Summary: Jesus wants to deliver us to the Father without blemish and holy, but we must continue in the faith.
If You Are Faithful Col. 1:22, 23
INTRO.: in verses 13-18 of Col. 1, the apostle presents a stunning description of the Christ: He is the Son God loves. He is the One bringing redemption and forgiveness.
He is the image of God. Firstborn of all creation.
He is Creator of everything.
He is the reason all things exist.
He is head of the Church and firstborn from the dead.
All God’s fullness dwells in Him.
It is by Him God has reconciled all things visible and invisible to Himself.
It is through Him God has reconciled us to Himself.
I. Some thoughts on reconciliation:
A. We all need to be reconciled to God:
1. This means being brought to God’s side, being changed from enemies to children of God.
2. The unsaved are separated from God, alienated from the source of life and happiness.
3. Enemies in their minds, because their minds are set on things of the world.
4. Enemies because of evil behavior, which is the result of evil minds.
B. The means for achieving reconciliation
1. The physical body of Christ,
2. Through death, because the wages of sin is death.
3. Brought about by God’s grace, not because we deserve it, but because He loves us.
C. God’s motive in reconciliation: our benefit.
1. Present us holy in His sight, he wants a people especially His who will live up to His standards.
2. Without blemish. ILLUS.: tire dealers used to sell “blems,” blemished tires cheap.
3. No blems in God’s Kingdom
4. Free from accusation. Romans 8:1
II. The big “IF:” Conditions making reconciliation effective.
A. We must continue in our faith.
1. If not, the work of Jesus on the cross can be frustrated.
2. Heb. 2:1-3 Beware of drifting away through neglect.
3. The danger is not “rebellion” but simple “neglect. We must cultivate our faith. Strive for growth.
B. Established and firm,
1. Some translations say “grounded and steadfast.”
2. ILLUS.: I knew a family who lived in a mobile home and feared wind storms. The man passed steel cables and straps over the roof and anchored them in concrete. I don’t know if it worked, but he tried to ground his home.
3. The Christian needs to ground his faith in the Word of God, the fellowship of God’s people, and faithful worship.
4. We need to be very firm in our commitment no matter what storms may come our way.
C. Not moved from the hope held out in the Gospel.:
1. ILLUS.: In a storm at sea, our captain turned the boat’s bow toward the wind and lowered the anchor. The anchor held us safely in the storm. For the Christian, our hope is an anchor. 2. A song says, “Anchored in Jehovah, I Shall Not Be Moved”
3. Col. 3:1-3: the secret of staying anchored is to set your affection on heavenly realities.
CONC.: I Cor. 10:1-12 tells the story of the apostasy of the children of Israel who came out of Egypt. They made a good start but ended badly. They were not able to continue in the faith. They were not grounded and firm, and they moved away from their hope, losing faith in God’s promise.
For these reasons, they didn’t reach the Promised Land. The good news is this didn’t have to happen and it needn’t happen to us today.
Jesus wants to present us to God holy and without blemish. All we need to do is continue in the faith.