Wednesday in the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Colossians 1:18-23

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.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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