For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.Colossians 1:19-20 (KJV)
Reconciled Unto Jesus
The first chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae is jam-packed with theology. Particularly, theology pertaining to Jesus Christ.
Paul addressed this letter from prison in Rome on behalf of he and Timothy to refute various false teachings that had been spreading in the Colossian church.
Paul opens the chapter with an address of thanksgiving, then with a prayer. After this he presents deep insights about Jesus.
In the finale of his magnificent list of Jesus’ attributes, Paul describes Jesus as the one in whom all fulness dwells. (Col. 1:19)“Through his Son Jesus Christ, God reconciles all things back to him.”
Contrary to heretical Gnosticism, which the Colossae Church was probably wrestling with (we don’t know 100% for sure), Jesus is all and everything.
He is fully divine. There is no other intermediary between God and man except Jesus, and he is not partly a God, he is all God and God in every sense – the only one who can save sinners. (1 Tim. 2:5)
Verse 20 specifically presents to us the grand purpose of God’s master plan of salvation for mankind. That is, that through his Son Jesus Christ, God reconciles all things back to him. (Col. 1:20)
Paul connects this to verse 16 which mentions that “all things were created by him, and for him.” (Col. 1:16) These two verses link so that we see a gap and need between them.
There was a perfect creation but now it needs to be reconciled. Something happened.
Sin entered. Man fell and we’ve been born into sin ever since. This is why verse 20 emphasizes reconciliation. Mankind fell. The fall demands peace, only Jesus’ death on the cross can satisfy God’s wrath and bring peace between man and God. (Rom. 5:1, Is. 53:5-6)“God created man for him, and man is still God’s. Man’s rebellion does not negate that or elevate man to a position outside or above God.”
Only the one who created all things can restore all things back to how they were meant to be. Sin does not negate Jesus’ ownership of creation. It didn’t suddenly make humanity and creation something God couldn’t work with, not at all. God had a plan. (Gen. 3:15)
God created man for him, and man is still God’s. (Col. 1:16, Rev. 4:11) Man’s rebellion does not negate that or elevate man to a position outside or above God.
Yet, God cannot look on sin for he is Holy. Moreover, natural man cannot seek out God without God’s initiative. (Jn. 6:65, 1 Cor. 2:14, Jn. 10:9)
So, without Jesus we can’t save ourselves and we’re enemies God. (Eph. 2:3)
In spite of all this, God loves us so much that he has a meticulously detailed and thought-out plan. He is, as we see again, reconciling all things back to himself through Jesus Christ.
A quick word of clarification. All things does not mean that all are saved. Salvation is not by osmosis or universal. God justifies us by faith in him. (Rom. 1:17)
His son is a gift to the undeserving. (Eph. 2:8-9) There is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved than Jesus. (Acts 4:12)
All things then means everyone in God’s plan who will be saved. His offer of salvation is for all the world, yet not all will come to him. (Matt. 7:22-24, Jn. 3:16)
All things also refers to the new creation – to God’s kingdom that he will usher in at the end of time. (Rev. 21:1)
Therefore, God is reconciling all things literally in that one day there will be a new heaven and earth where God will be with his bride the church (those who have been saved) for all eternity while sin will forever be in the lake of fire eternally separated from God. All creation will bow to Jesus in the end, all things will be set right and corrected. (1 Cor. 15:24)“We’re not reconciled to an idea, an impersonal being or some religious system. We’re reconciled to a personal, caring Jesus.”
This reconciliation is not just cosmic though, it is also individual. We are reconciled unto Jesus. (Col. 1:20)
He is the objection and reason of our reconciliation. He is personal, he cares. We’re not reconciled to an idea, an impersonal being or some religious system. We’re reconciled to a personal, caring Jesus. We can have a relationship with him.
In Greek “to reconcile” means to restore or to unite. Jesus then is restoring and uniting his kingdom back together, and is also restoring sinners one by one and uniting them each with their savior.
With each soul saved Jesus tears asunder the veil between God and man. (Matt. 27:51) He is the open door we walk through to eternal peace and glory. (Jn. 10:9)
What a thought to remember the next time you witness! God is bringing people back to him personally. You are introducing them to a personal God who restores and unites them to him.
Jesus is the fulness. He is all it takes to be saved. He is all we need. Jesus seeks sinners, brings them back from darkness and bids them enter his kingdom. (Col. 1:13)
By his love, he brings us back to fellowship and harmony with him; by his stripes we are healed. (Is. 53:5)
Those who are saved are now and will forever be one with God because of Jesus, united in love, glory and eternity.
Human history takes on new meaning in light of God’s plan. It suddenly makes sense. All was created by and for God, all is being brought back into his fold as part of his new kingdom.
Will you be part of that kingdom?
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