The Hope Held Out In The Gospel—Colossians 1:21-23
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 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— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant” (Colossians 1:21-23)
This is amazing! The Colossians demonstrated the true impact the gospel has had since the beginning. They heard God’s good news message, received it and it became personal to them. Paul showed the extent of what Christ did to reconcile humanity back to God in the previous verses (Colossians 1:13-20), but ends with the evidence that it worked, the evidence was the lives of the Colossians.
The Gospel is the Power of God
In the Apostle Paul’s beautiful letter to the Romans he says it like this right before he lays out the foundation of our faith, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). The gospel is the power of God. It has the ability to bridge the gap created with the fall. It has the power to forgive the sins we commit and to restore harmony between us and God. And yet, impact of the gospel in our lives is not a one time event, it has the power to continually produce and change us throughout the course of our entire lives.
These were Jesus’ words to Paul on the road to Damascus, they put into perspective how powerful this message is, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17b-18). Amazingly, Paul perfectly described the power contained in the gospel, it is a four step process, our eyes are opened, we are released from Satan’s power, our sins are forgiven and we are sanctified to receive a new place in God’s kingdom.
Isn’t this what happened to the Colossians? Isn’t this the evidence Paul refers to, proving what Jesus did worked?
Once they were alienated and enemies of God as proven by their evil behavior (vs. 1:21).
They heard the gospel which had the power to bring them back into harmony with God (vs 1:23).
They were rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of the Son (vs. 1:13).
The received redemption, the forgiveness of sins (vs. 1:14).
He presented them holy to God, without the marring effects sin left and without anything that could accuse them (vs. 1:22).
Then the gospel grew among them and produced fruit (vs. 1:6).
This is the power of the gospel, this is the power of God! This is also what happens in our lives when we accept the good news message of Jesus!
The Best is Yet To Come
“For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10).
The beautiful truth in all of this is that the best is still to come. If when we were enemies, God released His power to redeem, rescue, forgive and restore us, then what won’t He do now that we belong to Him?
May this amazing truth bless you today. May you take time to thank God for rescuing you through Jesus. I pray that you will find your place among the sanctified and that you will continually bear His fruit!