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Colossians 1:20 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.

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Colossians 1:20 >

      20. The Greek order is, "And through Him (Christ) to reconcile again completely (see on Eph 2:16) all things (Greek, 'the whole universe of things') unto Himself (unto God the Father, 2Co 5:19), having made peace (God the Father having made peace) through the blood of His (Christ's) cross," that is, shed by Christ on the cross: the price and pledge of our reconciliation with God. The Scripture phrase, "God reconciles man to Himself," implies that He takes away by the blood of Jesus the barrier which God's justice interposes against man's being in union with God (compare Note, see on Ro 5:10; 2Co 5:18). So the Septuagint, 1Sa 29:4, "Wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master," that is, reconcile his master unto him by appeasing his wrath. So Mt 5:23, 24.
      by him--"through Him" (the instrumental agent in the new creation, as in the original creation): emphatically repeated, to bring the person of Christ, as the Head of both creations alike, into prominence.
      things in earth . . . in heaven--Good angels, in one sense, do not need reconciliation to God; fallen angels are excluded from it (Jude 6). But probably redemption has effects on the world of spirits unknown to us. Of course, His reconciling us, and His reconciling them, must be by a different process, as He took not on Him the nature of angels, so as to offer a propitiation for them. But the effect of redemption on them, as He is their Head as well as ours, is that they are thereby brought nearer God, and so gain an increase of blessedness [ALFORD], and larger views of the love and wisdom of God (Eph 3:10). All creation subsists in Christ, all creation is therefore affected by His propitiation: sinful creation is strictly "reconciled" from its enmity; sinless creation, comparatively distant from His unapproachable purity (Job 4:18; 15:15; 25:5), is lifted into nearer participation of Him, and in this wider sense is reconciled. Doubtless, too, man's fall, following on Satan's fall, is a segment of a larger circle of evil, so that the remedy of the former affects the standing of angels, from among whom Satan and his host fell. Angels thereby having seen the magnitude of sin, and the infinite cost of redemption, and the exclusion of the fallen angels from it, and the inability of any creature to stand morally in his own strength, are now put beyond the reach of falling. Thus BACON'S definition of Christ's Headship holds good: "The Head of redemption to man; the Head of preservation to angels." Some conjecture that Satan, when unfallen, ruled this earth and the pre-Adamic animal kingdom: hence his malice against man who succeeded to the lordship of this earth and its animals, and hence, too, his assumption of the form of a serpent, the subtlest of the animal tribes. Lu 19:38 states expressly "peace in heaven" as the result of finished redemption, as "peace on earth" was the result of its beginning at Jesus' birth (Lu 2:14). BENGEL explains the reconciliation to be that of not only God, but also angels, estranged from men because of man's enmity against God. Eph 1:10 accords with this: This is true, but only part of the truth: so ALFORD'S view also is but part of the truth. An actual reconciliation or restoration of peace in heaven, as well as on earth, is expressed by Paul. As long as that blood of reconciliation was not actually shed, which is opposed (Zec 3:8, 9) to the accusations of Satan, but was only in promise, Satan could plead his right against men before God day and night (Job 1:6; Re 12:10); hence he was in heaven till the ban on man was broken (compare Lu 10:18). So here; the world of earth and heaven owe to Christ alone the restoration of harmony after the conflict and the subjugation of all things under one Head (compare Heb 11:23). Sin introduced discord not only on earth, but also in heaven, by the fall of demons; it brought into the abodes of holy angels, though not positive, yet privative loss, a retardation of their highest and most perfect development, harmonious gradation, and perfect consummation. Angels were no more able than men by themselves to overcome the peace disturbers, and cast out the devils; it is only "by," or "through HIM," and "the blood of HIS cross," that peace was restored even in heaven; it is only after Christ has obtained the victory fully and legally, that Michael (Re 12:7-10) and his angels can cast out of heaven Satan and his demons (compare Col 2:15). Thus the point of Paul's argument against angel-worship is, that angels themselves, like men, wholly depend on Christ, the sole and true object of worship [AUBERLEN].

JFB.


Questions Related to this Verse

Where in Scripture does it say that the atonement JESUS made was ordained by God?

Where in scripture does it mention God's plan of salvation through blood atonement?

Where in Scripture does it talk about the blood of Jesus Christ?

Where in Scripture does it say Jesus was crucified on the cross?

Where In Scripture does it talk about Jesus dying and giving Himself on the cross?

Where In Scripture does it talk about God's peace?

Where in Scripture does it reveal how the Messiah died?

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Colossians Images and Notes

The Book of Colossians

Colossians 1:16 - For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Colossians 2:15-17 - [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

Colossians in The New Testament - A Brief Overview

Painting of the Apostle Paul by Rembrandt - 1657
Painting of Paul the Apostle by Rembrandt - 1657

Introduction to The Book of Colossians

Brief Summary. Paul had been imprisoned at Rome and received messages about heresies at the church in Colossae. Paul defended the faith by exalting the person of Jesus, and clarifying the true doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Summary of The Book of Colossians

Purpose. The purpose of Paul's epistle to the Colossians is to instruct the believers that salvation is only in Jesus Christ. The person of Jesus Christ must be understood accurately and that "He is the image of the invisible God and in Him all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form (Colossians 1:15, 19). When Jesus died on the cross he put an end to the civil and ceremonial laws of Judaism. Believers can trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, our God and creator.

Contents. The epistle to the Colossians contains Paul's instruction about the new life in Christ which comes through a spiritual union with Christ in heaven. This new life produces a Christlike character: brotherly affection, forgiveness, peace, worship and ministry, devotion to Christ, and thankfulness in everything.

Colossae. The city of Colossae was in the heart of New Testament Asia about a hundred miles east of Ephesus, in the Lycus River Valley, in southern Phrygia  Colossae was situated on the great highway which ran from Ephesus to the Euphrates Valley, near Hierapolis and Laodicea. According to Colossians 4:12-15 the church had been established in Colossae some time earlier and was Paul sternly warns the church regarding angel-worship, especially that of Michael the Archangel.

The Church at Colossae. Paul does not name himself as the founder of the church at Colossae, yet since he passed through the region of Phrygia (Acts 16:6; 18:23) which the city of Colossae was a part of, it may be assumed that Paul came there and preached Christianity.

The Heresy. The Church at Colossae was being severely attacked by false teachers. The heresy contained many false teachings which included: a false view of the universe, matter is evil, a distortion of man, sin is physical not spiritual, abstaining from foods and asceticism, a misunderstanding of the person of Jesus Christ and the Logos, the worship of angels, and elements of Judaism mixed with Christianity.

Authorship. The epistle to the Colossians was written by Paul the Apostle and included with his prison epistles.

Date. Colossians was written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment, about 61-62 AD.

Outline of the Book of Colossians

Jesus Christ Exalted - Chapter 1
Christianity Exalted - Chapters 2
Union with Christ Exalted - Chapter 3-4

Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

Colossians Maps and Resources

Map of the Roman Empire (14 A.D.) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey (48 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey (51 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his second missionary journey. Paul re-visits a couple cities in Asia, one of which was Lystra where he was stoned and left for dead a few years earlier. He later has a vision that leads him over to Greece and Paul and his companions travel and minister in various cities in Greece (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth. Later Paul returns to Ephesus and finally to Caesarea and Antioch. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)

Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Asia - This map shows the cities within Asia Minor during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the principal cities of Asia including Tarsus, Ephesus, and Colossae, and provinces like Galatia and Pamphilia. (Color Map)