Colossians 1:21-23 - And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
"Alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds"—Wow! That's definitely out there in left field, isn't it? Pictures of heinous criminals doing rotten deeds leap to mind when I read those words. These are scoundrels whose minds are set against good and godly things, doing all manner of wrongdoing and harm—yep, those rogues are most certainly "alienated and hostile."
The sad truth is this shoe fits us all. Lest we forget, here's the apostle Paul's sober reminder: "As it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one'" (Romans 3:10b-12), and "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
But it doesn't have to be this way. God is the great Reconciler. As with the believers at Colossae holding fast to the truth (and for us today), Paul says our status as unrighteous aliens is over. Who we "once were" is who we are no longer. (If ever you wanted to be a "has been," this is the time.) Stripped of our alien rags and belligerence toward God, He offers us complete liberation by faith—a new status as God's people now made presentable ("above reproach") by the all-sufficient work of Christ on the cross.
This is the grace God the Father offers you and me. It's a message of hope for our transformation, a divine pardon for our sins. Whatever lives we've lived, whatever deeds we've done, Jesus took to the cross, buried them in the tomb, and triumphed over them on resurrection morn. No one is beyond the reach of God's love. "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
Jesus has made this possible. He is ready to present you "holy and blameless and above reproach" before God the Father. He tells us this Himself: "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief (the devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" (John 10:9-11).
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for making us holy by faith in Your beloved Son. In His Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. Sometimes we all feel alienated. How often is that a result of our own making?
2. How had the Gospel in Paul's day already been "proclaimed in all creation under heaven"?
3. Is your redemption from sin liberating to you on a daily basis?
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