I. We Can Rejoice Because of the Pleasure of the Father.
(Colossians 1:19-20) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
A. The motivation for God to reconcile us was His good pleasure.
1. As a child, were you ever excited about something and when you went to your Dad, or your Mom to tell them the exciting news their response was, "Mmmm, that's interesting", or "Yeah, sure, whatever".
2. Didn't that put a damper on things?
3. You were so excited and you wanted them to rejoice with you, and they give an apathetic response.
B. Now imagine coming to God.
1. You say to Him, "God it was so awesome how that You saved me! That was the greatest thing ever!"
2. And He responds, "Whatever."
3. But that isn't the case at all!
4. When we come to God excited about our reconciliation and He says, "Yeah!! Isn't it great!!!"
5. Verse 19 says that it pleased the Father!
6. What pleased Him? For all the fullness to dwell in Jesus and that all things will be reconciled through Jesus.
7. The word Paul uses here means good pleasure; to be well pleased, take delight, to approve.
C. Why is God pleased?
1. God loves us!
2. He knew our need was to be reconciled and that it would be impossible for us to accomplish on our own.
3. So He was pleased to save us or reconcile us unto Himself.
(1 Corinthians 1:21) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
II. We Can Rejoice Because of the Position of the Son.
(Colossians 1:19) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
A. 'In Him all fullness dwell"
1. The word Paul uses here means completely filled.
2. One of the problems the church at Colosse was having was due to the heresy of Gnosticism.
3. One of the things taught by Gnosticism was the pyramid approach to God, where God the creator was at the top of the pyramid, and there was a series of created beings or lesser gods underneath Him.
4. They placed Jesus somewhere in the center.
5. Many began to worship angels over Jesus because they considered Jesus a created being rather than the Creator.
6. The Gnostics would call this group of lesser gods 'the fullness' because together, they all contained the fullness of God.
7. Paul corrected that false teaching by saying in verse 19 that it pleased the Father to have all His fullness dwell in Christ.
(John 10:30) "I and my Father are one."
(John 14:6b) "…No man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
8. In other words, the only way to God is through Jesus, His Son.
B. So why do we rejoice because of this?
1. He is God.
2. He has every right to reject us.
3. But He has chosen to reconcile us through the blood shed on the cross.
III. We Can Rejoice Because of Peace.
(Colossians 1:20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
A. Peace in the restoration of a perfect world.
1. In creation we see a perfect world.
(Genesis 1:31) And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
2. This perfect world fell because of sin.
(Genesis 3:17-18) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
3. Restoration of the world to perfection.
(Revelation 21:1) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
B. Peace in restoration of man to God.
(Romans 5:8-10) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
1. World peace would mean nothing without peace with God.
2. But we can rejoice in the peace that comes through the cross.
IV. We Can Rejoice Because of Our Place in the Past.
(Colossians 1:21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
A. Before we came to Christ we were three things.
1. We were alienated = strangers, foreigners.
(Ephesians 2:12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
a. The use of this word gives the idea that we were excluded from being the citizen of something, in this case the kingdom of God.
b. We were separated, estranged from, and not a part of the kingdom of God.
2. We were enemies of God.
a. We were anti-Christ and anti-God!
b. The enemy wants to convince us that we were not so bad.
c. But God clearly declares us as enemies!
(James 4:4) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
d. We were not only separated from God, but we wanted it that way.
e. We were hostile to Him.
3. We were totally controlled by wickedness.
a. Why? our minds were wicked.
(Jeremiah 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
b. As a result, our deeds were wicked.
c. The word Paul uses here means worthless, sick, or diseased.
(Isaiah 1:5-6) Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
d. There is none righteous…no not one!
B. Rejoice because of our place in the past.
1. This is where we were!
2. The key word is 'were' so we can rejoice in that we are not there anymore!
3. What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart!
V. We Can Rejoice Because of Our Current Presentation.
(Colossians 1:22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
A. "I am going to hell for this…"
1. I have heard a number of people make this statement.
2. It has reference to something that they are doing, that they know they shouldn't do!
3. I have even heard professing believers use this phrase.
B. The issue of heaven and hell was resolved on the cross of Calvary.
1. Christ died for us that we might live!
2. Rejoice in His presentation!
(Jude 1:24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
3. Let me remind you that Jesus said, "It is finished!"
4. The word the Lord used is one that means the debt has been paid!
5. Do you know the joy and satisfaction of finally paying a long-standing debt?
6. There is even greater joy in realizing that Jesus paid a debt that we couldn't pay!
7. And He paid it in full!
C. When we are before God:
1. Our perspective is, "I am filthy and unworthy of your favor", but God says, "You have been made holy"
2. Our perspective is, "I am guilty", but God says, "You have been made blameless".
3. Our perspective is, "I deserve nothing but judgment", but God says, "You have been made beyond blameless, not to be called to account".
4. We can rejoice in the knowledge that we are not going to be made holy…we have been made holy in Christ.
VI. We Can Rejoice Because of Our Continual Perseverance.
(Colossians 1:23) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
A. Paul knew that when one became a Christian, they would persevere in their faith.
B. Note three ways that we will continue to persevere in the faith.
1. By being grounded = firmly established on the foundational truths of the faith.
(Colossians 2:6-7) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
2. By being settled = to be resolved.
(1 Peter 5:10) But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
3. By being immovable = anchored in the hope of the Gospel.
(Ephesians 4:14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(Hebrews 13:9) Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.