Monday, June 3, 2013


Col. 1:21-23

Morning Meditation 6/4/2013

Verse 21-23 says, ”And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.”

Three important questions arise out of these three verses. These questions are not asked in the text but they are answered in the text. What were the Colossians before they were saved in relationship to God? What was their present status? And, what is their future responsibility. The first question,


What is true of the Colossians is true of everyone. Paul says, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works . . .” The words “that were” translate “on” in the Greek Textus Receptus and means “being.” It is a present participle. The action of the present participle represents action taking place at the same time as the action of the main verb. He is speaking of their past. So this word “on” is speaking of their BEING, i.e., who they were rather than what they did.

Man will sometimes take credit for his actions but few will ever admit that they are bad through and through. This is what the doctrine of Total Depravity deals with. It is not just the actions of the individual that makes him wrong. It is his being. Since this is true, his condition has to be dealt with radically. God must become a man. Jesus is that God-man. Jesus was not just good in His actions, He was good in His being. Jesus is not a perfect example (though that is true) for depraved people to follow. That is impossible. If man could quit his actions, he would still be a sinner through and through and given time he would return to his ways (2 Pet. 2:22). Man needs a substitute and this is what He has in Christ.

Let’s look at the next words, “and you, that we sometime alienated.” The word “alienated” translates “apallotrioo” and means, “to alienate, to estrange, to be shut out from one's fellowship and intimacy.” It is a perfect passive participle. The perfect tense is completed action in the past with the result that it is still true. The alien condition happened in the past and it remains true for the whole human race until the miracle of the New Birth changes this. When Adam sinned, He died on the spot and this word describes what happened to him and thus to the whole human race. An alien cannot come a citizen of heaven by reform. He must be born again into a Spiritual kingdom. The next word is “enemies” and translates “echthros” and means, “hostile, hating, and opposing another, and is used of men as at enmity with God by their sin.” The word “mind” translates, “dianoia” and means “the mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring.” This condition is described in Roman chapter 1. I encourage you to read it. Man’s condition has corrupted his whole way of thinking.

Man does not like to see himself as an “alien” and an “enemy” of God. Some are bold enough. But most try to take a neutral stand. The truth is that there is no neutrality. Jesus said that we were either for Him or against Him. Let me state again. Men can deal with the fact that they are sinners because they know they have done SOME things that even THEY know is wrong. What they can’t deal with is that they are not sinners because they commit sins they commit sins because they ARE SINNERS and this by birth and nature. Let me illustrate. We are born pigs and will always be pigs unless we find someone who can create us into a sheep. This is what the New Birth is. In the words of this illustration, Jesus puts a sheep’s nature in the pigs body. It does not change what we look like on the outside. The outside still looks like a pig. But it is strange to see a pig walking around a hog wallow and moving on to higher ground! The pig has a sheep’s nature within.

Paul says that the sinner is not only a sinner by nature but it is manifested by “wicked works.” There is proof that what Paul says about man’s condition prior to salvation is true. It comes out in wicked works. The killing of the unborn and claiming that it is not murder and then trying a little girl for murder when she goes into the bath room, has a baby, deposits it in the garbage, and returns to the prom is a good illustration of how perverted man’s thinking is. This happened several years ago. Man’s power to reason correctly is perverted. He is a sinner to the core and it is manifested in how he thinks and what he does.


This is brought out in the words, “Yet now hath he reconciled.” The words “hath he reconciled” translate “apokatallasso” and means, “to reconcile completely, to bring back a former state of harmony.” It is an aorist active indicative verb. The aorist tense is a point of time divorced from time and perpetuated forever. The active voice means that God did it. The aliens and enemies are no longer aliens and enemies. We have been reconciled completely. When God saves us, it is a complete salvation. He does not save us and turn us loose to finish the job. He saves us completely for ever and He does it by Himself. Hebrews 1:3 says, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, WHEN HE HAD BY HIMSELF PURGED OUR SINS, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”(Caps mine for emphasis).

How did He do this? Paul brings this out in the words, “In the body of his flesh though death.” Jesus died for us. The whole human race is sinners (Rom. 3:23) and therefore under the sentence of death (Rom. 6:23). Jesus came to pay the penalty (death) so that man would not have to pay it himself. Man is on death row and is waiting the execution of the sentence (John 3:18). Jesus comes to him on death row and grants him freedom from condemnation if he will believe (John 3:18). It is through His death on the cross that He does this.

What is the nature of the grace that saves? This is brought out in the words, “to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” There are four things here:

1.The words “to present you holy” is the result of His death and our belief in Him. This is the outcome of “In the body of his flesh through death.” That happened that He might “present you holy.” Holiness in this verse is a gift of grace. 1 Cor. 1:30 says, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Jesus is all this to us. God has made Him to be our “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” This is what He is to us. That is grace or the unmerited favor of God and we are just recipients of His goodness and mercy.

2.The word “unblameable” translates “amomos” and means, “without blemish, morally: without blemish, faultless, unblameable.” This means that when you stand before God this word describes what will happen there which is the effect of the cross and not of man’s abstinence from evil.

3.The word “unreproveable” translates “anegkletos” and means that no one will be able to successfully bring a charge against the believer. It is not describing the success of the believer’s godly living. This is the success of the cross. Hallelujah!

4.The words “in his sight” are the dynamic of this whole statement. I’m glad that preachers and denominational Bible scholars are not the ones who will be judging me. I’m even glad I’M NOT THE JUDGE. I’m going to tell you I wouldn’t let you off! I would let me off but not YOU!!! That is the way we are, right? God is not going to overlook sin. But sin has been taken care of at the cross, and for those of us who have come to the cross for forgiveness, we will be right in His sight.

This describes the present status of the believer. Next the question,


Paul says, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” There are two things I want to mention in closing:

1.The words “If ye continue in the faith” indicate that genuine faith continues. To abandon one’s faith is an indication of a faulty faith to begin with. Paul teaches that it is possible to believe in vain. 1 Cor. 15:1-2 says, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” One does not forget genuine faith. Now if one makes a profession of faith and in the midst of trial or circumstances he abandons his faith, it was not saving faith to begin with. I didn’t say a Christian couldn’t fall into sin. You say, “How far can a Christian go and still be saved?” Well, he can go as far as Lot (2 Pet. 2:7). Is that far enough? But listen closely. There was not a day in Lot’s backslidden life that he would have denied faith in God. It is one thing to do wrong as a Christian and know you are doing wrong. It is another to abandon faith and replace it with denial and idolatry.

2.The words “and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” is the exhortation. This is our present responsibility. The Gnostics did not believe the gospel. They did not believe that God became a man. They denied that. 2 John 1:7 says, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” John was also dealing with the Gnostic heresy. There is no gospel apart from the incarnation. There is no gospel apart from His death and resurrection. The power of the gospel is in our believing it (Rom. 1:16). Heb. 3:14 says, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”

Let me put it another way. The believer’s security does not rest on his faith. Our security is true because of the power of God (1 Pet. 1:5; John 10:27-30). However, true faith does not change it’s mind. The person may fall into sin (Gal. 6:1) and come under the chastening of the Lord, but he will not abandon his faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for salvation. This is the hope of the gospel. When a professing Christian joins a cult that denies “that Jesus came in the flesh,” he is coming dangerously close to denying the faith he professed. He may be in ignorance of what they believe. But once he finds out and doesn’t leave them and get back in a church that believes and preaches the true gospel, it is an indication to me that he never understood the true gospel to start with.

There are three questions that this passage answers. What were the Colossians before they were saved in relationship to God? What was their present status? And, what is their future responsibility.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. Earl White

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