Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Once Alienated, Now Unaccusable

And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. (Colossians 1:21-23)
In Jesus the Messiah heaven and earth are reconciled and peace has been made between God and humankind through the blood of His cross. Paul now shows how this works.

We once were alienated from God. This estrangement resulted in broken relationships — with creation, each other, even within our own selves. We were out of joint with earth as well as heaven. We were “enemies” (the Greek word means “hateful”) towards God. Our thoughts and imaginations about God were hostile and this revealed itself through bitter, hostile deeds.

“Yet now,” Paul says. What wonderful words those are! What Paul just described about alienation and enemies was before. But now everything has changed because Jesus has reconciled us, brought us back into proper relationship with God. That makes all the difference in the world because now we have full access into the presence of God. Jesus has done this through His own flesh-and-blood body. Paul emphasizes this once more because false teachers would have denied that the Son of God even had a physical body, much less that any reconciliation could have been accomplished through it.

God was pleased to reconcile us through the cross of Jesus the Messiah so that He could “present” us holy, blameless and above reproach in His sight. The Greek verb for “present” is in the aorist tense, signifying completed action, a “done deal.” To be holy means to be consecrated, set apart for God and God alone. “Without blame” picks up the idea of a spotless offering, without blemish. “Above reproach” (not just without reproach but above reproach) means that no charge can now be laid against us.

But how can this be, for who among us has lived blamelessly and above reproach? Yet, Jesus presents us this way before the Father. He alone was without sin and spotless, and He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sake, making peace through His body and blood and death on the cross. He Himself is the sacrifice presented before the Father, and it is as we are in Him, through faith in Him, that we are presented before God as holy and blameless and above reproach. That is how God sees us now as well as how He will see on us on the final day when we stand before Him.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. (Ephesians 1:3-4)

Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
The devil is an accuser. In fact, that is what diabolos, the Greek word for “devil,” actually means, accuser or slanderer. In Revelation 12:10, he is called, “the accuser of our brethren.” However, there is now no accusation he can make that can stand against us. Ever.
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? … For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:33-35, 38-39)

Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. (Revelation 12:10)
Focus Questions
  1. Where do you locate yourself in God’s plan for reconciliation, with regard to your relationship with God, creation, others and your own self?
  2. Jesus has presented us holy and blameless before the Father. What confidence does that give you concerning your relationship with God?
  3. We often do not experience ourselves as being holy and blameless. What will you answer when the voice of the accuser whispers in your ear?



The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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