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Advent 2012

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THE BLESSING OF RECONCILIATION
Colossians 1:15-23

I. Introduction: 

 Our theme for Advent this year is “The Blessing of the Incarnation to the writers of the New Testament.” Each week we will be looking at a different writer and focusing on one of the blessings of the incarnation that they write about in their letters. On Sunday mornings we will be walking through the story of the incarnation from the gospel of Luke and then on Sunday nights we will see how the New Testament writers prized and valued Christ coming in the flesh. Tonight we begin with the Apostle Paul and what he wrote in his letter to the Colossians.

II.  The Passage:

 A.  Context: As Paul often does, he begins this letter by writing of the glory of our salvation through the work of Jesus Christ.  He speaks of the deity of Christ: the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  All things were created through him and for him.  Christ is before all things and he holds all things together.  He is the head of the Church.  The fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Him.  And He came to reconcile to himself all things.

 B.  Blessing: Paul tells us in this passage the problem of our sin.  It had separated us from God and alienated us from knowing Him.  Our relationship with God was broken because of our evil deeds.  The glorious blessing that Paul celebrates here is that through Christ’s coming in the flesh and dying on the cross we have been reconciled to God.  Christ has taken alienated sinners and reconciled them to God in his body of flesh by his death.  Did you catch that?  Christ reconciled us by first putting on flesh.  Without the incarnation there would be no death on the cross.  And without the death on the cross there would be no reconciliation.  Our alienation from God could only be remedied by the coming of Christ in the flesh and His dying for us at the cross.  Thus, the glorious good news is that Christ did in fact put on flesh and die for our sins at the cross, thereby reconciling us to the Father. 

 C.  Response: What does it mean to be reconciled to the Father?  Reconciliation is a relationship term.  We often think of being reconciled to family or friends that we have had disagreements with.  The fellowship is restored when people repent and work through whatever it is that had driven a wedge in their relationship.  Perhaps you have known such reconciliation in your life.  Yet, our reconciliation with God is different.  We have been alienated from God because of our evil deeds and there is nothing that we can do to change that.  We cannot make the relationship right.  We have not just lost a friendship, we have actually made ourselves enemies of God.  But God, in His overwhelming mercy, did what we could not do: He dealt with the sin that separated us.  And He did not just overlook it or pretend that it was not that big of a deal.  No, Christ humbled Himself, took on flesh, and died on a cross, to reconcile us.  Without the incarnation we could never know God.  But through Christ we are reconciled.  As you think of the incarnation this year, rejoice in the reconciliation that it secured.  Amen.

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 December 2012 )

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