Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. – Colossians 1.21-22From Hannah Black:
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to many of you to hear that I love maths. I love the way that all the different concepts and methods fit together, and how developing a toolbox of ideas and techniques allows one to solve harder and harder problems.
But something that isn’t so great about maths is this: the more I learned, the more what I had learned a long time ago seemed simple, and even a bit dull. After learning something new and exciting, the old things grew less and less exciting.
It’s really tempting to think that the gospel is like that too; that once we understand the basics, like what Jesus did on the cross, we can then move on to learning the more complicated stuff.
But that isn’t right at all – we should never move on from studying the gospel. The more I learn about the rest of the Bible, and God’s plan for the world, the more beautiful and exciting the gospel message becomes, rather than becoming simple or dull.
One of my favourite explanations of the gospel at the moment comes in the verses printed above, Colossians 1 v 21-22. Paul knows that the Colossian Christians already know the gospel – he’s said so in chapter one verse six, but he still persists in reminding them of it. We know the gospel too, but let’s allow ourselves to be reminded…
Paul starts by explaining our past state. We were alienated from God, strangers who didn’t know him. But more than being strangers to God, we were actually his enemies, because of our evil behaviour.
But that’s not the case anymore – now we have been reconciled to God. My dictionary says that ‘to reconcile’ is ‘to restore friendly relations between’, but I don’t think that definition fully covers how huge this reconciliation is! We were enemies of God, but now we have a peaceful and right relationship with him.
So how were we reconciled? Paul says: ‘by Christ’s physical body through death’. When Jesus died on the cross, he dealt with the sin problem which separated us from God.
And why were we reconciled? In order to be presented to God as holy, without blemish, and free from accusation. When God sees us now, he sees his pure and blameless children, who are invited to be with him forever in glory. Now that’s good news!!
This gospel is an indescribably incredible message. I don’t really know enough words to communicate to you exactly how awesome it is. It would surely be wrong to think we could ever move on from the gospel to learn something more exciting.