Summary: We can be reconciled through Jesus because of Who He is, what He has done, and regardless of our past.
Jesus Christ, the Preeminent One who Reconciles
Given at Fellowship Raleigh
I. We can be reconciled because of Who He is (15-19)
----- A. Verse 15
---------- 1. Image/Display/Embodiment (15)
---------- 2. Preeminent (15)
----- B. Verse 16
----------1. Creator of All Things (16)
----- C. Verse 17
---------- 1. Preexistent (17)
---------- 2. Sustainer of all things (17)
----- D. Verse 18
---------- 1. Head of the Church (18)
---------- 2. Beginning & End (18)
---------- 3. Firstborn from the Dead (18)
----- E. Verse 19
---------- 1. Fully Divine in nature (19)
II. We can be reconciled because of What He has done (19-20, 22)
----- A. He came in the flesh (19)
----- B. He reconciled all things to Himself (20, 22)
----- C. He made peace through His Blood (20, 22)
III. We can be reconciled regardless of our past (21-23)
----- A. ONCE (21)
---------- 1. We were alienated
---------- 2. We were hostile in our minds
---------- 3. We performed evil deeds
----- B. NOW (22)
---------- 1. He reconciled us through His sacrifice
----- C. BUT (23)
---------- 1. You need to persevere
--------------- a. Continue in the faith
--------------- b. Do not shift or revert into prior philosophies
Text: Colossians 1:15-23 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him.
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
If you’ve been with us the last 6 months, we’ve gone through the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7, and as Pastor Matt pointed out in the series, it’s easy in a very secular view to focus on the brilliance of the Light as opposed to our spiritual bankruptcy that is made clear by the Light. It’s also very common to focus on the moral message and to ignore who the Light is.
Last week, Bobby Elder brought us an affirming message from John 17 of Christ’s concern and care for His disciples – even His disciples today. This morning, we will be looking some more at the person of Christ and His care for us, and in particular, His supremacy and preeminence over all, and His work of reconciliation done on the Cross.
Before we go deeper into the text, let’s pray.
Illustration/Story: I used to collect basketball cards. This was way back in the early 90s, though I still have held on to them. Basketball cards took off well after baseball cards, and each brand over time had its own unique features. Some were UV coated, others had gold foil on them, some had extensive stats, and some just had the best ‘insert cards’ or special cards that you’d find with varying odds per pack. When I started collecting, there were only a few major brands – Fleer, Topps, Upper Deck. However, in the next few years, new brands started to branch off of the old, and some new competitors came into the forefront, as well. After a short while, there were TONS of brands. Many of the brands would take one good feature of another brand and then change everything else to make it unique. It was like a smorgasbord of questionable usefulness, and it was often very confusing to choose given the vast number of trading card brand options.
Anyway, this is similar to the way philosophies were in 60 AD, in the time of the boom of the Colossian church. Many simple philosophical theories would be ‘borrowed from’, and other more complicated and sometimes completely different philosophies would branch off. In Colossae, there was a smorgasbord of empty philosophy, and many held eclectic beliefs about existence and the world around them.