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, and do not move 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 (NIV)
In order for an enemy to become a friend something of large value needs to be traded or a new common purpose needs to be established.
We have seen many enemies in our world. We have nations who have wronged other nations. We have seen some become allies based on a new common purpose.
We have seen people wrong another person and it results in victim having enmity against the perpetrator. We’ve seen these relationships reconciled in the following ways.
First, the offender, acknowledges their wrong. If the offender doesn’t do this first step the relationship can’t be repaired.
Next, one of two things must happen in order for make up for the wrong.
Either the offender makes things right by repaying or making up for the wrong they did against the victim. Or, the victim extends forgiveness. This forgiveness is the payment for the wrong that was done. By forgiving the person, the victim absorbs the cost and penalty of the offense, no expecting payment from the perpetrator. This gives the offender a right standing in their relationship with the former victim—who is no longer a victim because the wrong has been rectified.
We were enemies of God. He was the victim. We were the perpetrators living against God. Our relationship was severed because of our sin. Not only what we have done, but also because we were born separated from him as we were under a curse that Adam and Eve welcomed on us.
Something had to be done to re-establish the relationship.
Either we had to make things right by making up for our wrong. In our case this would mean doing enough good to make us meet the standard to be right. This is impossible. No one’s that good or can try to e that good.
Or, since we can’t possibly make up for the curse we are under, a payment was made for us.
Jesus lived the perfect life we couldn’t live, making Him the perfect payment to make up for our inept ability to live right before God. He then paid the penalty for our sin by dying in our place.
Jesus was the perfect person and the perfect payment for us to be in a right standing with God. Because of this we can be reconciled to Him.
But we have to first admit we couldn’t achieve this right standing with God in our own effort. In essence, we have to give up trying and trust that Jesus is the One who reconciles our relationship with God.
When we trust Jesus to pay for what we have done wrong and will do wrong then Jesus does something amazing. He presents us to the court without any blemish on our record. He paid the fine to remove the wrong from our account.
This is our hope. We can’t hope to live right but we can put our hope in Jesus to make us right with God.
We are encouraged by Paul to continue in this hope. He says keep faith in the good news that Jesus does for us what we could not do for ourselves and makes us right with God.
My next step:
Not to move away from the hope that Jesus re-established my relationship with Him by continually recognizing my faith is in Him to make me right and not in my efforts.