Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 171 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Colossians 1 today and our focus is on How Does God Make His Enemies His Friends?  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in   Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Well, it has been literally 19 days since I recorded a podcast, and I have pretty much forgotten all about it, so please forgive any rustyness you might hear today. My family and I are back in California after a lovely and busy trip to see friends and family in Birmingham, Alabama, and it is time to get in the Word of God day by day again, and Colossians 1 is a wonderful chapter to begin with. About 8-10 years ago, when I was pastoring in Birmingham, the leadership team of the church I pastored and I went on a retreat at the end of the year, prayerfully seeking God’s guidance for the upcoming year. We camped at a lovely place in the woods, and read through Colossians 1 for the weekend. Specifically, we read through the Murray J. Harris translation of Colossians 1 that he had put together for his exegetical commentary on the book of Colossians. It is a fresh and wonderful and biblically faithful translation, and I’m going to take the unusual step of reading from it for today’s episode. One item to discuss before we do so, and it comes from our verses of the day – vss. 21-22

21This universal reconciliation includes you Colossians, although you were
at one time in a state of alienation from God and were his inveterate enemies in
thought and attitude because of your evil actions. 22 But as things now stand, God
has reconciled you to himself by means of Christ’s death in his physical body.
God’s purpose in all this was to present you in his own presence at the End as
people who will then be without any sin, without blemish, and beyond accusation.

This is a fascinating passage with a sobering truth: We all were ENEMIES of God. We see this truth elsewhere in Scripture too:

For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10

Ephesians 2:3 notes that we were children of wrath – i.e. we had God’s wrath and anger (justly) on our heads, because we had sinned against God so many times: We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 

So, how did God make His enemies His friends? By the spilled blood of Jesus, His perfect son:

19All this is true of Jesus because it was God’s choice and
pleasure to have all divine attributes and powers reside in Jesus 20and to reconcile
the whole universe to himself through him by making peace through the blood
Jesus shed on the cross—to reconcile all things through him alone, whether they
be things on earth or things in heaven.

The blood of Jesus, spilled out on the cross, is the thing that brings peace between God and man.

The writer of Hebrews expands on this beautiful truth in Hebrews 9:

11 But Christ has appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), 12 he entered the most holy place once for all time, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we can serve the living God?

Sacrificed blood cleanses sin – that is a God-installed rule of the universe. If, says the writer of Hebrews, the shed blood of animals can sanctify humans, how much more can the perfect blood of Jesus cleanse us and bring us peace so that we can serve God and experience the fullness of His love and joy?! This is the good news friends. Not that we earn salvation and favor with God by the works of our hands, or the purity of our souls, but that the shed blood of Jesus cleanses us, purchases us as sons and allows us to have peace and joy with God the perfect Father! Let’s read our passage.

Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.

Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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