Reconciled by Christ
21 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds as expressed in your evil actions. 22 But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through his death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before him— 23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it. (Colossians 1:21-23)
Closing out the section on the truths about Jesus Christ, Paul writes about Christ’s work in reconciling believers. As commentator Max Anders writes, “This concept of reconciliation is not just a universal theory; it is a personal truth.” Initially, believers were “alienated and hostile in your minds.” Because of sin, the people were corrupted in their way of thinking. They were hostile to God, separated from Him. Because of this corrupted thinking, people needed a Savior who would transform their minds.
Not only was the mind transformed, but the behavior was also changed. Before Christ’s saving work, sinners “expressed,” their corrupted ways “in your evil actions.” Sinners actively rebel against God, doing evil against Him.
“But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him.” All because of the saving work of Christ on the cross, believers are now “reconciled,” made right before God the Father. When believers go to heaven, they will be made perfect, presented to be “holy, faultless, and blameless.”
With verse 23, we see the word “if.” Now, this is not a conditional work of salvation, as in, this future presentation before God is conditional if we “remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard.” Going back to Anders, “The Greek construction of the ‘if’ is not an expression of doubt but an expression of confidence and is better translated as ‘since.’” Paul is confident that the believers will continue to be steadfast in their faith and will avoid the future temptations of the false teachers.
Paul closes this section with a short snippet of his own testimony, being personally transformed both mind and body by the gospel. Because of Christ, Paul was changed and became “a servant of it,” boldly proclaiming the gospel everywhere he goes, “in all creation under heaven.”
As a fellow believer, may we never forget the amazing work that Christ has done for us, dying for those who were actively rebelling against Him, because He loved us. May we share our testimony of Christ’ work within our lives, how He had transformed our minds and actions. Finally, may we remain steadfast in the faith, being encouraged by the believers around us and that have gone before us.
Isaac De Guzman