jesus Christ through death. Note the unique wording of this statement (Colossians 1:22a). The body of Jesus Christ is being stressed.
3. GOD HAD ONE GREAT PURPOSE IN RECONCILIATION—TO PRESENT THE BELIEVER PERFECT BEFORE HIM - vs. 22.
A great day of coronation is coming, a day when every believer will be presented to God face to face. What a moment! Being ushered into the presence of God to be presented to Him. The excitement, awe, reverence, and ecstasy of the moment will be beyond imagination. This is the reason for the death of Christ. The purpose of His death was to present us “holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” What a three fold goal! His reconciling work has as its object that we might be (1) holy before God, (i.e., pure); (2) unblameable—in His sight; and (3) unreproveable.
4. GOD PURPOSES THAT EVERY BELIEVER BE SETTLED AND GROUNDED IN THE FAITH - vs. 23.
Paul gives additional qualifications for obtaining the objectives in verse 22. They are, “if ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” The ultimate goals of being holy, unblameable, and unreproveable are further linked to being faithful—continuing in the faith. Added to that is the thought of being grounded spiritually. The latter has the idea of being ‘spiritually rooted.’ The word "settled" has the sense of ‘immoveable’ or ‘steadfast.’ Perseverance might be in view. Being not moved away from the hope of the gospel likely has the thought of not becoming discouraged in the Christian life. Hence, Paul’s admonition to obtain the threefold goals of holiness, being unblameable, and unreproveable are ultimately linked to being faithful, being spiritually rooted and steadfast, and not being discouraged in our Christian walk.
He continues by noting that they indeed heard the gospel which was preached to every creature under heaven. Paul implied fulfilling the Great Commission as noted in Mark 16:15. To that end, he had been made a minister.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. D you believe that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has been made for you and is a once-for-all action? Why do some people struggle with this reality?
2. Do you ever feel compelled to try to win God's favor with some action? Does it improve your standing with God?
3. Before you invited Christ into your life, you were an enemy of God. What kinds of things are hostile to God? What kinds of hostile things do you still do to God? Why do you think this still happens? What can you do in order to change the way you treat God?
4. What is the end result of reconciliation? Who has taken the initiative in this: you or God? What kind of role do you play in reconciliation?
5. What does this verse teach about spiritual growth? Do you believe that you are growing or backsliding? What examples support your answer?
6. What do you think your role is in spiritual growth? What is God's role?
7. What kinds of barriers hinder your spiritual growth? What sorts of things can you do to break free from those things?
Your Friend and HIS,