God has Reconciled Us – Colossians 1:22

Colossians 1:22 begins with “but now” (νυνὶ δὲ). These are two very important words in the Greek, indicating an important contrast. The contrast is between time when we were enemies of God and the present time when we have experienced reconciliation with God. Reconciliation means the relationship is fixed, walls that existed between the two parties are torn down, and that they can now go about the business of building that relationship.

God has reconciled us through the death of Jesus. The basic idea behind reconciliation (καταλλαγή, καταλλάσσω) is the restoration of friendship between two estranged parties. This assumes an offense has separated two parties (political, social, familial, or moral, TLNT 2:263). In non-biblical Greek the word is virtually never used in religious sense primarily because the relationship between the gods and men is not personal. For most of the Greco-Roman world, worship appeased the gods, so a form of ἱλαστήριον (propitiation) would be used.

Josephus reflects the same usage of reconciliation. He uses the related term διαλλάσσομαι for a political agreement between Archelaus and Alexander (the son of Aristobulus) and Herod the Great. After a political arrangement is made, including due honors and gifts, the estranged parties entered into a formal friendship and they “spent their time feasting and agreeable entertainments” (War 1.513, 514). In this example, Herod is in a far superior political position, but he honors Archelaus with great gifts in order to preserve the dignity of all parties.

Unlike secular Greek, Josephus uses καταλλάσσω in a religious sense. In the context of the story of the twelve spies, Moses sought to reconcile God and the people (Ant. 3:315, using the noun.) Similarly, when Saul offended God by sparing the Amalekites (Ant. 6:143), Samuel prays that God “be reconciled” to Saul (using a passive infinitive).

Returning to the earlier analogy of estrangement, the opposite of an estranged relationship is an reconciliation. Rather than a divorce, the married couple overcomes their differences and has decided to remain married, they have reconciled their differences. God saw that we would not turn to him, so he had to provide the method of reconciliation himself. Because the cause of the estrangement was our sin, and the fact that we could not pay for it ourselves.

God therefore provided a way for the debt of sin to be paid. He sent his own son to be killed as an atoning sacrifice so the problem of sin could be permanently solved, once for all.

Paul therefore describes a new state of being for the one who is in Christ. If this is the case and those who were once enemies have now been reconciled through the Cross, what are some implications for how we live out this in Christ life? Paul answers this in the second half of Colossians.

27 thoughts on “God has Reconciled Us – Colossians 1:22

  1. Reblogged this on James' Ramblings and commented:
    Good study on reconciliation, and how that concept in Christianity may have contrasted with Greek religion.

  2. In Colossians 1:20-21, Paul tells us that Christ reconciled us to God. For me personally when I read this I think of the relationship we had with God before Christ. For us to need reconciliation, it must mean that our relationship with God was broken. So we needed Christ to step in. our relationship with God was broken through sin and we were divided from him, since God is holy. Romans 5:10 states that we were once the enemies of God. However when Christ gave up his life on the cross, he washed our sins away. We no longer are enemies of God, we find peace in God, forgiveness and grace. In John 15:15 it says that “no longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you”. God no longer called us servants, instead he calls us friends because of Jesus. Because of our sins we were against God but now we have found peace. Paul tells us in Philippians that peace surpasses all understanding. That is the kind of peace we have with God now.

  3. You said it yourself. Paul answers how we are supposed to live out being transformed and reconciled through the cross in the second half of Colossians. In my Bible the heading over the first half of Colossians 3 says this: “Living as Those Made Alive in Christ.” Paul encourages the church in Colossae to “set their minds on things above” (v. 2) and to “put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (v. 5). They and we are to drop all kinds of idolatry from our daily lives and stop having “…anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language” (v. 8).We need to do this because we are all equal because of what Christ did on the cross. Christ is all, and is in all. When we take those things off, we are to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, being forgiving and most importantly, doing it with love. We would do well to follow just a few of these precepts; our lives would be so much improved. TTP points out that Paul puts the humility Christians are supposed to have up against the false humility that the philosophers have with their seemingly wise regulations (TTP 231).

  4. In Col. 4 Paul instructs us to pray. It is something that most Christians have a difficult time doing. Not because its hard or confusing, but because most times, we just don’t think about taking time out of our busy day to talk to God. & I’m not talking about when we pray before we eat or right before bed. I’m talking about any time of the day. To have that personal relationship we need to make time. Not just when it’s convenient. If you drive often, you can take the time to talk to God in your car. 1 challenge that I heard of was that on your way to work & back home, turn the radio off, don’t talk on your phone, & talk to God during that time. This is 1 way that Paul says how we should live reconciled.

  5. Because I am mildly interested in Greek mythology, I found the reference to the relationship mentioned between the Greek gods and the humans who worshiped them to be very interesting. The gods were always pictured as being far above the humans worshiping them, except when they would come down to have affairs with humans, which I suppose was quite often, but still, they were not personal in regard to worship. As was stated above in the blog, sacrifices were made to appease them, but the relationship between the true God and His people is far different: we worship Him and are able to love both God and others because He first loved us! (1 John 4:9). He is a personal God who genuinely cares about His people, which I believe holds major implications for how we ought to live as Christians. According to Longenecker in reference to Colossians 1:10-12, it means we ought to “bear fruit, grow in the knowledge of God, be strengthened, and give joyful thanks to the Father” (227). God is personal and cares about His people, so our lives should reflect the desire of our Father.

  6. Very interesting that the term reconcile is not used in any other way in Roman culture, especially in a religious sense or political sense! That emphasizes the personhood of our God, that He is personal and personable to us and cares about us individually as well as collectively. I think there is direct relation from forgiveness to reconciliation because in order to make peace and harmony between two people, forgiveness in both parties has to happen. Of course, this is humanly speaking, most of the time, both parties have to forgive. In God’s case, He did nothing in which he needs to ask forgiveness. Instead, he forgives us when we ask for forgiveness and repent. This brings reconciliation and harmony between us and God. It is a horrible feeling when there is brokenness between two people, especially when you know what you did was wrong. Brokenness causes separation and disunity. The only way to mend it is to confront it. Often we don’t want to confront our own sin, which puts off our reconciliation with God because we are afraid to admit our brokenness. Fortunately, we have a God of empathy and forgiveness, a God of unconditional love for his children. Praise Him that we don’t have to live a life of bondage to disunity and brokenness, but we can be united and at peace with God!

  7. I found it interesting that the word reconciliation is never found in Greco-Roman culture. You point out that this meant they were not personal gods or at least they weren’t personal with them. This would further support that these gods were their idols because they could do no wrong in their own sight. These gods, for the most part, were made from their own desires and turned (desensitized?) them from the one true God (Rom. 1:18-32). They could not trespass against the gods. But they did sin against the Lord. Romans 1 says they were without excuse in acknowledging God as God and not an image they made. The insight of Colossians brings truth in what Christ has done and that is He has “reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body” (Col. 1:22).

    Later in the letter, Paul says to “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (3:13). I think this is a good example of the attitude of reconciliation amongst your peers looks like. Carrying a willing attitude to forgive and be reconciled with them. unwillingness to do any of these will keep the person broken and stagnant.

    Thinking Through Paul mentions that “The Lord Christ turns foes into friends by means of his reconciling and life-giving death” (Longenecker 228). I think that summarizes this topic well. We were enemies of God and Christ came to reconcile us and allow us to be friends with God once again.

  8. This new state of being looks different in every single person, but there are a few things that remain constant. For example, God will fill up the new believer with the Holy Spirit so that they are always with God. Once you receive Christ, Paul calls his disciples to walk in Christ and to be rooted in Christ so that Christ can build them up. He asks them to remain strong in their faith as they had been taught by their elders (Colossians 2:6-7; Longenecker & Todd, 2014, 225). For us, there is always a list of unspoken rules as well as the lists of some written rules that the leaders of your church use to describe what God does in us. Some will say that we are a new creation from the moment we accept Christ and others will say that the process has started when we accept Christ. Some people will always doubt whether God really brought you out of your past, while others will simply wait for when you “go back” to the things from your past. Although we love to hear how God transformed someone’s life, we have a hard time being part of the process as God transforms someone gradually. Nevertheless, when we receive Christ, we are righteous due to what Jesus has already done. Since God has qualified us through his blood, Paul gives the reminder that no one can disqualify us (Colossians 2:16). Longenecker summarizes Colossians with this statement, “Christ is all, and is in all”, (Longenecker & Todd, 2014, 224). The philosophy is self-explanatory and fully encompasses the message that Paul is giving to the Colossians.
    Similar to the post, before we are reconciled to Christ, we are separate from God (Long 2019). We have also been taught that sin itself is an act of separation from God so when we are saved, we should experience an intimate relationship with God similar to the one Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden of Eden. Colossians 3, Paul shows the reader how this can be done. He asks that our thoughts be transformed into things from above and not on earthly things (3:2). He mentions also to set aside sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, and covetousness (3:4) as ways to grow your spiritual self. He also proceeds to mention things that we often consider smaller sins such as anger, pride, unforgiveness, and so many others that also affect growth. Finally, Paul asks that the believers be filled with the peace of God and that they let the Holy Spirit teach them (Colossians 3 ESVSB). Ultimately, Paul is after the inward transformation that later becomes manifested in outward services.

  9. Colossians is full of ways that we are to live out our lives, now that we have been reconciled through Christ. Colossians 2:6 tells us to “continue to live your lives in him” and continue to strengthen our faiths as we do so. This means that we must live our lives for God and continuously strive to do the things that he would want us to do – not the things that the world wants us to do. Colossians 2:20-23 goes more into detail about how we can do this, telling us that since we no longer belong to this world but belong to Christ, we should not conform to the “rules” of the world. This does not mean that we can go around doing whatever we want. However, it does tell us that we should not live our lives based on “human commands and teaching” (v. 21). Instead, we should live our lives based on God’s commands and teachings, which come from the Bible. We should live a life that follows God’s word and obeys His commands, and we shouldn’t focus on the things that the world tells us are right or wrong. This could be anything from what you can or can’t eat, to what you can and can’t do. Colossians 3:5 tell us to “Put to death… whatever belongs to your earthly nature”. In all situations, we should base our decisions on what God’s word says and set our “hearts on things above” (3:1), and not focus on what the world or our earthly bodies tell us to do.

  10. An important theme that occurs in the book of Colossians is the theme of reconciliation. Longenecker and Still assert, “God has enabled them to be holy in sight, without blemish, and free from accusation” (Longencecker & Still, 2014, p. 228). When it comes down to it, Paul’s hope is that the Colossae church would feel empowered by the Holy Spirt to spread such a message in their community. At the same time, this information clearly illustrates that reconciliation is meant to bring people closer to God, which occurred during the book of Colossians. However, the message being presented in Colossians 1:22 is a clear indication that reconciliation is meant to be part of the process of being a mature believer. Ultimately, such a message is consistent in Paul’s letters, as he expresses the need to forgive as Christ did in Ephesians 4:23 and Colossians 3:13 (NIV). In essence, Paul’s take on the importance of reconciliation demonstrates that Christians should follow the model of Christ. Moreover, reconciliation in a Christian context means that one should always stand humbly before the Lord, and maintain their integrity and commitment on a daily basis. At the end of the day, Paul stresses this concept in his letter because of the coming of Jesus Christ.

  11. After examining the book of Colossians there are many prominent aspects and elements that are at the forefront of this book. However, one of the most important things that Paul really exemplifies within this letter to the individuals in Colossae is that of reconciliation. Reconciliation is a pivotal part of spiritual growth because it is that sense of forgiveness and restoration of a relationship. Therefore, reconciliation within the Bible is just that restoring of a relationship between you and God through the element of His forgiveness (Colossians 3:13). By God being able to forgive individuals who might have strayed away or have broken ties with Him in terms of a relationship it gives us that sense of relief when we know we are being restored. Ultimately God frees us from any accusations or occurances in which we have been driven away from Him (Longenecker, pg. 228). However, a big facet that we must realize as followers of Christ is the fact that that sense of forgiveness is generated because of God sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Because as we were once all enemies of God, that identity was washed away due to God sending Jesus to die on the cross for us. That facet of our journey within Christ describes not only the role of reconciliation within our lives that God provides, but that essense of peace within our spiritual lives. Being able to know that we are saved by God’s grace through that of reconciliation is what brings us closer to God ultimately. Thus, through reconciliation we get to see the love that God has for us first hand.

  12. Colossians emphasizes greatly that we are to put to death our sinful, earthly nature and put on the mind of Christ (Colossians 3:5). For those who once were enemies and now have been saved by Jesus Christ, it is important for them to understand the reconciliation process of their salvation. Longenecker explains that the Colossians have been “brought to fullness in life” because of Christ (228). Once one understand their acts of nature that is not of God, they are able to strip themselves of the old pathways, the old lifestyles, the old actions, and begin to build up a relationship with Christ. Paul shows the effects of what it is like when you are living a renewed lifestyle. Yet, of course, it is not you who has the strength to transform yourself, but that is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict and show the believer the correct path to righteousness and holiness. We are continually being renewed by the Spirit, to become more like the image of God (Colossians 3:10).
    Paul also discusses what it’s like to live in a Christian household and how we are to submit to one another as it pleases the Lord (Longenecker 231). It is important to use Colossians as a way to live out our Christian faith, and truly grasp what it looks like to be reconciled back with God, living a life that is “worthy of and pleasing to God” (Longenecker 227).

  13. This concept of reconciliation with God is so vital to our faith, so wonderous, yet so alien to the Greco-Roman religious mindset. Furthermore, it is not just that we are capable of being reconciled with God, but that God, because of His love for us, did all of the heavy lifting for us. And the timing is key. Verse 21 gives a good description of how humanity was when Christ died, before being reconciled. Not only were we alien and committing evil deeds, but we were “hostile in mind” toward God. I also like how Romans 5:6-8 puts it. We, the ungodly, were helpless (v. 6), hesitant to lay our own lives down even for those who would seem to deserve it (v. 7). So, God sent Christ to die for us when we most definitely did not deserve it (v. 8). God is not interested in following our logic of only being willing to sacrifice ourselves for those who are worthy. Instead, Christ died for sinners who were directly opposed and hostile towards Him. And all this so that we could be made blameless (Col. 1:22) and could be reconciled to Him. How great is His love for us!

  14. Colossians 1:22 gives us an illustration of how Christ fulfills every aspect of atonement found in Leviticus 16 and how He has reconciled us, presenting us blameless and above reproach. P. Long provides cultural background along with a deeper understanding of the Greek language. P. Long clearly demonstrates the analogy of estrangement which than he helps us understand by giving an example of a marriage in which instead of divorce the couple reconciles. Colossians 1:22 is a passage that clearly lays out the love God has for us which is beyond imagination. God Himself provides the avenue by which we are saved. In reference to how we now live out this new state of reconciliation with Christ can be found especially in Colossians 3:5 which states that we ought to put to death sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, and covetousness. All these things Paul tells us to live out as we are reconciled in Christ. To put this as application in the life of individuals has endless possibilities. But certainly, living out our reconciliation with Christ and applying Colossians 3:5 may include application such as being sexually pure in all aspects, waiting till marriage. Being pure in our minds, language, and living, putting all selfish passions aside, and seeking not to do evil but instead to do good.

  15. Reconciliation is received through Jesus Christ to God. Before we come to God, we are alienated from him. When we come together we get that reconciliation with not only God but other people as well. When there is no reconciliation, especially in the church, it takes away from the power of unity. Professor Long wrote “Reconciliation means the relationship is fixed, walls that existed between the two parties are torn down, and that they can now go about the business of building that relationship.” (Long, 2019) Reconciliation is something that we get to experience when we accept Christ. God reconciles us. We are born sinners and we need this from God because this causes people to put up those walls to even know God. How did we get reconciled though? God sent his only son Christ to die on the cross for all of us and our sins. 1 Corinthians 12:13 goes to show that Paul is explaining that all people will become brothers and sisters of Christ once we accept Him. It doesn’t matter who we are. Longenecker states “Positively, Paul instructs the recipients to live out their new life as “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved” (3:12).” (Longenecker, 231) This is what life is like after we agree to know God as our savior. Since God brings peace, reconciliation with other people will become more evident and easier. Paul goes to show the new life we are brought once we commit to God. Colossians 3:10 explains that as Christians we are always becoming renewed through the Spirit so that we can live more in an image of God. I feel like the book of Colossians is a great example of how to live out your life to be more pleasing to God.

  16. Kellum Bridgeforth
    Professor Long
    Pauline Lit
    Blog Post #8
    According to P.Long “Reconciliation means the relationship is fixed, walls that existed between the two parties are torn down, and that they can now go about the business of building that relationship”. Moreover, P.Long also states that “This assumes an offense has separated two parties”; which I 100% agree with for in Colossians 1:21 the verse states “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior” (Colossians 1:21). This verse states that we certainly have offended God, and in numerous ways, whether it be idolizing false deities to committing sinful acts. Thus, all mankind messed up greatly and ultimately displeased God. “Because the cause of the estrangement was our sin, and the fact that we could not pay for it ourselves. God therefore provided a way for the debt of sin to be paid. He sent his own son to be killed as an atoning sacrifice so the problem of sin could be permanently solved, once for all” (P.Long). I really like what P.Long stated in this section of the article because mankind was so selfish and arrogant, we would not turn to Him or attempt to fix the problem; therefore God sent down His only son, so that we could relate and actually grasp and understand how to connect with God. In doing so God had His only Son sacrificed to atone for our sins, with that we are ever so grateful and we must Like P.Long said earlier in the article “build that relationship”.
    The way that we must build our relationship with God is mentioned in Longenecker and Still; “ we must now rid ourselves of attitudinal and verbal sins as well as sexual ones (TTP 230). We must also avoid anger, malice, slander and filthy language and are told not to lie. All throughout the second half of Colossians mainly in chapter 3. All of mankind who believe that Jesus Christ is our savior and that the Lord is our only God must live a life in order to please Him. Thus, we must live our lives according to Colossians 3. Ridding ourselves of all sinful acts and selfishness and living our life “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:12-13). The only reason that we are saved is because God forgave us hence, This verse is a direct command and way to build our relationship with God so that we will forever be in Him and He will forever be in us. We must also be ever so thankful that God is merciful and forgiving; thus, we owe it to him to worship and thank Him in every and any way possible. “All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

  17. I believe that the word “but” in general always has some power to it. We are always wondering what the person is going to say after that word. Is it going to be exciting, bad, or even disappointing? This one word changes the entire situation for someone and how they are feeling, and I imagine that as believers we are meant to be irrefutably grateful for what Paul is about to say following these words. Reading Colossians 1:21, we understand that we are all alienated or thought to be enemies of God because of our actions and thoughts regarding Him. We were caught up in a world that does not promote God but rather despises Him and ridicules Him as we just sit and watch it happen while we are on the sideline. Even though we do these things, God still had the audacity to send his own Son to save us so that we may become like Him. The passage starts out by explaining how we are estranged and separated from Him “but now” we have a compromise in which we are reconciled from our own sins. God knew that we could not pay for the sins ourselves and knew that there would only be one way of reconciliation between us and Him (Long, 2019). Now because of His actions and sending His own Son to die on the cross for our sins, we may no longer be enemies of God but rather His children so that we may live in eternity with Him. While reading this entire passage I kept thinking to myself why someone like that who knew people hated him still gave up the one thing He loved in order to come closer to the ones that hated Him. I know in my life there are many things that I am not willing to give up especially for the people that don’t like me. Yet, as believers we are called to show grace (James 4:6), mercy (Luke 6:36), and love (1 Peter 4:8) to others even to those who are your enemies (Luke 6:27). I understand that it will be difficult at times to do such things but when you have God in your corner and helping your fight, nothing is impossible.

  18. Reconciliation is a concept that has always interested me. The idea that God chose to send his son to die on the cross so that we can be reconciled to him despite our sin is powerful and moving. It really shows how much God loves us. Something that I have learned with reconciliation is the significance of the fixing of the relationship. My now pastor who was my youth pastor talked a lot about reconciliation to us. He told us how with reconciliation, the relationship isn’t just restored, but made better than before. It is fixed to better than how it started. This is somewhat confusing to us with our limited human knowledge because how could something broken be fixed to better than how it started? He used the example of the pottery where they put pottery pieces back together with gold in the glue of the cracks. The pottery has a newer and better value than before. This is like our relationship with God. We were once separated from God with the estrangement of our sin, but now we are reconciled back to God by the debt God paid for us (Long, 2019). I’ve always wondered how the idea or meaning of reconciliation happens between people. I’m one to try to fix things with people and not want to have conflict with them. I like how Long goes into the context and history of the word in ways that are not just religious application between God and people. How it also was used for political reasons between Archelaus and Alexander (the son of Aristobulus) and Herod the Great (Long, 2019). This is an example of how we can use reconciliation with political reasons in our world today. We can use reconciliation as a way to live in peace with others and not have things divide us.

  19. We were born with Sin, as we grow up we continue to sin. As humans it’s just what we do, no matter how hard we try or how good of a relationship we have with God. We still will Sin at some point. This means that we can not save ourselves no one with Sin is able to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus then saw this and was sent by God to live a perfect life, to pay for the sins, and save us from our sins that we couldn’t save ourselves from. In this sense jesus is our only way to heaven because of what he did. He then said if you believe in me I will forgive you of your sins, and you can reign in heaven with me forever. This opens the door for all of humanity to be forgiven of their sins, and live with God forever in heaven. The best trade deal in the history of the world. This is why we are to live as though we are redeemed and set free by the Blood of God.

  20. How could we ever live up to the expectations that Jesus lays out for us in the gospels? For example, the passage of John 7:53-8:11, where the Pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus to question him. Jesus replies to have he who is without sin cast the first stone. Everyone leaves and Jesus and just the woman remain. Jesus then asks the woman where everyone went and if anyone has condemned her. She says no one, and Jesus says neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. Now, if we interpret this passage literally, and believe that Jesus tells the woman to sin no more, the woman would fail in this task, because removal of sin from our earthly lives is impossible. There can be instances in our lives where we are not sinning, but the complete outcast of sin cannot be accomplished by human hand. Now, I do not believe that this is a literal interpretation. There are some different interpretations I have as to what this could mean. It could mean that Jesus simply meant for her to stop committing this one specific sin. It could have been Jesus’ way of saying that he forgives the woman. All this to say that our sins are always going to stick with us as long as we are here, humanly, on this earth. Also, because of that sin, we would be condemned to Hell and the eternal fires of that terrible place, but thankfully, we have a Savior who has our backs covered. According to Col 1:22, if God were to look at us through the lens of sin, we would be a disgusting, bloated, filthy piece of garbage ready to be thrown away for good. However, when God looks at us through the lens of Jesus Christ, he sees a holy, without blemish and free of accusation child of God. It was through the event of Christ dying on the cross that reconciled (or restored our relationship with God) us with God. With the original sin of Adam, our relationship with God was broken, but thanks to the redemptive work of Christ, we are able to have what one may call a second chance with God. The relationship starts here on this earth and will continue in heaven and for the rest of eternity. So, whatever you do, make it a point to reach out to God for he has already given us the chance to fall back into his arms.

  21. The simple part is done, we know the God has reconciled us through His son Jesus Christ on the cross, but how do we live a life like Jesus. After Jesus is this blameless and perfect being that we will never be able to measure up to. That does not mean we cannot try, right? After all, through your faith in Jesus Christ you are seen as “holy and blameless” (ESVSB, p. 1588) in the eyes of God, so therefore live as best you can and in the end you will be saved. It is impossible to just stop sinning and God knew this and that is why he said his son to forgive and give us fallen people mercy even through we do not deserve it.

    In this however we are called to “put to death” that which is earthly or unholy (Longenecker, p. 230). When you believe that Jesus is Lord you are to avoid things that bring you further away from Christ like: “anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language” (3:8). Christ is to dwell in their midst in all areas of life, “as working for the Lord and not human masters” (3:23). It is easy even today to give some parts to God, like Sunday and Wednesdays and then the rest of the days, do what is best for “you”. Paul is challenging the Colossians to make God the center of their lives every single day of their life; all the time. When they do this they will truly have Faith in Christ Jesus and be given an eternal life that they do not deserve.

  22. The implications we are given by Paul to live by is to ” continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel”(1 Colossians:23). We are to live our whole lives in this way, and keep our faith in what God/Jesus has done for us. By doing living this way and following these implications, we are able to be reconciled through Christ, and be seen “without blemish”. This does not mean that we are perfect, or are able to simply reach perfection by following these implications- but that God is able to erase our blemishes, and make us blameless through our reconciliation. I think it is important for us to understand that this is something that can only be done because of Christs sacrifice. There is no other way that we would be able to have a relationship with God, or restore it ourselves. We are sinful people from birth, and through Jesus sacrifice is the only way that we are able to be made right from these transgressions against God.

  23. I had never stopped to think deeper into the meaning of reconciliation between us and God. I know that he set us free from sin, but I never looked at it in the way that he set us free so we could reconcile with Him. “And through Him to reconcile to himself all things, wether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross” (Col 1:20). God is the one that initiated and completed the reconciliation between us and Him. I believe that as Christians we can love out our life in Christ by doing everything in and for His glory. A common topic has been about conformity, specifically conforming to the worlds standards and norms. It can be so easy to fit into the crowd rather than stand out and become leaders, but it is important that Christians stand out and become leaders, rather than spotlights. I know that there is nothing I can do that is nearly as significant as what God did for us to receive that reconciliation, but I know that I can live a life that honors Him and that expands His kingdom. Colossians 1:23 states what we can to live a Christ like life, ” if you continue in faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel you heard… (Col 1:23). Many times faith is not stressed enough. Everyone knows that as Christians we have to live a life that bring honor to Christ, but faith is often mentioned at the end. In order to glorify God, we have to be strong in our faith, otherwise our good deeds can become acts done in vain. It is important to understand that just because God has given us that reconciliation, it doesn’t mean we don’t have to do anything else.

  24. The reconciled relationship between Herod and Archelaus serves as a good comparison for our relationship with God, yet it also serves as a powerful contrast. In the same way that Herod honored Archelaus despite being in a much higher political position, God honors us with eternal life, treasures, and holiness despite us being undeserving and in an inferior position to God. However, the examples are not perfect because, while Herod honored Archelaus in order to keep peace and agreement between the parties (for his own political aspirations) God honors us with lavish gifts for no other reason than because He is our creator and He loves us. He does desire to keep peace between Himself and us, but it is because He takes great pleasure in our relationship to Him rather than because He needs anything from us. God needs nothing because He has perfect relationship in Himself, and for Him to be in need would mean that He is not a maximally-great being which would mean that He is not God.

    This topic also reminds me of Karl Barth’s Christology where he describes all people as having a relationship to Christ, either being damned with Him as Christ was damned on the cross or being glorified with Christ as Christ was glorified while He atoned for our sins. Just in the same way, the both the reconciled and estranged couples mentioned in this blog post have a relationship to each other, it is just that their relationships are different, with one being an estranged relationship and another being a reconciled one. This is a tangent, but it leads into why I do not like to use terminology such as, “you need to have a relationship to Christ to be saved,” because it is too nonspecific and could also lead – under Barth’s theology – to confusion over whether or not all are saved as all have a relationship to Christ, though the relationships look different for each person. No, it is not a relationship we need, but rather an obedient loyalty to Christ and a true belief – as proven by how we live – in His ability to save us from our sins completely because of our own ineptitude at such self-salvation.

  25. Colossians give us an emphasis on how to reconcile with God. Some of us can be enemies and others are not but would want to try to fix relationships and/or friendships. God used Jesus to die on the cross for forgiveness and reconciled with him. That is the idea behind it to restore it. If Christ did not die on the cross or exist then the world would be in chaos without laws and commandments. Reconciliation is important to us to reflect on those things. We should love the people of how God loves us and his people even though we are sinners. There was part of the section about married couples overcoming their differences and continuing to stay married. Well I am in the class of family and marriage; I was reading a book that a married couple wrote of how they were struggling with their marriage, whether they wanted to end their marriage but they were fighting to save their marriage. God will those people who are lost or trying to fight for their marriage, fix relationships or friendship. Every year when Easter comes, people with different religions know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins but I wonder if they know the truth why he died on the cross, maybe a few people know. There were enemies that reconciled through Cross but there are others that did not reconcile through the Cross. All I know is that God will love his people and enemies and we should do the same.

  26. In Chapter 3 of Colossians Paul transitions to practical matters within the church. In 3:1-4 Paul focuses on the fact that new believers have a new life in Christ; he goes into detail by explaining that we as Christians need to turn our attention to Godly and spiritual ways of life rather than sinful ones. The point that is trying to be made here is that believers are to now remove sin from their lives and if they do not then spiritually speaking they are seeking death. Up until verse 11 Paul uses specific examples of what types of sins we are to avoid as Christians who are seeking a new life in Christ. As humans we have a tendency to have self pity or wallow in our sinful nature but Paul explains instead of doing this we must strive to do things that Glorify our Father and have positive thoughts / behaviors in order to grow in our relationship with Him. Also with not wallowing in self pity of our sins we should not judge those who are self-soilers rather Paul tells us we should learn patience with these people and love them; that while in doing this we come together and start to bond in unity in the Body of Chris. Later on in this chapter Paul talks about what a Godly household should look like as well, in terms of what spouses should do and how children should act. There are clear guidelines in Chapter 3 as to how we as individuals should live our lives according to personal spirituality and living in unity together.

Leave a Reply