#DailyDevotion If You’ve Never Been Hostile Towards God, Jesus Isn’t For You.
Col 1:21-23 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.
If you have never in your life been alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds towards the Lord your God, then Jesus isn’t for you. You don’t need him. But of course you were conceived and born this way. It is written, Gen 6:5 “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Again it is written, Gen 8:21 “for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Such is the state of man that comes into this world. Paul confirms this in this other letter, Eph 2:1-3 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins (2) in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— (3) among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
That doesn’t sound too good for us, does it? Yet none of us would have believed it was true apart from God’s witness against us in his word. So much has original sin corrupted our minds that we believe we are basically good people, apart from Jesus, and deserve a good afterlife and a good life now. But the word convicts of being hostile in mind towards God, alienated from his life, and dead in trespasses and sins. How can we stand before God our maker?
St. Paul tells us. Jesus has reconciled in his body of flesh, by his death you to God. This is God’s will and work towards you through his only begotten son Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Adam’s sin, in which we all participated, brought death into this world. We die because we sinned in through Adam and continue to sin. We live because through baptism we participate in the death of Jesus on the cross. He who was innocent of all sin took our sin and our punishment for sin in his own flesh, upon his own person, his soul and suffered what we deserve. Through Jesus’ flesh you participate in the punishment you deserve and God no longer counts your trespasses against you. You can be certain of that when you are baptized into his name. Paul has written, Rom 6:3-6 “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (4) We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (6) We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”
Jesus has baptized you into his death so he may present you holy, blameless and above reproach on the Last Day before the Father. Paul witnesses to this fact also here, Eph 5:27 “he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Jude also testifies to it, Jud 1:24 “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,…”
Now there is an ‘if,’ “if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard” You must continue in this faith that he will do this for you and has done this for you. If you fall back into thinking you deserve eternal if because of anything you have done, you have fallen from grace. But no, stay steadfast in the faith that Jesus done this for you and you will have it. He has given you baptism as an outward sign of his promise to hold onto.
Merciful God and Father, we thank you for a great and wondrous salvation won for us by Jesus’ death. Preserve us always in this faith unto life everlasting. In Jesus’ name. Amen.