Life Out of Death

Bible Book: Colossians  1 : 20-23
Subject: Life; Resurrection; Easter; Death to Life
Introduction

Colossians 1:20-23

“…and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight — if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

On Easter I wish to use the most descriptive words in the Bible to describe the richness and reality of God’s Salvation. It will magnify the reason for Good Friday (the Cross) and Sunday following (Easter-the Resurrection).

Dr. Billy Graham has a very popular tract and a book entitled Peace With God. I have often been asked if someone “made peace with God” before it was too late.

EXAMPLE: Tommy Cliver

There are many New Testament words that describe the significance of Easter Sunday. I love the word SUBSTITUTION. Jesus Christ died as the substitution for sinful humanity, taking humanity’s place on the cross. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross takes the place of the punishment we ought to suffer for our sins. As a result, God’s justice is satisfied, and those who accept Christ can be forgiven and reconciled to God.

EXAMPLE: LT. COL. BETRAME

44 years old exchanged himself to free a hostage in Paris last week. His mother said that she knew it was her son inside the supermarket as soon as she heard that a Lt. Col. had exchanged himself to free a hostage.

As a result of his substitution, a woman was reconciled to her family.

Also, the word RECONCILE is one of the most significant and descriptive terms in the Bible. It is one of 5 key words used in the New Testament along with justification, redemption, forgiveness and adoption.

In justification, the sinner stands before God guilty and condemned, but is declared righteous in Christ (Romans 8:33).

In redemption, the sinner stands before God as a slave, but is granted his freedom in Christ (Romans 6:18-22). 

In forgiveness, the sinner stands before God as a debtor, but the debt is paid and forgotten in Christ (Ephesians 1:7).

In adoption, the sinner stands before God as a stranger, but is made a son in Christ

(Ephesians 1:5).

As a result we can be RECONCILED to God and make peace with God.

I. THE PLAN OF RECONCILLIATION 20-21

A. Reconciliation

“Reconcile” – means to change or exchange. When a person changes from being an enemy to being at peace, they are said to be reconciled. In the Bible it refers to the restoration of a right relationship with God.

It can be used for a husband being reconciled to his wife.

WORD used is KATALLASSO – to change or exchange.

Also uses APOKATALLASSO – compound word, reconcile with preposition added to intensify the meaning. It means thoroughly, completely, or totally reconciled. Paul emphasizes that there is total, complete and full reconciliation through the Lord Jesus.

B. Separation  21
1. Estranged 21a

“alienated” - literally means transferred to another owner. Speaks of estrangement from God; cut-off; perfect tense denotes a fixed state or condition.

Ephesians 2:12-13

“that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Unbelievers are detached from God because of sin. All unbelievers suffer separation from God unless they receive the reconciliation provided by Jesus Christ.

2. Enemies 21b

Actively hostile to God; hateful. Unbelievers are not only alienated from God by condition but also hateful to God by attitude. They hate Him and resent His holy standards.

“enemies in your mind” – this hostility affected their minds (thoughts, disposition, attitude) and was outwardly expressed in their “wicked works” (evil deeds).

Scripture teaches that unbelievers love their “wicked works.”

John 3:19-20: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”

The problem is not ignorance, but willful love of sin.

Yet, in spite of this truth, God desires to reconcile those that are separated.

Jesus Christ made provision on the cross to reconcile us; something we could never do for ourselves.

FOUR REASONS: Romans 5:6-10
1. Lack of Strength
“we were still helpless” 6
2. Lack of Merit
“we were the ungodly”  6
3. Lack of Righteousness
“we were yet sinners” 8
4. Lack of Peace With God 10
“we were enemies”

II. THE PROVISIONS OF RECONCILIATION 20a, 22a

These 2 phrases sum up the specific means whereby Christ effected our reconciliation with God.

A. Sacrifice 20a

“by Him” “to Himself” “by Him”

“made peace through the blood of His cross”

It denotes a violent death, such as suffered by the sacrificial animals.

Hebrews 13:11-12: “For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”

B. Substitute 22a

“in the body of His flesh through death”

He has now reconciled us in His fleshly body through death.

Romans 8:3: “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,”

Jesus took the place of sinners, dying a substitutionary death that paid the full penalty for the sin of all who believe.

III. THE PURPOSE OF RECONCILIATION 22b

A. Believer’s Consecration

“holy”- separated from sin and set apart to God.

2 Corinthians 5:21: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

B. Believers Character

“to present you holy and blameless, and above reproach in His sight”

without blemish; worthy of being offered to God. None of us believers are without blemish and in our personal conduct, but we are in our position in Christ.

1 John 4:17: “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”

C. Believer’s Charges

“above reproach” – free from accusations; no charges can be brought against us.

Romans 8:31-34: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

IV. THE PROOF OF RECONCILIATION 23

One of the most sobering truths in the Bible is not all who profess to be Christians are, in fact, saved. Here are some marks of a genuine Christian.

A. They Continue In The Faith 23c

Perseverance is the hallmark of the true saint.

1 John 2:19: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

Luke 8:13: “But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.”

“grounded and steadfast, not moved away” – an architectural image; a house, firmly set on the foundation (“the hope of the gospel”). “moved away” – earthquake stricken.

We are not saved by continuing in the faith. But we continue in the faith and thus proves that we are saved.

2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified.”

B. They Contend For Their Faith 23b

“the gospel” – Colossians told to hold fast to the gospel.

TWO REASONS:

1. It’s the instrument of their conversion (reconciliation).
2. Its universality is a mark of its authenticity.

The Gospel shows vital importance of RECONCILIATION

1. Transforms People
2. It appeases God’s wrath
3. It comes through Christ
4. It is available to all who believe
5. Every believer has been given the ministry of proclaiming the message of reconciliation.
CONCLUSION

Our mission is to plead with people to receive that reconciliation before it is too late.