Summary: Why Hope? Because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can have hope! Nothing in this world even compares to what God can do in our lives.
COLOSSIANS 1: [13-] 20-23 [HOPE FOR LIFE Series]
THE FOUNDATION OF HOPE
WHY HOPE? Another way to look at the question could be, WHAT IS THE BASES OF OUR HOPE? WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION or THE ROOT OF OUR HOPE?
Why Hope? Because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can have hope! Nothing in this world even compares to what God can do in our lives. He begins this good work when we place our faith for salvation in Jesus, in who He is and what He did for us on the cross. Nothing in this life compares to the eternal life God gives us through the Gospel. The hope of eternal life is based on our acceptance of the Gospel. Hope therefore in verse 23 is called “the hope of the gospel” or the hope based on the good news. "The Hope of the Gospel" is not only revealed by it, it comes from the Gospel.
Nothing else compares to what God can offer me because Christ in me is the HOPE of glory. If you have Christ, you have the hope of the Gospel which includes the hope of salvation, the hope eternal life.
In other words the basis of or hope is our reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. Reconciliation has a beautiful and significant meaning for those who have come to know Christ personally. Our passage calls to mind the great change that occurs in lives that have been reconciled with God. [Anyone who calls to mind what they were [becoming] prior to experiencing God’s grace will joyfully celebrate and praise God for His transforming work of redemption.] Those saved by the gospel of grace are challenged to continue striving forward in the truth that had saved them (CIT). For the Son’s reconciling love gives persevering faith through the hope of the gospel.
I. THE NEED FOR RECONCILIATION, 20-21.
II. THE MEANS OF RECONCILIATION, 22a.
III. THE RESULT OF RECONCILIATION, 22b-23.
The preceding paragraph taught that all God’s fullness is in Christ. The purpose of God’s fullness in Christ was reconciliation. He is God in human flesh. As verse 20 teaches us, it only in and through Christ that we can we be reconciled to God. “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
Having proclaimed the deity and work of Christ, Paul now reveals what it means to us. It only because of the deity and work of Christ can we be redeemed. With joyful wonder the Apostle testifies to the Colossian believers that they too have become recipients of God’s marvelous act of reconciliation when they believed the gospel. By faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ they had been made acceptable to God.
Peace with God is made “through the blood of His cross.” Without the death of Jesus on the Cross there is no forgiveness of sin (Heb. 7:23) before God. Jesus became our substitute as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Our reconciliation or atonement is because Christ went from being the spotless Lamb of God to being sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21) as He died for us or in our place on the Cross. Our hope of Salvation is based on the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Verse 21 impresses on us the transforming power of reconciliation by reminding us of what we were like before we were redeemed. “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,”
Here we encounter three words of separation that describe people before they are saved. First, they-we were alienated. Before we give our lives to Jesus, we are alienated from God. This means that we are separated from or estranged from Him. Reconciliation is necessary because people are alienated [“cut off, estranged” apo-allotpios] from life and God (Rom. 1:20-23; Eph. 2:12; 4:18). We are alienated because we turned away from God and have been shut off from fellowship with God. [The prodical son was alienated (Lk. 15:21) from his father.]
Second, our minds were hostile toward God. Before conversion the Colossian believers were enemies or hostile to God in their minds, meaning in their internal thinking & external behavior. [The mind is the seat of thoughts, attitude, and disposition.] Sin begins in the heart (Mt. 5:27-28) and manifests itself in overt deeds (Gal. 5:19). People are outwardly hostile against God because of their inward hostility (eksthrous, εχθος “from God” ). Our intellectual capacities were so distorted that we worked against God’s purposes.
Would you readily admit that before you came to Christ, that your mind was hostile toward God? What this is saying is that we were strangers to God’s ways of thinking and, as a result, we lead a life of sin. Thus this hostility can manifest itself in outright rebellion against God to the subtle ways we ignored God in our everyday lives. We used our thinking ability to justify ourselves and our actions.