World English Bible translation
1:19For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; 1:20 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 the earth, or things in the heavens.
Today's Scripture brings to a close the great hymn to Jesus Christ that is contained in this first chapter of the letter to the Colossians. We have taken such time with each scripture in this hymn not only because of the importance of this passage but also because this section deals with basic Christian beliefs. Our religion centers on the person of Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as Christianity without Christ. In these six or seven verses, Paul has covered the core of our beliefs.
In this last verse, Paul adds two important concepts. He has already written to the Colossians that they have been redeemed through the blood of Christ and that their sins have been forgiven. Now Paul writes that not only have they been redeemed but that Christ has also reconciled them to God. Reconciliation and Redemption can be said to be related terms. In one sense, they both represent a complete reversal of states for the better. As we discussed in Lesson 5, redemption is the purchase of a slave for the purpose of setting them free.
Reconciliation involves bringing together two people who were at odds and bringing them to agreement. The concept of Christian reconciliation would be that once we were estranged from God. We were lost in sin and death. We were separated from God by sin and were even completely unable to approach a God who is Holy. Christ, through His life and especially His death, took away everything that separated us from God. Christ paid the punishment for all of our sins. The judgment for our sin was death and Christ willingly paid our debt. Now God was not only free to approach us, but God was also willing to do so.
Reconciliation is completely an act of God. God is reconciled to all men regardless of their response to Him or to His Son. Through Christ, God was reconciling all of mankind and all of creation to Himself. Sin no longer separates man from God. The way has been made clear for a new relationship to be established between the Creator and His creation.
Not only is there reconciliation, but there is peace through the blood of Christ. On Calvary, God declared peace with mankind. God could institute peace because all that must be done in the war against sin had been accomplished. The victory of the cross was complete. Sin was defeated. Peace could be established because there was no longer any purpose for war.
Does that mean that all men will accept God's peace and God's reconciliation? Of course not. We have all heard stories of soldiers who have continued to fight long after the war was over because they refused to believe, or were never told, that peace had been won. So it is between God and us. God has reconciled Himself to us. But, some of us refuse to reconcile ourselves to Him. God has made peace with us. Some of us are still at war, even though the war has long been lost.
It is our job to continue to proclaim that God is at peace with everyone around us. God is reconciled to everyone, lost and saved. It is time to tell the rebels around us that the war is over. It is time to come down from the hills and to come out of the jungles and to lay down our arms. On the cross, the Lamb of God defeated all of our rebellion. He overcame every barrier between God and us. His victory over sin and death has brought peace and reconciliation to the world.
Are you willing to accept that you are at peace with God? Are you ready to be reconciled to God?
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