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CHRISTALAYA BIBLE STUDY: COLOSSIANS 1:21-23 Growing Up Into the Fullness of Christ


Once you were alienated from God 

What does it mean to be alienated from God?  Separation?  Estrangement?

Why passive voice?  Why

not ‘once you had alienated yourselves from God?’  Alienation is a sign of ignorance  No

one in their right mind would want to be alienated from God


And were enemies in your minds 

Whose enemies?  God’s

enemies?  Enemies of other humans?  Enemies of God’s creation? 

Why ‘in your minds’?  The

mind is where the battle is

Literally – ‘hostile in thought’


Because of your evil behavior 

The evil behavior reveals a mind at enmity with God and hostile toward his purposes  In

v. 13 there is the idea that Jesus rescues the Colossians from the dominion of darkness. This is more like a hostage rescue—the devil had the Colossians captive and Jesus stormed the dungeons and rescued them.  Here the image is different. The Colossians are not helpless captives but openly hostile to God. That is, their evil deeds reveal that they are partners with the devil.


But now he has reconciled 

The Christ hymn told us that everything belongs to Jesus.  Jesus,

knowing that the Colossians belong to him effects their reconciliation even though they were hostile to him.


In his body of flesh   

Word used for ‘body’ is sw/ma Word used for ‘flesh’ is sa,rx Why this strange phrase ‘his body of flesh’?  Jesus

is human. He did not simply appear to be human  We are not spirit beings trapped in a cumbersome body!  Reconciliation is a physical act with spiritual ramifications, not a spiritual act with a rejection of the physical


By means of death 

Reconciliation happens as a consequence of Jesus’ death  No

reconciliation if Jesus did not die  No more alienation if Jesus has died


To present you… 

The purpose of reconciliation is to present us  Holy  Jesus

restores us to our purpose of being consecrated to and by God.

 Blemishless  Our

and blameless

past hostility is not just not remembered but is treated as though it had not happened.


If you continue in the faith 

Why ‘if’?  Is

the reconciliation dependent on our faithfulness?  Is the ‘holy, blemishless and blameless’ aspect dependent on our faithfulness?


Colossians 1:21-23