I am amazed at how the Apostle Paul dealt with controversy and false teachers.
False teachers, often known as Judaizers, attacked the churches of Colossae (and presumably Hieropolis and Laodicea) with an issue about receiving the fullness of the gospel. While we don’t know much about the heretical teaching, we do know that many false teachers of that day questioned whether Jesus was really human.
Isn’t it interesting that in our day false teachers question whether Jesus was God while in the early church they questioned whether He was man? It’s also interesting that they didn’t question His deity.
Paul confronted these false teachers by giving the people at Colossae the truth of the Gospel.
One of the ways he did so was by reminding them of who they were in Christ.
He gave them three truths about our faith in Christ. This, in a sense, makes up our testimony.
First, he reminded them of what they had been before the Gospel came to Colossae. They were alienated from God and were enemies with Him (Colossians 1:21). To the Ephesians Paul spoke about how they had been “dead in your transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) and “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
We all have a “before.” Our “before” was in hostility and alienation toward God.
Second, Paul reminded them and us of who they are now. They have been reconciled with God through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20). This reconciliation makes us at peace with God. From the time of Adam, humans have been at war with God, thinking that we could run the universe better than the Creator. When Christ came, He made peace and brought us close to God by the shedding of His blood.
Third, Paul reminded the Colossians of their future glorification. The day will come when we are presented before God in the most wonderful way. Because of what Christ did for us on the cross, we will be presented as holy, blameless, and without accusation (Colossians 1:22).
Holy is the word from which we get the word “saint,” referring to how we have been set apart for God’s purpose.
To be blameless refers to having been made right by the death of Christ on our behalf.
To be without accusation is an amazing statement. There will be no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Our sin, our old sin nature, and our accuser will no longer condemn us. It is exciting to think of living in perfect love and peace without condemnation.
This is who we are. We have been reconciled to God. We are new creatures.
Let us live according to who we are and not according to who we once were.
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