"Yet He has reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach — if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister." Colossians 1:22-23
Deep in the heart of every true disciple of Christ we want the Word of God to be a living reality we live out daily in our lives. The truth of these scriptures give us hope moment by moment as we press on in our faith, firmly established and steadfast — if we obey what we must indeed do. This enables us not tobe moved away from the hope of the gospel which has been proclaimed to us, realizing not only Paul has been made a minister, but so have we.
I recognize my responsibility, but all my hope is founded in Christ and what He did. Firstly, He had to reconcile us through His fleshly body, when God became man to die for us, so we might become holy and blameless, beyond reproach through Him. All our righteous acts are as filthy rags before a holy God apart from the cross.
Isaiah 64:4 proclaims:
"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment, and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."
Listen to the proclamation of Paul as he proclaims the long hidden mystery of Christ in Colossians 1:26-27:
"…that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles which is — CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY."
What good news! Yes, we have a responsibility of commitment to Christ before ourselves, to strive to love Him more than ourselves, so that we will live out His will and not our own. But apart from Him, we can do none of these things. It isn’t really about us, it’s about Him and what He has already done. If we allow ourselves to focus on our works and our performance, we become self righteous and legalistic seeking our own glory. When I forget my hope is in Christ alone, I quickly become discouraged as my flesh reveals my true self, when I am no longer walking in the Spirit of Christ. We can’t be good apart from the only One who is good. Christ Jesus and what He did on the cross is our only hope now and forever, and He is more than enough, always. Our reliance must be upon Him through the Holy Spirit He sent to us. Knowing this powerful mystery in the Word of God relieves me of the tremendous guilt and condemnation of the failure in my flesh.
How I relate to Paul as he states in Romans 7:18:
"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh, for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not."
May we allow ourselves to be comforted with the truth of God’s Word this morning as we recognize our hope is not in ourselves, but in the reconciliation through the death and resurrection of Christ. Our hope is in the life led by the Holy Spirit and by the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in each one of us if we are true disciples of Christ. Join me as we take our eyes off ourselves and place our hope in all that is faithful and true — God — three in One, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In His love.
Nature has a way of helping me focus on all that matters…His love.
(Photos taken on a kayaking session this week on New River.)