- Lesson 4 from the BaptistWay Press Connect 360 Unit “The Fullness of Christ” focuses on Colossians 1:20-23.
Paul used two words to describe the separation caused by sin: alienated and enemies. Alienation means not to belong, to be foreign, not natural. The third child of Hosea’s promiscuous wife, Gomer, was a son. Gomer named him Lo-Ammi (Hosea 1:9), which means “not my people” and essentially means, “Boy, you do not belong to me.” That differentiation provides a good illustration of what alienation from God means: We do not belong to him, at least not in the state of sin before redemption through Jesus. Of course, one of the most beautiful parts of that story was when Hosea changed the name of the boy to Ammi—“my people” or essentially “You do belong to me!” (Hosea 2:23).
Redemption reverses alienation
Sin and evil have corrupted what God made good—and thus created our alienation, which is the breaking of fellowship and shalom between God and us, as well as the shalom of creation. God reversed that alienation in the person and work of Jesus on the cross through the process of redemption. The ultimate realization of the redemption of creation will come when the new heaven and earth are ushered in at the end of time (Revelation 21:1–2). But like us, creation has elements of reconciliation here and now too.
The process of reconciliation from our point of view is faith and hope. Paul encouraged us to continue in both. Remaining faithful means to keep expanding our knowledge of God and practicing spiritual disciplines as disciples of Jesus, as well as continuing to focus on the object of our faith (Jesus) and the work at hand. We must remember our calling, our salvation, and that we live in a mortal world that has a shrinking lifespan. We look forward to the new eternal life that is to come.
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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