Reconciliation & Righteousness

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.” Colossians 1:21-24

In these words written to the Colossians, the apostle Paul reminds us that our condition before we were united to Jesus Christ by faith in Him, was that of being alienated from God.  Here he reminds us that it is through the death of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, that that we are reconciled to God. This reconciliation or reuniting us into a right relationship with God the Father is what He accomplished for us on the Cross.  St. Paul also affirms that it is through the righteousness of Christ alone that we are presented to God as holy and blameless in God’s sight.  What an amazing reality that even though we continue to sin as Christians, yet we are counted as righteous before God through Jesus Christ!  I think we too easily push this reality to the back of our minds, and we begin to think that our goodness or good works must be worth something for our salvation. I encourage us to keep the awesome reality of Christ’s work at the forefront of our minds and hearts. Reflect on this reconciliation often.  Meditating on the amazing grace of God helps to nurture gratefulness in our hearts and thanksgiving to God for this righteousness we didn’t deserve and cannot live out. 

The apostle Paul then proceeds to remind us of our need to grow and persevere in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul urges us to continue in the Christian Faith, stable and steadfast, not moving away from the hope of the Gospel.  He is giving us this rallying cry: we have been reconciled to God and have been restored to God through Jesus, so let us continue to trust, hope, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  If we continue to trust in the Lord Jesus, He will continue to make our trust in Him steady and firm.  Our hope will only waver when we allow ourselves to doubt God’s goodness and His ability to continue to save and deliver us from the power of sin.  In moments of doubt, we need to remind ourselves of the promises of God’s Word. 

 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

The apostle Paul also says in Romans 8:38,39, “38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God because He is all powerful and He is able to keep us close to Him. We can trust in His power to save us completely.  God has saved us, He is saving us, He will save us!  No matter what trials you are presently facing, remind yourself that God is greater than your present sufferings.  Let us remind one another of these precious promises of God and encourage each other to remain firm in our faith in the LORD.  I close this article with this prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, page 74,

“Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”