Colossians 1:21-23 reads:
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 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, 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.
Scripture says you were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds. The words “and you” are emphatic. Paul is not giving us truths that are meaningless to our lives, they have direct application to us.
Paul tells us the state we were in before we trusted in Christ (or some of you are still in if you have never done that). We were alienated from God. We were estranged from him because of our sin. Not only were we estranged from God, but we were also “hostile in mind.” That word is sometimes translated ‘hated.’ We were hostile in our mind to God; we hated him and were enemies of him. We weren’t just innocent unbelievers.
Because of our estrangement from God and hatred of him in our minds, we committed evil deeds. However, he has reconciled us in his body of flesh by his death, to present us holy, blameless, and above reproach. After showing us the grim picture of where we were, he now moves to the wonderful work of God.
We were estranged, but now we have been reconciled. This occurred in Christ’s body, by his death. As mentioned above, this happens by the blood of his cross and the resurrection. Previously, we were hostile in mind and doers of evil deeds, now we are holy, blameless and above reproach before him. A sinner like you/me can stand before a holy God blameless!
We must continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel. Scripture gives us warnings to examine ourselves lest we deceive ourselves. Not everyone who has “said a prayer” has really been saved. True believers continue in the faith.
- Do you believe Scripture’s testimony that you were born an enemy of God? Why is that so hard for us to believe?
- If you are a believer, do you believe that because of the work of Christ you are presented holy, blameless, and above reproach? How does this affect how you approach God (see Heb. 4:14-16)?
- Scripture gives testimony that those who are truly saved persevere until the end. Does your life show a perseverance of the faith? Which one of the soils are you (see Mark 4:1-9)?