Summary: Inductive sermon outline ideas for Colossians 1:21-23.

The following notes reflect ideas based on the homiletics in "Preach with No Pants" ( It proposes an inductive-deductive five-point outline: Trip, Tension, Twist, Truth, Triumph.

In practice, you would need to make this outline your own by adding illustrations and subpoints that are relevant to your heart and audience. (Unless otherwise noted, Scripture is from the NET Bible.)

Abundant Life

A good idea for the whole of the book of Colossians: Christ is the key to spiritual maturity. But that may be an idea not practical enough for some people. Consequently, I have chosen to use "abundant life" as the expression of the rich blessings in Christ which are gained through spiritual maturity.


Jesus reconciled us to God.


We can only find the abundant life by getting close to God.

Jesus is the one who brings us close to God.


One "most startling idea" is that we have a need to be reconciled to God. Many people think our relationship with God is cordial or at worst neutral. But in our natural state, we are strangers and enemies toward God (1:21), indebt with sin (2:13), "sons of disobedience" deserving the wrath of God (3:6).


Trip (Upset)

God is good, but who says he has to be good to you? We are by nature enemies toward God.

Tension (Provoking the Questions, Opposites of the Truth)

Popular wishful thinking says that most people will go to heaven. However, we are "at war with God." In the Garden of Eden, we said, "Go away! You're not the boss of me."

An unbeliever is an enemy of God, a child of disobedience deserving the wrath of God. If you're not saved, you still are such a person. If you are saved or think you are, where are you on the continuum between Ardent Enemy and Intimate Friend?

* We may feel far from God, like strangers.

* Our minds are naturally evil.

* Our deeds are naturally evil.

* We try to "do better" but often utterly fail.

* We fight between right and wrong, better and worse.

* We have doubts instead of hope.

Twist (The Most Startling Idea)

We have a desperate need to be near God. But it doesn't come through skillful negotiation or great struggle. It comes through our hero, Jesus Christ. He reconciles us to God.

Truth (Preaching the Bible's Solution)

Jesus takes us by the hand and reconciles us to a pure, perfect, holy God! He is not only the creator of all, supreme over all, head of the church, and first in Resurrection (1:15-19), but he also sacrificed himself to make peace between us and God (1:20).

* We were strangers, enemies, evil (1:21).

* He died in our place, our substitute, thereby reconciling us as well as making us holy and blameless in God's sight (1:22).

* We must keep trusting and keep focusing on the hope of the gospel, the salvation of our souls (1:23; 1 Pet 1:3-9).

Triumph (The Nugget of Truth)

Abundant life can only come through Jesus. Keep close to him.

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