19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. Colossians 1:19-23 (ESV)
Paul does not mince words here. In very clear language he describes the sinful state we are all found in, apart from Christ.
First of all he says that we were alienated from God. The consequence of the fall and our partaking of Adam’s sin is that we are no longer able to come into God’s holy presence without a mediator.
While God made us in the first place, because of our sin we are no longer in a filial relationship with Him out of Christ.
In our sinful state the lines of communication and fellowship are closed and no power of ours can re-open them.
Second the apostle says that we were hostile in mind.
It is not only a fact that we were without God but that by nature we hated Him and wanted nothing to do with Him.
Our sinful hostility towards God meant that we fell in with the plans of Satan and did works of darkness and evil deeds.
Such is the state of mankind in sin, without God and without hope.
Therefore the great need of sinful men was for sin to be dealt with and reconciliation with a just and holy God made possible.
Christ has done this by his death on the cross. Even more, through this all availing sacrifice we can now approach God .blameless and holy, clothed in Christ’s righteousness.
It is through our abiding in the faith and remaining steadfast in holding to the gospel that we remain in fellowship and union with Christ thus answering God’s purpose in reconciling all things to Himself.
Those who seek to trim and diminish the gospel by ignoring the need for repentance on our part and reconciliation by the blood of Christ are greatly to be blamed for the low views many have on the sinfulness of sin and the supreme importance of Christ’s atoning and sacrificial death on our behalf.
Those who choose a quiet life over the truth.
There are Christians in the churches who know that there is something wrong with their particular church’s proclamation of the gospel and deficient and populist idea of worship and for the sake of a quiet life, say nothing and do nothing.
There are those, who because of large attendances and active programs, acquiesce in the preaching of suspect and false doctrines.
There are those who because of the close friendships and fellowship they have in their particular churches turn a blind eye to the prevalent errors , ignorance of scriptural doctrine and lack of Christian Holiness, they see around them.
There are Ministers, who know the true Gospel yet skimp and water down its preaching for the sole reason that they do not wish to offend and alienate the un-churched.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear;
If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;
Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without,
Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post,
Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host:
Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain,
And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song.
To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be;
They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally. (George Duffield jr. 1818-1888)
James Robertson Justice (15 June 1907 – 2 July 1975) : was one of the most ubiquitous character actors in the British films of 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
Thanks to his large frame , booming voice and bushy beard he was always an imposing and commanding presence in his various film roles ,(they are as long as your arm).
His early life was full of adventure and variety and later it was touched by tragedy.
His overwhelming passion was love for Scotland, although he was not born there. His father came from Aberdeen.
“On his return from the war he reinvented himself with stronger Scottish roots. Feeling strongly about his Scottish ancestry, he claimed to have been born in 1905 under a distillery on the Isle of Skye; he also claimed on separate occasions to have been born in Wigtown, Wigtownshire, now in Dumfries and Galloway.
In a great part due to the “Highland clearances “and other reasons, many people of Scottish descent migrated all over the world.
Yet even to those who were not born there and have never been there, it is still a romantic and enchanting place which speaks of home.
For my part I have always had a love for Scotland re-enforced by the writings and sermons of Christian men like Samuel Rutherford, David Dickson, John Willison, Thomas Boston and Robert Murray Mcheyne to name a few.
For the Christian, heaven is such a home. It is there that all that is dear to us dwells. It is where, in Christ, we will find true rest and eternal joy.
So when we set are tempted to set our hearts on the things of this world let us remember that “Our hearts are in another place, our hearts are not here.”