Strangers and Enemies

Based on the Love God Greatly study, Enduring Hope, w3d2

Today’s Reading: Colossians 1:9-29 / SOAP: 21-23

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

Colossians 1:21-23

I was saved when I was six-years-old, I grew up in a Christian home, and we went to church every Sunday, morning and evening, and Wednesday night; however, this doesn’t change the truth of what Paul says here. Before I believed in and trusted Jesus as my Savior I was “far away from God”, or as some translations say, I was a “stranger” to God. I was “separated from him by [my] evil thoughts and actions.” You see, we are born sinners, strangers and enemies of God; and because He is a holy God we are separated from him by our evil (unholy) thoughts and actions.”

So What Changed?

So, if I was unholy, a sinner separated from God – a known enemy by my thoughts and deeds – then how was I able to be saved? Paul clarifies this in verse twenty-two with the life-changing news that Christ made me right with God by His death. His sinless blood was accepted as a payment for my sin so that I am no longer an enemy or stranger but blameless and without fault. This is the evidence of John 3:16, that says – For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The Three Marks of a Genuine Believer
  1. You continue to believe the truth of the Gospel.
  2. You stand firm in the truth.
  3. You don’t drift away from the assurance [the hope] of the Gospel.

It should be noted that these marks are not to infer that our faith/salvation can be lost or is of any work that we can do. Clearly it can not and is not, for Paul wrote in Ephesians chapter 2 that, we are saved by grace through faith, not by works – so that no one can boast.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Ephesians 2:8-9
Response to the Word

Father, thank you for the gift of Your Son. Thank You Jesus that You were willing to lay down Your life for mine so that I could be made right with God. I’m no longer an enemy, no longer a stranger who is separated from Him but I can enter into His presence blameless and pure in His sight! Oh how blessed I am to know You and to be saved by You – to have placed my faith in You and share in the Hope of Your Gospel message! – In Your Name I pray and give glory to the Father – Amen!

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