Colossians 1:21-23

A. Prior to their conversion to Christ, the Colossian saints were alienated from God, and their wicked lives made them enemies of God. These men and women were probably religious, but their religion was wrong, and their lives were wrong; this was their condition despite good intentions.
B. This condition describes all unbelievers, even those who have never learned of the gospel. Their lives are out of harmony with God’s will; their thinking is wrong; they are separated from God. There are no innocent unbelievers.
1. The Colossians were described as:
a. Alienated
b. Enemies in mind, and
c. Involved in evil works
2. “Alienated” (apallotrioo) occurs only here and in Ephesians 2:12; 4:18
a. “Alienated” in the perfect tense in the Greek, and is a completed action with abiding results
b. They were considered an alien, and consequently separated from God
c. How? They were…
3. “Enemies in mind”
a. “Enemies” comes from echthros and might better translated “hostile”
b. The “mind” is the source of understanding and thinking, and evil deeds are associated with evil thinking
1) Genesis 8:21
2) Psalm 10:3-4
c. People become evil because they exclude God from their thinking, and thus are hostile toward Him… Romans 1:28-32
d. Being hostile toward God they were thus involved in…
4. “Evil works”
a. Their attitude had led them to engage in evil practices so that they, like all others (Rom. 3:23), were separated from God
b. This is what sin does… Isaiah 59:1-2
c. Because of their rebellious/hostile minds they had withdrawn from God – therefore God withdrew from them
d. God responds with hostility toward those who act with hostility toward Him… Leviticus 26:21-28
e. An evil mindset toward God makes reconciliation impossible
1) Evil doers are enemies of God… James 4:4
2) But, God made reconciliation possible for His enemies… Romans 5:10
f. The need for reconciliation is based on the fact that God hates sin and rebellion
1) Psalm 5:5
2) Hebrews 1:9
g. God’s wrath remains toward those who refuse to repent
5. But notice the phrase “And you, being in time past…” – they had made a change and now we notice…
1. “yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death,”
a. Even though the Colossians had been hostile in mind towards God and His wrath was upon them, Jesus made friendship possible through His death.
b. Two things are accomplished by Christ’s death:
1) He removed the obstacle of sin that prevented reconciliation, and
2) Through His compassion and love, He provided the motive for those hostile in mind be become dedicated friends of God
c. If the tender concern that Jesus showed by His death on the cross cannot touch the heart of rebellious mankind, then nothing can
d. Notice the phrase, “in the body of this flesh”
1) Jesus as a spirit being could not become a sacrifice for sin
2) Man can only put to death a body
3) Jesus had to take on a human body so that He could die for our sins… Hebrews 10:5
4) Animal sacrifices could not do this (Heb. 10:1-4)
5) Through the death of His body, Jesus opened the way into the presence of God… Hebrews 10:19-20
e. Through Jesus’ death God the Father made reconciliation possible – but mankind must meet God in Christ in order to be reconciled to Him
1) Note 2 Corinthians 5:19-20
2) Entry into Christ and reconciliation occurs through baptism… Galatians 3:27
2. “to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him:”
a. This is the purpose of reconciliation, to be:
1) Holy
2) Without Blemish
3) Above reproach
b. To be “holy” (hagios) is a positive condition of purity
1) To be set apart
2) The same Greek word is translated as “saints” in Colossians 1:2
c. To be “without blemish” or blameless (ESV) means to be presented to Jesus as spotless and guilt free.
d. To be “unreproveable” or above reproach (ESV) means that no accusation of guilt could be brought against them because Jesus had reconciled them by His blood
e. These three terms express the same idea of sinlessness in the sight of God because of the reconciliation provided by the blood of Christ
1) Ephesians 5:25-27
2) Purification comes through obedience… 1 Peter 1:22-23
3. Because of their reconciliation there was also the need of…
1. Being presented blameless before God is conditional as is clearly seen in the word “if”
2. We must “continue in the faith”
a. One time faith is not enough – we must “continue” being faithful to the Lord
b. Notice “the faith” – the system of faith, the Gospel
1) There is one faith (Eph. 4:5)
2) Jude 3
c. With the declaration “continue in the faith” we see there is the possibility of apostasy
d. Matthew 10:22
e. Hebrews 10:26-27
3. We must be “grounded and stedfast”
a. To be spiritually mature
b. To be grounded is to be set on a sure foundation; to be settled is to be firm and steadfast.
c. 2 Peter 1:5-11
d. 1 Corinthians 15:58
4. We must not be “moved away from the hope of the gospel”
a. This could be illustrated by an anchored ship that is held in a fixed position in spite of fierce winds and turbulent waves
b. Ephesians 4:14
c. Notice Paul’s warning in Colossians 2:8
d. Revelation 3:11
5. This great gospel “was preached in all creation under heaven”
A. Reconciliation to the Father can only come through Jesus
B. We all need reconciliation for we all have sinned (Rom. 3:23) – and sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2)
C. “Be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20)

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531

About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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