Summary: The death of Christ makes a great reconciliation with God possible so we can live a life of faith.
A GREAT RECONCILIATION—Colossians 1:19-23
Proposition: The death of Christ makes a great reconciliation with God possible so we can live a life of faith.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge the saved to appreciate this great reconciliation and to challenge the unsaved to trust Christ as Savior to bring about reconciliation with God.
To reconcile means to restore to a right relationship or to make peace where there was enmity. Another definition: “The restoration of friendship & fellowship after estrangement. It also means to change thoroughly from one position to another.” The Bible never speaks of God as needing to be reconciled to man, but always of man being reconciled to God. We have sinned against God & He wants us to be brot together not separated. Sin has separated us from God, but Jesus died to bring man & God together as His children. Many try to be reconciled to God in their own way.
Illus: One day an Indian engineer explaining to one standing by him that some years ago a construction crew removed the rock from the stream bed because it was in the way during some road work. When the rock was in the stream, it was just another rock. But once on dry land, people began to worship the boulder like it had come to life as a god. To really fix it up, they painted it orange and put a little face on it. They even built a roof over it. If you had been there as others, you would see great masses of people bowing down to a big orange boulder, praying, leaving money & worshipping a piece of mineral that the one true God created. It is a pitiful sight, but there are perhaps trillions of little snapshots of false god worship like that all over this fallen world. It is misplaced faith that is generated out of the darkness that is in unreconciled humanity.
Paul wrote to a group of believers in a city called Colossae since this church is being confronted with some people who are teaching false doctrine about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it’s very important that the apostle Paul write this letter to straighten them out. They were dealing with the question, “Who is Jesus anyway?” Paul was refuting the false teachers who were denying Christ’s deity by saying, “Christ is not the Creator, the incarnation was not real and Christ is not enough.” From beginning to end He’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. Next, he answers the question, “What has Jesus done?” The heretics had denied the power of Jesus Christ to save men. Paul says that Christ is able to reconcile to bring men to God. Paul strongly affirms that there is not partial reconciliation in Christ’s death, it is complete, and through the divine act of Christ’s death, the whole work of salvation is completed. Also, he shows that Christ is preeminent in redemption. Paul turns, or rather, returns to the experience of the Colossians themselves when he says, “You yourselves are a case study of what He does in reconciliation. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in His presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.” Paul earlier said, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.” (2 Cor. 5:19)
Illus: "If you have everything but don’t have Jesus, you have nothing. If you have nothing, but have Jesus, you have everything."
I. The Plan of Reconciliation (vvs. 19-20) “To reconcile the world to Himself”— To reconcile means to restore to a right relationship or standard, or to make peace where formerly there was enmity. The Bible never speaks of God as needing to be reconciled to man, but always of man being reconciled to God. When sin entered the world, man became estranged from God. He adopted an attitude of hostility toward God.
1. The statement “It pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell”— The phrase “all His fullness” is a technical term in the vocabulary of the Gnostic false teachers. It meant the “sum total of all the divine power and attributes.” Paul uses this term eight different times in Colossians to show the believers that Jesus is the fullness of God, and no one else. The fact that it pleased the Father to have all His fullness dwell in Christ is proof that Jesus Christ is God. John 1:16: “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.” The fullness of God dwells “in Him.” It was not around, upon, or under Him; rather it was in Him. The word “dwell” means to “take up residence” and points to the incarnation. Gnostic heretics taught that Christ was a kind of “halfway house” to God, a necessary link in the chain. But there were other, better links on ahead. “Go on from Him,” they urged, “and you will reach the fullness.” “No,” Paul answers, “Christ is Himself the complete fullness!” The best way to understand this statement is to look in 2:9 where Paul writes, “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” In other words, the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus. The incarnation doesn’t take away deity. That’s why He is the image of the invisible God. That’s why He is the firstborn of all creation. That’s why He is the Creator of the world. That’s why He is the Sustainer of the world. That’s why He is the head of the church. That’s why He is the firstborn from the dead. ... because Jesus Christ is fully God!