Colossians #6

Christ, The Means Of Reconciliation

“For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fullness dwell…” (Col. 1:19).

In verses prior to verse 19 Paul had shown Jesus to be the Firstborn of all Creation, in all things he is to have preeminence. In the verses just cited the writer shows “it was God’s good pleasure that in him should all the fullness dwell.” The word “for” in the verse links prior verses with these ones. “All the fullness dwelleth in him” is related to “in all things he might have the preeminence,” Verse 18.

It was God’s will that Christ be honored as he was and is. It was God’s will that through Christ all things should be reconciled to Himself. He said in verse 20, “And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.” He is not saying that all sinners in heaven who need to be reconciled to God are reconciled to God through Christ, he is saying that heaven and earth are reconciled to each other through the sacrifice of Christ. Please understand that the expression “all things” refers to fallen man. The Holy Spirit reveals that it was not for fallen angels that Christ suffered and made atonement; it was for man. “For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham” (Heb. 2:16).

The theme of reconciliation is a wondrous one. The word itself means “to change from enmity to friendship.” The Colossian letter shows that it was man who “being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works…” (Col. 1:21f). Man caused the alienation between himself and God; God was responsible for the reconciliation. Here is what he wrote Corinthians: “But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation…” (2 Cor. 5:18-19). The possibility of reconciliation comes because of Christ dying that an appropriate sacrifice would be made for the removal of sin, see Romans 5:10.

In 2 Cor. 5:18-21 Paul speaks of God as the one who sought reconciliation with sinful man. He made that reconciliation possible through Christ who paid the price for the removal of it. He gave unto the apostles the word of reconciliation, the gospel, to preach to sinful man. Then the apostle urges: “We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ as though God were entreating by us, we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20).

And just how is man to be reconciled to God? That reconciliation is in Christ’s blood. We must be touched by the blood to be reconciled. We are touched by Christ’s blood when we are baptized into his death (Rom. 6:3f). When we are raised from baptism, we are a new creation, we can rise to walk in newness of life because we have been reconciled!

Jim McDonald