Summary: To help us gain a wonderful picture of reconciliation found in Christ and encourage us to be about the ministry of reconciliation given to the church.
FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST
A MESSAGE SERIES FROM COLOSSIANS
The Work of Reconciliation – Chancing One’s Arm, Col 1:19-29
A. The oldest Christian site in Ireland is said to be St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. (Slide Of St Patrick’s)
1. It is a beautiful edifice as you can see behind me, but it also has a interesting piece of history involving the door you see to the right – it is known as the “Door of Reconciliation.”
2. Notice, if you would the rectangular hole hacked out of its center.
a. In 1492, two prominent Irish families, the Ormonds and Kildares, were in the midst of a bitter feud.
b. As the feud grew and turned into an all out fight, the Earl of Ormand was besieged by the Earl of Kildare.
c. The Earl of Ormand and his family and followers took refuge in the chapter house of St. Patrick’s cathedral and bolted themselves in.
3. However, as the siege wore on, the Earl of Kildare concluded the feuding was foolish.
a. Here were two families worshiping the same God, in the same church, living in the same country, trying to kill each other.
b. So Kildare called out to the Earl of Ormand and pledged that he would not seek revenge or indulge in villainy — he wanted the Ormands to come out and the feud to be over.
c. But the Earl of Ormand was convinced that it was a scheme full of treachery and refused to come out of the cathedral.
d. So Kildare grabbed his spear, chopped a hole in the door with it, and thrust his hand through.
4. There was a tense moment until his hand was grasped by another hand inside the church. The door was opened and the two men embraced, thus ending the family feud.
B. What a wonderful picture of reconciliation
1. Reconciliation is beautiful in any form
2. Whether it be the reconciliation of two opposing families, two lovers or life long enemies – reconciliation is grand
3. Of even greater significance, however, is the reconciliation of God and man
4. And that is what our message is about this morning.
C. Our scripture passage for this morning can be divided into roughly two equal parts
1. First verses 19-23: The Work of Reconciliation By Christ
2. Second, verses 24-29: The Work of Reconciliation Through Us.
3. Lets go to the Lord and ask Him to give us a wonderful picture of reconciliation and help us to be about our parts in bringing this ministry of reconciliation to the world.
The first thing we must consider is
I. THE WORK OF RECONCILIATION BY CHRIST, Col. 1:19-23 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled: In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
A. We begin with the Provision For Reconciliation
1. Dictionary.com gives one definition of “reconciliation” as the act of bringing into agreement or harmony;
2. Jesus Christ is the God’s provision for our reconciliation – He brings us back in to agreement, back into harmony with God!
3. Primarily, His shed blood - …having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile
4. So What does this have to do with us? – well that brings us to
B. The Need Of Reconciliation - And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
1. This is further defined by Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
a. In our natural state, without Christ, we are at war with God
b. Our sinfulness and carnal mind is set on violating His law and usurping His authority
c. For this rebellion we have received a death penalty (Rom 6:23), unless reconciliation takes place and that is what salvation is about!
2. Jesus Christ came to bring reconciliation.
3. Remember the introductory illustration: just as the Kildare’s had to carve a hole for reconciliation in the wooden door thus the term “door of reconciliation, so Christ broke through time and space to provide for us a door of reconciliation – He died on the wooden cross and spilt His blood that we might grasp the hand of God! (GOSPEL)