Colossians 1:21-23

In Colossians 1:21-23 Paul lays out the impact of Jesus atoning work on the cross and how the greatness of that sacrifice impacts the life of a Christ Follower. “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 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, 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.”

Jesus is in the turn around business. He takes us sinners – who are alientated enemies of God because of our own choices – and restores us to right relationship with God. Guzik explains “The ancient Greek word translated alienated (apellotriomenous) is literally “transferred to another owner.”

This transfer of ownership, from God to Satan and self, affected us in both mind and behavior.” This is not a new problem that was unique to the Colossians. It is the fate of every human that goes back to the Garden of Eden. Because of Jesus, we are no longer alienated. The difference between a believer and a non-believer isn’t merely forgiveness; there is a complete change of status.

God’s answer to the problem of alienation is reconciliation, initiated by His work on the cross where Jesus death reconciled us through His death. In the work of reconciliation, God didn’t meet us halfway. God meets us all the way and invites us to accept it. There are two different ways of understanding our need for God’s salvation:

  • We can see God as the judge, and we are guilty before Him. Therefore, we need forgiveness and justification.
  • We can see God as our friend, and we have damaged our relationship with Him. Therefore, we need reconciliation.

Both of these are true and one should not be considered as more important than the other. The key is that in all cases, we need a Savior to reconcile us and His name is Jesus.

But Jesus death goes further than reconciliation. The desire to be saved means a desire to be made holy, and blameless, and above reproach; not merely a desire to escape the fires of hell on our own terms. Salvation through Christ makes us pure in God’s eyes. But with that, we should be changed in a way we live in accordance to God’s standards.

We are not saved by how we live, but it should be the outcome of our receiving grace through faith. We should be changed like Paul was and be steadfast in our walk with Christ. Our life should be a picture of the gospel in action – a sinner saved by the grace of a Savior resulting in a life pleasing to God. That’s the path we should walk.

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