People feel as if God is at war with them, especially when they hear things like “God’s gonna get you for that.”

How is that peaceful?

NOTE: For an expanded video version of this message, click here. (14min)

NOTE: For an expanded audio version of this message, click here. (14m 30s)

Today, November 20, 2022, marks the end of the liturgical year with next Sunday being the first Sunday of Advent.

The First Sunday of Advent always marks the beginning of the liturgical year.

It is fitting that the end of the year is a time of celebrating Christ the King, as this represents the culmination of His ministry for all people.

We often think of the culmination of His ministry as being His death, burial and resurrection ending with His ascension into heaven.

That may indeed be the ending of His physical time on earth, but it was certainly not the end purpose of His ministry.

Because of His ministry, we read in Colossians that He is pre-eminently above all things—as is fitting for a king.

And he is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in everything he might be preeminent.
Col 1:18

Paul’s letter to the Colossians was precipitated by false teachers coming into the church with their teachings about how it is necessary to obey the proper rules.

There also seems to be some influence of the gnostics who claimed that Jesus was just a human who managed to attain enlightenment.

In this short section of Col. 1:15-20 we see this aspect addressed more than the legalism of rule-keeping.

I want to take us briefly through those six verses in the first chapter which deal with the person of Jesus the Christ.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Col 1:15

We considered this thought a few months ago, but it is always worth repeating.

This says that Jesus is the image of God, who is invisible.

Whatever you want to know about God can be found in Jesus.

If it is not found in Jesus, then it is not God.

Jesus Himself left us no doubt about this reality when He answered Phillip’s question about seeing the Father.

Philip said to him,
“Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
Jesus said to him,
“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Jn 14:8-9

There are other verses which emphasize this truth, including one from the section we are considering in Colossians.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
Col 1:19

Nothing that can be found in God was left out of Jesus, because He contained all the fulness of God.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews makes an emphatic statement to this effect.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,
Heb 1:3a

When we have more than one writer proclaiming a truth I think it is wise to accept it as such.

Whatever you believe about the nature of God must be revealed in the nature of Jesus. If it is not there, change your belief.

The next verse takes us back in time to the creation of the world.

For by him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—
all things were created through him and for him.
Col 1:16

Again, this is something for which we have more than one witness. We have Paul mentioning this fact in three different letters.

And we have John’s Gospel and the letter to the Hebrews also testifying to the creation being through Jesus.

All things were made through him,
and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:3

yet for us there is one God, the Father,
from whom are all things and for whom we exist,
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1Co 8:6

and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery
hidden for ages in God, who created all things,
Eph 3:9

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,
whom he appointed the heir of all things,
through whom also he created the world.
Heb 1:2

We see from these verses what we understand as the pre-existence of Jesus.

He was around long before He was revealed in the flesh as a baby.

The writer of Hebrews makes this plain in a way that most of us should have memorized.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb 13:8

Not only was the world created through Jesus, it is through Him that anything continues to exist.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Col 1:17

We come next to His pre-eminence in the church.

And he is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in everything he might be preeminent.
Col 1:18

Saying that Jesus is the head speaks of His authority in the same way we may say someone is the head of an organization.

This is another concept with more than one verse from scripture.

And he put all things under his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Eph 1:22-23

Collectively we are the body of Christ.

I am not the body of Christ.

I am only a part of the body.

WE are the body of Christ.

We are in this thing together.

Now we come finally to God’s purpose in all this as explained by Paul to the Colossians.

and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven,
making peace by the blood of his cross. Col 1:20

Everything we have talked about so far has been through Jesus.

The creation of all things, the existence of all things, the present reality of the body of Christ, and the manifestation of the nature of God in the earth is all through Jesus.

With this last verse in this section of the letter, we find the purpose of it all.


As we approach the season of Advent, we are reminded here of the statement made by the angels to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus.

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth
good will toward men.
Luk 2:14

Usually when we think of peace we are thinking about the lack of conflict, the lack of war, people actually getting along with one another.

In the case of what Paul was writing to the Colossians, there is a different aspect of peace on his mind.

It is peace with God.

I am of the opinion that much of the rebellion we see against God comes from the lack of peace with God.

People feel as if God is at war with them, especially when they hear things like “God’s gonna get you for that.”

Like I said, it is only my opinion, but I think I am beginning to see this from the Bible.

Paul explains how this peace with God is to be achieved.

and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven,
making peace by the blood of his cross.
Col 1:20

Most of you know what the word reconcile means.

We use it when we are trying to balance our checkbook with the statement from the bank.

We reconcile the statement.

We are looking for balance, for harmony between the statement and our records.

Once we achieve that, we say that we have reconciled our account.

Paul says that is what God has done.

He has reconciled the account.

The account of sin against us has been reconciled.

Harmony has been achieved.

There is no outstanding debt for sin.

It was paid off through the cross.

Again, we have more than one witness to this truth.

In this is love,
not that we have loved God but that he loved us
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jo 4:10

That fancy word—propitiation—simply means our sin guilt is taken care of—reconciled.

We see that word again from the writer of the letter to the Hebrews.

Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect,
so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God,
to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:17

Paul explains this more clearly in a verse we have considered a few times recently.

that is,
in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,
not counting their trespasses against them,
2 Cor. 5:19

He did it by Jesus willingly taking on the task of reconciliation.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2Co 5:21

Today is the feast day of Christ the King.

He is the king who has subjugated the entire world unto Himself through His love.

For those of us who have believed that, there is now peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the King of Peace.

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