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Summary: Reconciliation is needed because of sin. Reconciliation was accomplished at the Cross. Reconcilation will happen no matter what!

CHRIST THE RECONCILER

COLOSSIANS 1: 19-23

1. Illus. of couple

 Call them “Legion” for they are many.

 Happily married for many years, but then began to fuss and fight about little things.

 Soon were talking about divorce.

 Fortunately, this particular story had a happy ending. They reconciled, and were very happy for many years!

2. Need: One of the basic needs in us is for reconciliation. We need to be reconciled with each other: family, friends, coworkers. But, the most fundamental need we have is to be reconciled with God through Jesus Christ!

3. Reconciliation was a common word in Paul’s day. It was used to talk about two warring armies who had worked out a peace treaty. It was used to talk about a separated husband and wife who were able to work out their differences. It was used to talk about two friends who had had a misunderstanding, but who had sat down and decided to forgive and forget.

4. At the most basic level, reconciliation talks about the restoration of a broken relationship. Paul uses this word to describe the way Christ has restored the broken relationship between a sinful world and a holy God.

5. Text: Paul reminds the Colossians of how they were reconciled to God by virtue of Jesus’ death on the cross.

6. Today: The greatest need we have is to be reconciled with God through Jesus Christ.

7. What does Paul tell us about the reconciliation of Christ? Three facts.

FACT #1: RECONCILATION IS NEEDED BECAUSE OF SIN

1. See vs 21. The Colossians were once alienated from God. That is, they were estranged, they were separated. The relationship had been broken. What caused this? How did they become enemies? Paul says its was because of their wicked works…

2. What is it that breaks our relationship with God? What is it that causes us to need reconciliation? Sin!

3. Principle: Sin is the reason we need our broken relationship with God restored.

4. Illus. of Paul and Kelly Benitez

• In 1967, Paul Benitez and his fiancée Debra were married.

• In 1968, they had a baby boy and named him Kelly.

• Paul was drafted into the Army in 1969. While he was overseas, Debra moved away and changed her name. Paul was never able to find his wife nor his baby boy. He would eventually move to Los Angeles and become a school teacher.

• On September 18th 1998, LAPD officer Kelly Benitez pulled over a blue, Ford Thunderbird for an expired registration sticker.

• The twenty-nine-year-old policeman felt kind of strange when he noticed the last name on this gentleman’s driver’s license was the same as his own. He took a shot in the dark and asked several probing questions.

• The forty-nine-year-old schoolteacher saw the officer’s name tag and suddenly blurted out, “Are you Kelly?” He then yelled, “I’m your dad!”

• The two men found out that they had lived just five miles from each other for years!

• Sin does the same thing spiritually that Debra did physically. It separates and estranges us from God the Father!

5. When exactly is it that our relationship with God is broken? Some believe we are born with it broken. See 1 Corinthians 15:22. We die in Adam just as we are made alive in Christ (context is resurrection- because we are made alive in Jesus spiritually, we shall one day be made alive in the resurrection). The death of Christ is potentially saving for all, but is only personally activated when we affirm it though a deliberate act of will called belief. The sin of Adam is potentially deadly in all of us, but is only personally activated when we affirm it through a deliberate act of will called rebellion. The moment you knowingly and willingly choose sin, your relationship with God is broken and needs to be restored in Jesus Christ.

6. Do you remember when that happened? Perhaps you were a child or an early teenager. You came to that moral crossroads. Knowing full well what God wanted, you deliberately and willfully chose sin instead. In that instant, your relationship with God was broken!

7. Reconciliation is needed because of sin.

FACT #2: RECONCILIATION WAS ACCOMPLISHED AT THE CROSS

1. See

 Vs 20- having made peace through the blood of His cross…

 Vs 22a- in the body of His flesh through death…

2. Reconciliation was accomplished though the bloody death of Jesus Christ. The universe was alienated and estranged from God because of sin. Jesus paid the full price for sin on the cross, so that the reason for that alienation was removed.

3. Principle: Reconciliation was accomplished at the cross when Jesus dealt with the sin issue!

4. Illus. of old Methodist minister’s conference

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