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Be Reconciled And Remain

"21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 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."
Good Morning My Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We are so glad to have all of our brothers and sisters in Christ from all around the world with us today!
We are praying for all of you.
God has sort of a dilemma. He is holy and just. Therefore, He must punish all sin everywhere. His holiness demands it; but God loves us, those whom He created. How does God get away from this dilemma? How is it that God can save us when what we deserve is death and eternal separation from Him?
Why don’t we just be better? Be good enough? I'll tell you why, because we can’t be good enough. Why don’t we go to church enough? Why don’t we just do whatever enough? None of that could ever take away our sins, because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. So what does God do? Why not have another die for us? So who could die for us? Jesus humbled Himself and became sin for us on the cross so that we could stand righteous before God. Jesus became our substitute. What a gracious and loving God we serve! Knowing these truths about the Lord, how can we just take a casual look at our salvation? How can we not give Christ our fullest attention, living for Him, Who gave His life for us?
Let us bow our heads.
Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your Word for us today, for this powerful reminder. Such rich, incredible truth. Thank You for Your loving grace, a precious gift, of which we are so undeserving. Call us out from the darkness that has for so long, blinded the church, so that we might atlas see Your glorious truth, that there would be a divine healing.

Father, we pray for anyone among us who has not received Christ as their Lord and Savior, touch their hearts, so that today would be that day of salvation.
In Christ's name we pray
Today' Message: Be Reconciled And Remain
Open with me your Bibles and turn to the first chapter in the book of Colossians.
"And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now 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."
Reconciliation has a beautiful and significant meaning for those who have come to know Christ personally. Our passage calls to mind the great change that occurs in lives that have been reconciled with God. Anyone who calls to mind what they were [becoming] prior to experiencing God’s grace will joyfully celebrate and praise God for His transforming work of redemption. For the Son’s reconciling love gives persevering faith.
Having proclaimed the deity and work of Christ, Paul now reveals what it means to the people in Colossae. He therefore, returns to the thought of redemption. With joyful wonder, the Apostle Paul,
testifies to the Colossians believers that they too have become recipients of God’s marvelous act of reconciliation. They had been made acceptable before God, and are challenged to continue striving forward in the truth that had saved them.
Let's look at verse 21, Paul boldly says "And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds"
I'd like to draw your attention for a moment to the word reconcile. Katallassō, in the Greek. We saw it in verse 20, the word reconcile, about four lines down, we see "reconciled" in verse 22. Reconciled is exchange, through Christ, we properly exchange our offense in exchange for God' favor and pardon of our sins. In other words, the restoration of the right relationship between God and man.
We often hear the term reconcile in banking. It was also used in terms of exchanging coins. 
It appears in the New Testament, I believe 6 times, for example, we find the word reconcile in twice Romans 5:10, I Corinthians 7:11 and II Corinthians chapter 5, verses 18, 19 and 20.
Verse 21 tells us about reconciliation. "And although you were formerly alienated," we were estranged from God. Before we came to Jesus Christ, before we became a Christian, we were alienated. We were cut off from God. You and me are living proof that Jesus Christ is sufficient to reconcile man to God.
What need do we have for another? Jesus Christ is sufficient!

Ephesians 2:12 says "remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world."
The purpose of God’s fullness in Christ was reconciliation. As verse 20 teaches us, it only in and through Christ that we can we be reconciled to God. "and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven." Having announced reconciliation as a seventh characteristic of the exalted Christ, the passage develops that theme. Verse 21 further impresses on us the transforming power of reconciliation by reminding us of what we were like before we were redeemed.
Here we encounter three words of separation that describe us before we are save. First, we were alienated. Before we give our lives to Jesus, we are alienated from God. This means that we are separated from or estranged from Him, or "apallotrioó,"therefore, reconciliation is necessary. We are alienated because we turned away from God and have been shut off from fellowship with Him.
We see the illustration of this in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15, "And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’" Much like the prodigal son, having sinned against our Father, no longer worthy, until Christ reconciled us to God.
We were hostile toward God. Before conversion the Colossian believers were enemies or hostile to God in their minds as well as in their behavior, internally and externally. Sin begins in the heart. Matthew 5:27-28 teaches us "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
And sin manifests itself in overt deeds as we see in Galatians 5:19, which says "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,"
People are outwardly hostile against God because of their inwardly hostility or "echthros" in the Greek, meaning hated, an enemy, or hostile. Our intellectual capacities were so distorted that we worked against God’s purposes.

Our natural sinful way of thinking set us against God. How many of us would readily like admit that before we came to Christ, that our mind was hostile toward God? What this is saying is that we were strangers to God’s ways of thinking and as a result of that, we lead a life of sin. So this hostility can manifest itself in outright rebellion against God to the subtle ways we ignored God in our everyday lives. We used our thoughts to justify ourselves and our actions, rather than godly things. Perhaps you can better understand the resistance of non-believers to acknowledge their sin, until they are called. They do, just as we did, justify their actions.

We also engaged in evil deeds. Gosh, that sounds rather harsh doesn’t it? I know some of you are probably saying, "I didn't do anything evil! What is he talking about?" Well, what are evil deeds? Absolutely everything we do that is in opposition to God’s will is considered an evil deed! Not just the extreme actions. An evil deed is anything that stands in opposition to what God has told us. Meaning we live for ourselves and not for God and His glory. The mind set on the flesh leads to deeds of the flesh.

To be preoccupied with sin is unhealthy. Yet, to forget who we are and who we have been is a doorway to spiritual pride and a roadblock to spiritual growth. To some degree we must sense in ourselves the capacity for every kind of sin, for this realization is necessary for continued spiritual development. Remember who you are. And remember whose you are.

We are not to glory in our past sins, so we must not forget them. If we are Christian, and if we are growing as Christians, we must come to realize we are what we are as Christians by the grace of God.

Romans 8:7-8, "because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Martin Luther, a theologian and catalyst of the 16th century Reformation, insisted that persons must confront their own sinfulness, in all its ravaging depths, before they can enjoy the comforts of salvation. There is truth in that. Though we need not be sullenly sin-conscious, we must always remember who we are: forgiven sinners! Unless we have a keen sense of sin and separation it is not likely that we will continue to grow toward God, or in Christ or be vibrantly alive in our reconciliation. We need to break through the contemporary disguises of sin. The subtlety of sin is that it always travels incognito.

Though clearly identified and labeled in Proverbs 6:16-19, and then in the fourth century, as the seven deadly sins—pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust—these now parade in modern garb and are often given status by being cast in psychological company: Self-expression, self-fulfillment, assertiveness, identity, taking care of my own being, the right of my own space, therapeutic enhancement. 

All these terms express deep emotional, psychological, even spiritual needs, but unfortunately they also become the easy snare of sin’s entrapment. With such ease we can justify adultery and other non-Christian uses of sex by talking about self-expression and personal freedom. Without any sense of responsibility we become unavailable to others because we must seek our "own space." We callously trample on the being and feelings of others, because we desire to assert who we are, and it goes on and on. Sex is reduced to lust; we become gluttonous as we move from one effort at satisfaction to another; our neurotic need to belong makes us envy, and our accomplishments fill us with pride.

If we are our own center of reference, if we want things to revolve around us or our views and understanding, we are separated from God. The emptiness we know, the feeling that we are driven, our lack of confidence, our fear of relationships and our fear of the future, the hoarding of ourselves and our talents, and our misdirected extravagance and waste of material resources, all these witness to the evidence of sin and its pertinacious pull upon our lives.

Verse 22 indicates God’s terms of reconciliation with sinners. We can be reconciled to Him only through the death of Jesus. "yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach."

The key word "reconcile," is one of the most significant in the New Testament. It is a vital key to understanding what Christ has done for us. In the New Testament, with two exceptions, I Corinthians 7:11 and Acts 7:26, the word reconcile and its related forms are is always used to designate the restoration of the relation-ship between persons and God. In II Corinthians 5:18–20, there is a series of uses of this word: "God has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus"; "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself"; "we pray you to be reconciled to God." And in Romans 5:11, he uses a noun form, speaking of Christ: "through whom we have now received our reconciliation or the Greek word katallagé." Some translate that atonement, which in English has the deep meaning of being brought together, at-one-ment. 

In Romans 5:10, Paul uses the same image he uses here in the Colossians: "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

As a footnote, God has not been reconciled to a man, but man must be reconciled to God. II Corinthians 5 speaks three times of God reconciling persons to Himself. God’s passionate yearning for His children’s return home is never abated; the fire of love burning in His heart is unquenchable, constant, and continuous. Nothing lessens that love or turns it into hate. God is that "hound of heaven" who pursues us, night and day, who moves my soul to seek Him seeking me, who loves us to the Cross. I am the one to be reconciled. I am the one to be moved to penitence and surrender. Not God. It is
through Christs' finished work on the cross, the lost relationship between us and God, can be restored. 

We can do nothing on our own merit worthiness. We are reconciled through Jesus’ death. His death must be understood in light of the person who died. Since the person was infinite, so His could be. It could include an infinite about of suffering and pain, and infinite amount of penalty and payment. Reconciliation with God can be offered us only because of the life and death of Jesus, the fullness of God, in human flesh. 

Romans 6:23 makes it clear, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

It is a gift given to us from God, therefore,
He is the one who sets the terms for how to receive this free gift and then makes the offer to us. You did not purchase your gift, so contrary to what some think, you cannot dictate the terms of acceptance. Your either accept it on His terms or you have rejected it on yours. But be advised, He will not give His indescribable gift to us on our terms. We must receive it on His terms, or He will not gift it to us.
What I find interesting, is that many squawk about God setting the terms for salvation, yet how many of those same people, freely and willingly click the terms of acceptance terms in the Apple App Store or Google Play store, without even reading the lengthy terms? God justifies by grace the sinner who accepts the means of reconciliation. Those who surrender to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit into their life to transform their relationship, mind, and behavior in order to bring them back to God.
Verse 22 also tells us that the purpose of Christ’s death is redemptive. Christ died for you, "in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach." In other words, Christ’s death is the basis for judicial justification, and for progressive sanctification. He cleanses us and makes us holy as we follow Him.

So, as the result of Christ’s reconciling work, He presents us, as believers as "holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation." When you belong to God, you are something special, you have a special purpose. Holy, in this context means to set aside to be dedicated to God.

I want you to understand something, that does not mean you are sinless or perfect. It does mean that God has expunged our record and accredit to our account Christ’s perfect record.
In Christ, we are blameless, without fault, free from accusation. The Greek word "anegklétos," is used five times in the New Testament, and only by the Apostle Paul. I Timothy 3:10; I Corinthians 1:8; Titus 1:6 and 1:7 and here in Colossians 1:22. It connotes not only one who is free from all charges, but one against whom charges will not be recognized. Satan is "the accuser of the brethren," but Christ is our "Advocate" before the Father. The accused are beyond reproach and the condemned are freed, if they are reconciled with God. By the merits of Christ, believers are free from every charge! What an incredible reality, we've been blessed with. 
Verse 23 states that this reconciliation in Christ comes only by an abiding, continuing faith. "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."
Paul is insistent that we must "continue in faith," in other words, we are never to take a vacation from God. I point this out because I cannot in good conscience assure someone who walked with Christ twenty years ago, became baptized several years ago but has not continued in the faith, that he will be presented to the Father as being holy and blameless.
A believer’s salvation is secure, "if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel." While this conditional clause may be disconcerting to some or may appear to conflict with passages that assure the believer of the security of their salvation. 
However, Paul employs a first class conditional clause, which provides a premise the author assumes to be true for the sake of argument. The "if" in verse 23 could also be translated "provided that you continue," or "if you continue, and I’m fully confident that you will…" The statement is not intended to disrupt the believers’ assurance of salvation but rather is a statement of confidence that the Colossian believers will indeed unflinchingly persevere in their faith.
However, the confident expectation, which this gospel of reconciliation provides, not only to them but also to the whole world, this figure of speech indicates the universality of the gospel and its proclamation, not that every person on earth heard Paul preach.
In Closing...
The blessed hope of the Gospel in its fullest sense is the expectation of ultimate, complete salvation that will belong to believers upon the return of our Lord.
God is good, but who says He has to be good to you, if you are not saved, you are still a child of disobedience deserving the wrath of God. 
Beloved, when we are separated from God, it will impact every other area in our life in a negative way. A right relationship with God, is the foundation for everything else we do in life.

Atonement for sin was absolutely necessary for until alienation, hostility and evil works were dealt with, there could be no reconciliation. God cannot be reconciled with sin. Man must be reconciled to a Holy God in holiness. We can now be offered holy, blameless, and irreproachable, in Christ Jesus.

When you accept Jesus, you are telling God that you are surrendering your life to Him on His terms!
If you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, what are you waiting? What hope for the future are you clinging to?
Through Christ's finished work on the cross the unworthy become usable for God’s glory...
May it be so...
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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