Now concerning what He Does for Us
We have discussed who our Lord is regarding his divine nature in the last couple of devotions. The next few verses speak of what he has done for us by taking upon himself our human nature in conjunction with his divine: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to Himself [the Father] all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
It stands to reason that if all things were made through Christ, then all things must likewise be reconciled through him as well (Bruce, NICNT, 74.) And this was the very reason he was sent by the Father, the very purpose of his Incarnation and subsequent passion—to bring all things back into fellowship with the Father. Through Adam’s sin all creation “was subjected to futility” but with the “hope that creation itself [would] be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21). For this reason, Revelation speaks not only of heaven as our final destination but of a “new heaven and a new earth” (21:1). The redemption which is ours in Christ Jesus shall be applied to creation as well since our sin placed it under the curse. This curse must be removed, and will be removed. This is only just and fitting.
Now this does not mean that everyone and everything will be saved; this would contradict too many other passages of Scripture, including those written by Paul himself. But it does speak of our Lord’s purpose to regain what is rightfully his and in just the way which He shall have it. What concerns us here is that He shall gain it through His Son’s blood. The Father has willed that all things that shall be reconciled unto Him must be reconciled unto Him through His Son’s blood. How can that blood be so powerful? Because it is the blood of that pure and spotless lamb which nature was, moreover, assumed by that divinity. The power of that blood to save is limited only by the Father’s love and will to apply it to whom He will by the work of the Holy Spirit.
And it is also this blood that has reconciled these Colossians “in his body of flesh by his death,” that is, these Colossians who were at one time “alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” And the purpose of this application of His Son’s blood to them and us is to “present [us] holy and blameless and above reproach before Him.” This holiness and blamelessness is required of us by a holy God, whose holiness is above our understanding and impossible on our own to acquire or achieve. So, if our God shall have us, He shall only have us in this way, who being the perfection of holiness Himself, indeed even the very definition thereof, cannot but require that we come into His presence as holy. But if we shall come into His presence as holy, we shall have to be made so—which turns us back to our original subject—His Son’s blood and the body of his flesh which is the door to our holiness. And it is because we enter through the door of his flesh that we are made part of his body (the Church) of which he is the head. And so through faith in his blood and having been made holy thereby, we are incorporated into that body which supplies our life and direction, “For to us to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).
Finally, Paul adds an “if” clause: “If indeed you continue in the faith….” I am told that the Greek construction does not mean that Paul doubts that the Colossians will continue in the faith (ESV Study Bible, 2295). But we must also never grow slack in the faith, never presume upon God’s grace, and ever be diligent to walk worthy of our calling (1:10). It is good to hear these warnings from Scripture and sad we do not hear them enough from pulpits. I close with a quote from F. F. Bruce: “If the gospel teaches the final perseverance of the saints, it teaches at the same time that the saints are those who finally persevere—in Christ. Continuance is the test of reality” (NICNT, 79). And by remaining in him, having entered through the body of his flesh, we shall.