Formations lesson for April 7: A People Reconciled By Christ
March 21 2002 by Steve Zimmerman , Colossians 1:15-23

Formations lesson for April 7: A People Reconciled By Christ | Friday, March 22, 2002

Friday, March 22, 2002

Formations lesson for April 7: A People Reconciled By Christ

By Steve Zimmerman Colossians 1:15-23

It was during my first few days of seminary that I met him. He was a doctoral candidate and tried to impress everyone with his "knowledge." I was naive enough to ask him what kind of courses I needed to take that first semester. He encouraged me to take systematic theology. It was not until after the first few days in class that I realized this course was one of the hardest on campus! If you know someone who fits his description, please notify me. I am looking for him!

I did make it through the class that semester, though. The greatest lesson of faith I learned in this class was that Christ is the pivotal point in the entire Bible. The Old Testament points to His coming while the New Testament reflects on what He did on earth and how He impacted the early church. You take Jesus out of the Bible and you have nothing.

Christ's Relationship to the World (Colossians 1:15-17) The situation at Colossae could imitate many of our present day problems. These new believers were confused as to what deity or how many gods to worship. False teachers were persuading them to worship not only Christ but also angels and other supernatural beings in order to have access to God.

Our society and even some practices in our churches today have somehow permeated our lives so much that many people feel this same process is the way to have access to the Almighty.

Paul found himself explaining the role of Christ to these early believers. He dispelled the notion that the supernatural and the earthly spheres are separate. Christ is the unifying force in all creation. Jesus is the only way to a true relationship with God.

Christ's Relationship to the Church (Colossians 1:18-20) Our Lord was depicted by the apostle in three different images for the church to understand. The first is that of the head of the body. He is to be our guide and leader. We must receive our directions for the journey from Him.

Another aspect of the Savior is that of His status. Not only is He the firstborn of all creation (v. 15), Christ is the firstborn from the grave. He is the leader of firsts - birth and resurrection.

Reconciler is the next way Paul described Jesus. Our Lord brings peace to His bride, the Church. But it is not free. His blood shed on the cross for our sins has bought our bond to the Heavenly Father.

Christ's Relationship to the Believers (Colossians 1:21-23) Paul reminded the Colossians that before they met Christ they were in sad shape. They were isolated and alienated from God. For many people this separation had caused evil thoughts and actions against others and God.

However, once we, like these early Christians, began a new life of faith, Christ sets us on a different course. We don't have to go back to the old way. Our lifestyle now can reflect Jesus. He provides the only model by which we need to measure our lives.

The end result of obedience to Him is threefold. The first reward is holiness. We will not only be set aside for God's use but we will have attributes that pleases Him. The second blessing will be a life without moral guilt. The final result is a freedom from accusations that could be brought before God.

This new reconciled life also comes with stipulations. In order for these Colossians to experience the full effect of their redemption, Paul admonishes them to stay faithful to their calling in Christ. His second piece of advice was not to listen to false teachers. Only after these guidelines were met could they begin to find the joy of their walk with the Savior.

If this encouragement was valid for the early believers 2,000 ago, how much more so is it for us today? How is your obedience and commitment to Christ coming? Who are you listening to these days?

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3/21/2002 11:00:00 PM by Steve Zimmerman , Colossians 1:15-23 | with 0 comments
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