Summary: The Power of Christ's Reconciliation Big Idea – The gospel turns enemies into friends and promises that we will one day stand before God sinless and pure. Our Present Status: Reconciled through Christ (vs. 22)
The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ, part 6
The Power of Christ's Reconciliation
March 1, 2015
We are in a series on Paul's letter to the Colossian church, called “The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ.” Two weeks ago we saw Paul describing the universal scope of Christ's reconciliation, Christ will reconcile all things to God in two ways. He will reconcile humanity to God through faith in Christ. The rest of humanity and the hostile angelic creatures will be defeated and pacified similar to a military defeat. Now Paul describes this reconciliation to the Colossians, as an example those who have been reconciled through faith in Christ.
Big Idea – The gospel turns enemies into friends and promises that we will one day stand before God sinless and pure.
Our Past Condition: Alienated and Enemies (vs. 21)
Paul describes our condition outside of Christ as alienated and hostile in our minds. Many of us may have experienced the hurt and bitterness and barriers that arise from being alienated from others. With God this alienation is exponentially worse, it has left us separated from God, our sin and his wrath being insurmountable obstacles. In our natural sinful condition we are in a spiritually hopeless and helpless condition. Contrary to what many think, we are not indifferent nor neutral toward God. Scripture paints a much more antagonistic picture. We may acknowledge God generally and even seek after God in some sense but when it comes to Christ there is only rebellion and hostility. This hostility finds expression in our minds as our ideas are perverted, distorted, prejudiced against God and this evil thinking leads to evil behavior. Every thought, every desire, and every action before Christ intervenes is sinful and evil. Even the most altruistic or heroic acts are sinful because they come from a sinful heart. Do you feel the depth of our helplessness and hopelessness outside of Christ? Why does Paul tell us this and why am I expounding upon it ad nauseam? It is always good to remember where we come from, the depth of our sinfulness and hopeless and helpless condition because it magnifies the work of Christ. Then Paul interjects some of the most powerful and beautiful words in Scripture, 'but now he has reconciled us.' Your past does not have the last word on you because Christ intervenes and changes our present status to reconciled through Christ.
Our Present Status: Reconciled through Christ (vs. 22)
Reconciliation in an interpersonal and relational term. It is the act in which God makes those who are his enemies his friends, even better his children. Reconciliation happens on both sides of the relationship, us toward him and him toward us. We need to be reconciled to God but our sin is an insurmountable obstacle; God needs to be reconciled to us but his wrath toward us is an insurmountable obstacle. God in Christ did what we could not do in removing those two obstacles, our sin and his wrath. We were his enemies; we were not worthy of it and were not deserving of it, yet he chose to do it. He did this in his body of flesh by his death, meaning his death on the cross. Christ fully identified with his people becoming sin for us on the cross and thereby condemning sin for us. Yet this is just the beginning and not the end. Our reconciliation has the glorious promise of a future destiny, sinlessness before Christ.