Colossians 1:20
and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross.
Sermons
The Great ReconciliationW.F. Adneney Colossians 1:20
The Reconcilation Effected by ChristT. Croskery Colossians 1:20
Prayer Leading Up to the Person of ChristR. Finlayson Colossians 1:9-23
Christ FirstProfessor Reuss.Colossians 1:14-20
Forgiveness and Remission of SinsJ. Morison, D. D.Colossians 1:14-20
Jesus Christ the End of the CreationC. P. Jennings.Colossians 1:14-20
Pardon, not Justice, WantedColossians 1:14-20
Plan of RedemptionChristmas Evans.Colossians 1:14-20
RedemptionT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:14-20
Redemption Atonement for and Remission of SinT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:14-20
Redemption God's Forgiveness as King and FatherG. Calthrop, M. A.Colossians 1:14-20
Redemption Incomplete Until Accepted by Faith in ChristP. Bayne, B. D.Colossians 1:14-20
Redemption Partial and CompleteBishop Davenant.Colossians 1:14-20
The Deity of ChristB. W. Noel, M. A.Colossians 1:14-20
The Greatness of RedemptionP. Bayne, B. D.Colossians 1:14-20
The Value of PardonH. W. Taylor.Colossians 1:14-20
The Witness of Creation to the GospelJ. O. Dykes, D. D.Colossians 1:14-20
We have Redemption Through His BloodColossians 1:14-20
The Glories of King JesusR.M. Edgar Colossians 1:15-20
Christ All in AllU.R. Thomas Colossians 1:15-29
The Supremacy of Christ in the Moral UniverseE.S. Prout Colossians 1:18-20
Fulness of Christ Cannot be SupplementedC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 1:19-22
Fulness of Grace in ChristBishop Davenant.Colossians 1:19-22
No Limit to the Fulness in ChristT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:19-22
Peace by the Blood of ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 1:19-22
Peace Through the Blood of the CrossJ. Morison, D. D.Colossians 1:19-22
ReconciliationJ. Donne, D. D.Colossians 1:19-22
Reconciliation by ChristF.W. Robertson, M.A.Colossians 1:19-22
The AtonementW. M. Taylor, D. D.Colossians 1:19-22
The FulnessJ. Morison, D. D., T. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:19-22
The Fulness of ChristCongregational RemembrancerColossians 1:19-22
The Fulness of ChristH. Brooke.Colossians 1:19-22
The Fulness of Christ the Treasury of the SaintsC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 1:19-22
The Nature and Issues of ReconciliationJ. Spence, D. D.Colossians 1:19-22
The Personal Blessings of ReconciliationG. Barlow.Colossians 1:19-22
The ReconcilerT. Guthrie, D. DColossians 1:19-22
The Reconciling SonA. Maclaren, D. D.Colossians 1:19-22
The Reconciling Work of the Great MediatorG. Barlow.Colossians 1:19-22
And, having made peace through the blood of the cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself.

I. THE NATURE OF THIS RECONCILIATION.

1.. It implies a prior estrangement. Man "departed from the living God" (Hebrews 3:12). He is "alienated" from God (ver. 21). "The carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7). Even God himself was angry with man (Psalm 7:11). But this prior estrangement implies an antecedent friendship.

2. Though man was first in the breach of this friendship, God was first in the reconciliation. This blessed restoration of broken relations is traced to "the good pleasure" of the Father. It is a mistake to say that Christ is the cause of his Father making to us the offer of reconciliation. The atonement is not the cause, but the effect, of God's love.

3. There was reconciliation on God's side as well as man's. There is a change in the Divine relation or mood of mind toward us; for he himself "made peace by the blood of the cross," and his reconciliation of all things to himself is represented as based upon the peace thus made. The death of Christ was a true satisfaction to Divine justice for sin, so that God could be "just and the Justifier of the ungodly."

II. THE MEANS OF THIS RECONCILIATION. "Having made peace through the blood of the cross." The reconciliation was not absolute or without mediation. It was "through the blood of the cross" - the first term suggesting a comparison between Christ's death and the Old Testament sacrifices; the second, the penal nature of the Redeemer's death as that of a curse-bearing Substitute. The apostle emphasizes this aspect of truth, because the errorists of his time denied alike a real incarnation and a real atonement.

III. THE UNIVERSALITY OF THIS RECONCILIATION. "By him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven.

1. "Things in earth" may include more than man.

(1) It may include the whole visible creation, which is "groaning and travailing together in pain until now," and "waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God" (Romans 8:19-21). The curse passed to the ground through man's sin; through man will the blessing reach it again. It is a significant fact that Christianity in its purest form brings a happy change over those portions of the earth where it prevails.

(2) But, definitely and primarily, "things in earth" refer to man. Man's reconciliation to God is based upon God's reconciliation to man. It was in virtue of Christ's death that the Holy Spirit came to change the hearts, of men and bring them into harmony with God.

2. "Things in heaven." Not angels, as some suppose, for they were never estranged from God and Christ, and the Head of angels as well as men is never represented as the Mediator of angels. A mere increase of knowledge or blessedness on their part, or the confirmation of them in their heavenly obedience, can hardly be covered by the term "reconciliation." The word must be used in its ordinary sense. The apostle has described Christ's mediatorial function as twofold: as exercised in the natural creation and in the spiritual creation - in the universe and in the Church. His object is not to show the extent either of the creation or of the reconciliation, but, the person of the Creator and the Reconciler, and the Church marks the glorious sphere of the reconciliation as it is seen in its two great divisions of living and dead saints. The "things in heaven" seem, therefore, to apply to the saints in glory. - T. C.







To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ.
I. THEIR CHARACTER. Holy persons. The idea is derived from the sacred vessels of the temple, which might not be appropriated to common uses. In a more general sense, saints are those who are eminent for piety, not all who are flattered or derided as such. One who is truly a saint —

1. Acknowledges that he was once a lost and undone sinner, and who daily brings his sins for pardon and his graces for increase to the throne of grace.

2. Has a new heart and a right spirit. He is a new creature — loving what God loves, and hating what He hates.

3. Is zealous for the cause of his Divine Master. Where there are no spiritual actions there is no spiritual life. The chief motives are fortitude and the constraining love of Christ.

4. Grows in grace.

II. THEIR RELATION TO EACH OTHER.

1. There are three kinds of brotherhood — natural, such as that between Esau and Jacob; national, such as existed among the Jews; spiritual, by adoption and grace. The last is the strongest, purest, and most enduring.

2. Of this Christ is the Elder Brother, and as He is not ashamed to own this relationship should we be either in regard to Himself or the poorest member of the family?

3. Love should spring out of this relationship. This is most natural! Christ has made love the badge of Christian discipleship; it is "good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity."

4. Its distinguishing attribute is fidelity. Be thou faithful in defending your brother when defamed, in admonishing him when in the wrong, in helping him in difficulty, in comforting him in trouble. A false brother is worse than an open foe.

III. THEIR SITUATION IN THE WORLD.

1. Christians in the midst of heathens, and exposed to temptation and persecution.

2. Believers surrounded by heretics — their faith exposed to subtle undermining and bold attack.

3. Few as against many. Churches are often thus situated, but if they retain their holiness and faithfulness become more than conquerors.

(T. Watson, B. A.)

I.AS OUR GOD IS HOLY SO MUST WE BE (1 Peter 1:15).

II.IT IS THE END OF OUR DIVINE CHOICE (Ephesians 1:4).

III.OUR CALLING BINDETH US (1 Thessalonians 4:7).

IV.OUR REDEMPTION (Titus 2:14).

V.THE GRACE OF GOD TEACHES US THIS (Titus 2:11-12).

VI.THE FINAL JUDGMENT PERSUADES US THEREUNTO (2 Peter 5:2; 1 John 3:3).

VII.THE RIGHT CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH PROHIBITS THE UNHOLY (Matthew 7:6). Conclusion:

1. This discovers to us the vanity of the Pope in restraining a title common to all believers while they live to some few whom it pleaseth him to canonize after death.

2. We see the lewdness of many profane Esaus who scoff at the name.

3. We must remember what kind of men we must be even such as must profess and practice holiness.

(P. Bayne, B. D.)

This mystical but most real union of Christians with their Lord is never far away from the apostle's thoughts, and in the Epistle to the Ephesians it is the very burden of the whole. A shallower Christianity tries to weaken that great phrase to something more intelligible to the unspiritual temper and poverty-stricken experience proper to it; but no justice can be done to Paul's teaching unless it be taken in all its depth as expressive of the same mutual indwelling and interlacing of spirit with spirit, which ,is so prominent in the writings of John. There is one point of contact between the Pauline and Johannean conceptions, on the difference between which so much exaggeration has been expended; to both the inmost essence of the Christian life is union to Christ, and abiding in Him. If we are Christians we are in Him in a profounder sense than creation lives and moves and has its being in God. This is the deepest mystery of the Christian life. To be "in Him" is to be complete. "In Him" we are "blessed with all spiritual blessings." "In Him" we are "chosen." "In Him" God "freely bestows His grace upon us." "In Him we have redemption through His blood." "In Him" "all things in heaven and earth are gathered." In Him is the better life of an that live. In Him we have peace though the world be seething with changed all storm. In Him we conquer though earth and our own evil he all in arms against us. If we live in Him, we live in purity and joy. If we die in Him, we die in tranquil trust. If our gravestones may truly carry the sweet old inscription, carved on many a nameless slab in the Catacombs, "In Christo," they will also bear the other, "In pace." If we sleep in Him, our glory is assured, "For them also that sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him."

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Grace is introductory good; peace is final good: he therefore who wishes these two blessings includes every intermediate benefit.

I. GRACE denotes —

1. The gratuitous act of the Divine will accepting man in Christ and pardoning his sins (Ephesians 2:5; Romans 3:24). This free love of God is the first gift in which all other gifts are bestowed.

2. All those habitual gifts which God infuses for the sanctification of the soul. So faith, love, and all virtues and salutary endowments are called graces (Ephesians 4:7).

3. The actual assistance of God, whereby the regenerate, after having received habitual grace, are strengthened to perform good works, and to persevere in faith and godliness. For to man renewed and sanctified by grace, the daily aid of God is still necessary for every single act. The union of all these is necessary: inherent grace is not given unless the grace of acceptance has preceded it; neither being given is it available to the production of fruits, unless also the efficacious help of God follow and accompany it through every individual action.

II. PEACE. The Hebrews used this expression as we use the expression health or joy: it signifies prosperity marked by no calamities either public or private (Genesis 43:27; Psalm 122:6). But with the apostles it is used more extensively, and comprehends more especially spiritual joy and prosperity. Therefore under this term Paul desires for them —

1. Internal peace, or peace of conscience, which arises from the grace of God accepting us for Christ's sake (John 14:27; Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:7).

2. Brotherly peace; "breaking peace they exclude grace." This is a great and desirable good, and is frequently celebrated as the special gift of God (1 Corinthians 14:33; 2 Corinthians 13:11). The seeds of schism had been scattered abroad; there was therefore need of peace.

3. That external peace which is the well-being of the Church; but only yet so far as it does not militate against their spiritual good; for sometimes it conduces more to the welfare of the faithful that they be afflicted than that they enjoy external tranquility.

III. WE MAY GATHER —

1. From the order itself, as he places grace before peace, he teaches us —(1) That this is first of all to be desired, that we may have God propitious. If He be hostile, even blessings will be turned into a curse.(2) That true peace cannot belong except to those only who are in favour with God. "There is no peace to the wicked."(3) That all good things which fall to the lot of the godly are streams from this fountain of Divine grace.

2. From the thing itself desired —(1) Paul shows us by his own example the duty of every minister of the gospel; which is, not only to preach grace and peace to his people, but from their inmost souls to intreat and implore the same from God by incessant prayer: neither is sufficient of itself.(2) He reproves the folly of this world, in which almost all wish for themselves and their friends, health, riches, and honours; but grace, peace, and other spiritual good things, they neither regard nor think of. But Christ commands us to seek "first the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33).(3) He comforts the godly and faithful by showing them that the grace of God, and the peace of God they always possess; in comparison of which good things whatsoever fall to the wicked are refuse. "A God appeased," says Bernard, "tranquillizes all things, and to behold Him at peace is to be ourselves at peace."

(Bp. Davenant.)

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