25 Dec Jesus Is Central in Salvation
December 25, 2015
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Finally, as we conclude our study of the person and sufficiency of Jesus Christ, we see that Jesus is central in salvation. Look at Colossians 1:19: “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him.” The Gnostics said that flesh is evil. So in their view, Jesus couldn’t become a human because God can’t inhabit humanity. They believed Jesus was just a spirit. No. Paul said that God poured all of Himself in the flesh and blood of Jesus.
Then, in verse 20, we see it was God’s will “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.” That word reconcile means to change a relationship from hostility to harmony. But when Paul talks about reconciliation, he’s not talking about two people who agree to part company and then mutually agree to come back together. Instead, the picture is of one person who makes a unilateral decision to leave a relationship, and the other person, the injured party, who decides to reconcile that relationship.
You see, the decision for our relationship to God to be broken was not a mutual decision. It was a unilateral decision we made. The Bible says, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). And because we have wandered away from God, He could have been easily justified in saying, “You want to spend the rest of your life separated from Me? Well, just go ahead and spend the rest of eternity separated from Me.” That would have been a just decision. But the Bible says God loved you so much He wasn’t willing to allow that happen. Even though you and I broke the relationship with God, God took the first step toward reconciliation with us. And that first step was to send Christ to die for us. The Bible says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
May I add this important word? Some people misinterpret this verse to say that everyone is automatically reconciled to God by Christ’s death on the cross. They think everyone is going to be saved. But that’s not what the passage is teaching. Yes, God has taken the first step. He has paid the penalty for our sin by sending Christ to die for us. But God doesn’t drag anyone back to Him kicking and screaming. The Bible says we have to agree that we want to be reconciled to God. We must individually trust in Christ as our Savior. The point of this passage is Jesus Christ is sufficient for every need that you have. And perhaps the greatest demonstration of His sufficiency is that Jesus did for you and me what we could not do for ourselves. He has made peace with God. He is the atonement, the payment, for our sins. Jesus Christ is sufficient.
Jesus Christ is the central issue in this universe He has created. And what you do with Jesus is the central issue in your life and in your eternity.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Jesus Christ: Creator, Originator, and Reconciler” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.