COLOSSIANS 1:20-29 – RECONCILIATION 

Reconciliation – When two people are at odds, differences are resolved and fellowship and friendship are either restored or established for the first time. 

There have been times in your life when you needed to be reconciled to someone. Perhaps reconciliation was needed with your parents after you “blew it”.  My Dad had every reason to be angry with me when I told someone else I was changing churches and didn’t tell him.  But he confronted me, and eventually there was reconciliation. 

Sometimes reconciliation has been needed between you and a friend or a brother or sister. Sometimes reconciliation is even needed because we’ve hurt someone we don’t even know such as through a traffic accident. 

Our greatest need of reconciliation has been with God.

We are sinners.

We have offended the holy and almighty God!

We do not deserve any of God’s blessings.

We do not deserve forgiveness.

We do not deserve a home in heaven. Romans 3:10-18 

That’s the bad news.

The good news is, of course, that God long ago took the matter of reconciliation into his own hands and has provided that reconciliation to all who will trust His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins. 

We want to consider reconciliation as described by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:20-29.  Studying this passage is important because we will see: 

THE MEANS OF RECONCILIATION – Vs. 20 

Here we see how God provided a way of “peace” between Himself, righteous God, and sinful man. There was certainly need of peace! Ephesians 2:2-3 

God provided the peace through the blood of His Son.   

Someone had to pay for our sins so God could forgive and take us to Heaven. 1 Peter 1:18-19, Romans 5:9 

My friend the price for your forgiveness has been paid. All you have to do is accept this gift of forgiveness by faith. Romans 5:1 

Not only did Jesus reconcile sinners to himself, but it tells us that Jesus has reconciled all things in Heaven and in Earth. 

When Christ returns and reigns there will be complete submission to Him. There will be total peace with God in the natural world and in the world of men. 

And we look forward also to the day when there will be a new Heaven and a new earth. 

Revelation 21:1- And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.   

I believe that this is the time when Romans 8:21 will be fulfilled.

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 

Philippians 2:9-10 – That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; [11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord. However only those who know Christ shall have peace!   

Revelation 20:15 – And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. 

The means of reconciliation of God to man and the means of reconciliation of everything in heaven and earth is the blood of Jesus Christ.   

THE MIRACLE OF RECONCILIATION – Vss. 21-23 

Talking to believers, Paul now shows us what a great miracle reconciliation is for the one who has come to Christ. 

Vs. 21 says that we were alienated from God. The word means estranged, or we would say separated from God. Our sins did that. 

We were the enemies of God.

Even though we might have thought we loved God before we accepted God’s forgiveness, we were in reality God’s foes. We were hostile towards God! 

Our hostility led to wicked works. 

But now, He has reconciled us or changed us.

Final reconciliation takes place when Jesus reins supreme.

Current reconciliation has brought us peace with God now. 

Vs. 22 – The work of Christ accomplished three things that are mentioned here. 

  • He has made us holy.

    It is the same word that we get “saint from”

You might say that He has made us saints. The word means to be “set apart”. Through Christ’s death He has set those who believe in Him apart for God. 

  • He has made us unblameable.

This word means “without blemish”.

Just as the Old Testament temple sacrifices were to be without flaw or blame, we are without blame or blemish before God because of the Word of Jesus Christ. 

  • He has made us unaccusable.

There is nothing that the accuser of the brethren, Satan, can accuse us with that will stick. 

Not one accusation can keep me out of Heaven.

Not one accusation can stop God from loving me in Christ. 

Vs. 23 – There’s an “if” in this verse which, of course connects with the verse we just looked at.

This “if” does not mean that you can lose your salvation.

It means that if you are truly saved, you will become tooted and grounded in the Gospel and not moved away. 

Someone has said, “If the Bible teaches the final perseverance of the saints, it also teaches that the saints are those who finally persevere in Christ. Continuance is the test of reality” John 10:27-30

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION – Vss. 24-29 

When a person preaches or shares Christ he is involved in the ministry of reconciliation.

The preaching of the word of reconciliation causes people to believe on Christ and be reconciled to God. 

Paul, in verses 25-29 gives us some characteristics of his ministry of reconciliation that I feel will be true of us as we share Christ or witness of Him today.   

  • REJOICING IN SUFFERING – Vs. 24

How did Paul “suffer” for these Colossians?

Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles. That is, to the non-Jews.

As such, he suffered all sorts of hardships and persecution. At the time of this writing, Paul was in prison. 

In the rest of this verse it may appear that Paul is saying that the suffering of Christ was inadequate, so Paul had to suffer some more! 

It is only the work of Christ that pays for sin! John 1:29, Hebrews 10:14 

In this verse Paul is not talking salvation, but service.  As a believer in Christ Paul had the privilege of suffering for Christ and his body, the church.  The word “afflictions” means distress, pressure or trouble.   

Philippians 1:29 – For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 

2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 

We will suffer like Paul when we dare to preach or witness for Christ. But like Paul, let us rejoice in the sufferings which are for the benefit of other believers. 

  • REVEALING A MYSTERY – Vss. 25-27

A mystery in Scripture has nothing to do with “Murder She Wrote”. It is not a “who done it?” 

It is a “sacred secret”, once hidden, but now revealed. 

Vs. 25 – Paul was given a dispensation or a stewardship, or a responsibility. His job was to fulfill the Word of God in ministry to the gentiles. 

Vs. 26 – This was a mystery, a sacred secret, hidden in the past, but now revealed to his saints. 

Vs. 27 – The mystery is simply this.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Jewish Messiah, would indwell a church that is made up of people mostly like the Colossians, Gentiles! 

Our hope of glory is that we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior the moment we believed on him and were reconciled to God. Our hope of Glory is that Christ indwells us! Galatians 3:27-28 

And because Christ indwells us we are new creatures and we have a new and changed life! 2 Corinthians 5:17 

This mystery may not mean a lot to you, but it is because of this mystery that you have equal access with God as any Jew does in Christ. And it is because of this mystery that you can walk up to any person and tell them that they can have forgiveness of sin in Christ. 

  • PREACHING THE TRUTH – Vs. 28

The ministry of reconciliation is summed up in this verse.

It is preaching or proclaiming the truth.

It is to involve warnings.

And it is to involve teaching, not just scaring people.

This is done to present every person perfect in Christ. 

  • LABORING IN POWER – Vs. 29

No minister, not even Paul, was effective in his own power.

It is all dependent upon the gracious work of God’s Holy Spirit.

So pray for your pastor that he will be properly empowered to reach the lost and minister to the saved. 

And pray for yourself that you will be able to share Christ with those who need to hear the Gospel.

This is not only the Pastor’s Job! 

THE MEANS OF RECONCILIATION – Vs. 20

THE MIRACLE OF RECONCILIATION – Vss. 21-23

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION – Vss. 24-29 

Rejoicing in suffering

Revealing a mystery.

Preaching the truth –  Vs. 28

Laboring in power