“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him, God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven.”
Colossians 1:19-23 NRSV
Following on from our talks about the work of Christ in atonement, his victory over sin and death, the sacrificial offering for our sins and the freedom we now have in Christ. This morning I want to emphasise what the cross did in terms of reconciling us to God and restoring our relationship as intended in the garden and finally what ultimately awaits us in the final call.
- The condition of humanity
The problem humanity rejected God by choosing their path, evil invaded the heart. Hatred and murder and followed and evil spread.
“What then? Are we any better off? No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: “There is no one who is righteous, not even one; there is no one who has understanding, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned aside, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, there is not even one.” “Their throats are opened graves; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of vipers is under their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.”
Romans 3:9-14, 16-20 NRSV
2. Reconciliation through the resurrection
The solution God had in mind to undo what humanity did was outlined in Romans 5
“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.”
Romans 5:1-2, 6, 8-10 NRSV
3. The Church
The final call
As people of God we are called to flourish, to bring some heaven into hellish places and light into dark places. Steadfast in faith no more shifting from the gospel message. Paul appears to make compromises in areas so he could relate to others and played the political game when he needed to, claiming to be Roman and Jewish being all things to all people but he wouldn't back down or compromise on the Gospel.
As flinging humans, we need to speak about ourselves in the light of the resurrection of Christ, seeing ourselves as blameless and irreproachable, if this is not the case then Christ died in vein. So we stop claiming sin as our identity and Stop claiming our addiction as who we are
We are not our old sinful self cut off from Christ
We are made right with God, acceptable in God presence.
Whatever our group identify whatever race we are or whatever status we have or whatever gender you are - stop this pronoun nonsense and say that you are a new creation.
We had a problem we were far from God we were cut of because of your sin and sinful ways all past tense but now
Who are we?
We are a child of the king unique and chosen we are redeemed from our old life renewed to flourish to grow to change to be sanctified by his blood - chosen to be part of something amazing as we stay faithful and remain obedient to God's call
The darkness no longer has hold over us we are children of the light children born to rule and reign in life. To have dominion as the new humanity.
“If, because of the one man's trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:17 NRSV