Creation, Reconciliation, Salvation ...
Monday, Jan 28, 2019. Where to find God? The apostle Paul points us to Jesus himself. What was his main goal and message? Paul points us to the reconciliation which comes through the cross of Christ Jesus. What does it have to do with me? Paul talks about our alienation from God, and about the salvation which we find in Jesus, when we get back into a relationship of truth and love with the creator.
In the New Testament letter of Colossians we find a passage which summarizes core parts of Christian faith. Let us read it together and then discuss and understand the statements. The apostle Paul writes to the Church in Collossae:
15 He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 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. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 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. 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. (Col 1, 15ff)
Let us understand …
So first, Paul proclaimes that Jesus is God himself, that he is the firstborn of all creation. By him all things were created. He is not created. He is also the creator of all thrones, all dominions and authorities. There are many far reaching statements here. You might take them with you to explore and think about this for many years, where ever your personal path will lead you … When you deal with management or politics, when you try to achieve anything, in the church or outside of the church, these words about HIM being the beginning and the creator of all this is extremely helpful!
Second, Paul proclaims the salvation through the blod of Jesus at the cross. There is peace. That is a monumental statement. There is peace, and it is in him, it is in the blood of Jesus at the cross. We search peace in this world! We search peace from physical violence. We search peace in our communities. We search peace within us, with our life, with our goals, our desires, our needs. And Paul proclaimes the cross as a central point where peace can be found. It is to remember, to explore, to search. It might seem very strange at the beginning, but when you start to open your heart, your mind and your life to it, you discover the power of the cross, and you discover the peace which he gives, Christ Jesus.
Third, Paul talks to you. God talks to each and everyone of us through his servant Paul. You are reconciled with God through Christ Jesus. You have pace. You have new life. You have a path ahead full of hope and truth and love and joy, in all challenges and pain and suffering. God loves each and every human - we cannot change this fact. The gospel is truly a unique and breathtaking message and story, the fullness of God coming into this world. Amazing, unbelievable, stunning … (Roland Potthast) ... further texts