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 ď‚¨
The Christ hymn told us that everything belongs to Jesus. ď‚¤ 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.
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?