Colossians 1:15-23 (ESV)
15 He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 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, 23 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.
Commentary & Questions
Read verses 15-20 over again, slowly, and meditate on the truth that Jesus is God (Jn. 8:58, Ex. 3:14, Jn. 17); Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8); Beginning and End (Rev. 22:13); and that all of creation was created by him and exists to bring glory to Him (Jn 1:1-5, Heb. 1:10-12).
There are so many attributes and characteristics of God, and they are unchanging, unfading, everlasting… He is the sovereign King over all the universe, in control of everything (Matt. 10:29-30), could wipe out all of creation in a heartbeat, and has chosen to know you.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the dark is bright as day, for darkness is as light with you.” – Ps. 139:7-12
Reflect now on verses 21-23.
Who were you? What did it mean to be alienated, hostile in mind, and doing evil deeds? (Ps. 14:1-3)
Who is “he” in verse 22, who took action in the reconciliation? Why did he do it? What does it mean to be reconciled by the cross? (Gal. 2:21)
What does it look like to continue in the faith (verse 23), stable and steadfast, in light of being reconciled? (Rom. 5:1-11)
The gospel of Grace saves you initially from the penalty of sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and continues to save you every moment of every day from the power of sin through the working of the Holy Spirit. It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Rom 1:16), and it is only by the power of God that there is hope.
Take some time with God today and take inventory on your life. Are you modifying behavior and striving for righteousness on your own strength, battling out sin with more sin, or is it your covenant relationship with Jesus Christ and a true heart change that is translating into a natural overflow of love in your life through external actions? Reflect on your actions you take today and think about the motivation of your heart. Are they driven by fear of man or fear of God? Are you working for salvation or working out your salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)?
If your actions don’t reflect your heart, wrestle it out with God. Don’t attempt to fix yourself before approaching the throne of Grace. God is not in love with some future version of you. He is crazy about you, today, right now… and wants to work in you from the inside out. If your actions do reflect your heart, praise God. Regardless of where you are at, remember who God is, remember who you once were, remember what God has done, remember who you are now… and be present with Him today. The God of the universe, creator of Heaven and Earth, is standing at your door wanting just to be with you today.
Love to you.