The Work of Reconciliation
Mediate on Colossians 1:19-20 this morning and these thoughts. Be amazed that God would make a way to reconcile sinners back to God rightly. Christ has come to make a way for the reconciliation of creation and its creator, God Himself. We are reconciled to God alone thru Christ.
Reconciliation literally means “to cause to be friendly again”. It means “to change from enmity or disharmony to friendship and harmony.” The word Paul uses here goes even further to bring the idea of completeness to this reconciliation. Think about that with regards to us as sinners and a holy God. Paul is communicating the truth that sinners can be totally and forever reconciled to God thru Christ.
The concept of reconciliation is not limited to the words reconcile or reconciliation, and we see this here, as it often is associated with the making of peace between man and God where sin had brought hostility. When Scripture speaks of “peace with God” (Rom. 5:1), of Christ as “our peace” (Eph. 2:14), and of His work of “establishing peace” (Eph. 2:15-17), this is reconciliation, the work of God in Christ to remove the enmity and alienation that separates God and man (Rom. 5:1-11).
This is a huge theme that runs throughout the Bible. And the interesting and beautiful thing we must grasp here is that it is not the guilty party, sinful humanity in this case, who initiates this reconciliation between God and humanity. God Himself, the offended party, is the one who took the initiative to make a way for sinners to be reconciled to God even while they were still sinners, still enemies. (Rom. 5:8, 10) And again we see here a reference to Christ’s death has the means of making this reconciliation possible.
Reconciliation is the finished and whole work of God through Christ Jesus by which man is brought from the place of enmity to harmony or peace with God. There are other terms used in Scripture of God’s gracious work in Christ like redemption, justification, regeneration, and propitiation, but reconciliation seems to be the over-all term of Scripture which encompasses all the other terms as a part of what God has done through the Lord Jesus to completely remove the enmity or alienation, the whole of the barrier (sin, God’s holiness, death, unrighteousness, etc.). It is this work that sets God free to justify the believing sinner by faith in Christ so there is peace with God, the change of relationship from hostility to harmony.
That Christ reconciles all things whether things on earth or things in heaven points to the completeness of the plan of God for the universe. This will include the defeat of the enemies of God as described in Revelation 6-19, and the new heavens and earth to be created following the millennial reign of Christ (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1), but we dare not miss the fact that the method and means for this is the blood of the cross (Col. 1:20) through God’s sinless Lamb (John 1:29).
We see even in Romans 8 that creation awaits its redemption, even groans while it waits. Completeness is the idea here, not universalism.
What all of this teaches us is that Christ alone is to be the object of our worship, the sole means of deliverance from the power of darkness, and the means of transference into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, the only one in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12), or religious system that can bring us to God (John 14:6). Life only makes sense when Christ is at the center of it all along with God’s glory.
No matter what we face today, know this believer, that Christ is enough. He is supreme and unique and completely unrivaled. Please see that. Trust Him and His work alone. As is right and intended, may Christ have first place in everything in our lives. May our reconciliation to God thru faith in the sufficient work of Christ dictate and inform and even translate everything we face here on this earth as we await the full blessing of our adoption.