“And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
Colossians chapter one presents the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ. First, the Holy Spirit presents his preeminence (Col 1:15-18). Now he sets forth Jesus’ unique work. The Lord Jesus reconciles “all things” to himself.
“and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself”
“Reconcile” means to bring back to a former state of harmony. Reconciliation forms a unity that has its goal in Christ. Jesus restored friendship between God and man. He removed all hostility so as to leave no impediment to unity and peace.
God reconciles all things to himself, but he himself does not need reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19). The Bible never says that God is reconciled. The enmity alone is ours, and it is we who need reconciliation.
God’s requirement is that his perfect righteousness must be satisfied (propitiation). Christ’s death met God’s holy demands. The whole world is savable by Christ’s death (2 Cor 5:18-20). Therefore, God IS already reconciled by what Jesus did on the cross. Each person on earth needs to respond to God.
“by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven”
Jesus brought the whole universe into reconciliation in principle, into full accord with the mind of God (Eph. 1:10). He subdued things under the earth, not reconciled them (Phil. 2:10).
However, all nature is presently under the curse of Genesis 3. Nature sings in the minor key, but he will remove all that when he returns in his Second Coming (Rom 8:19-22). We live in a world handicapped by the curse of God. That is why weeds grow faster than flowers. One day God will lift the curse. That is one of the effects of the death of Jesus upon the cross. On that glorious day, we will no longer need dentures, glasses, or artificial limbs. On that day, there will be no crop failure.
God is already reconciled; we do not have to plead with him to reconcile with us.
We have all heard the phrase, “Make your peace with God.” Some people say, “I can remember when I made my peace with God.” We all understand what people mean by these expressions, but they are not biblically accurate. We cannot make peace with God because we have nothing with which to make peace. We cannot barter with God because we have nothing God wants or needs. We have nothing to trade God for our salvation. Our personal and relative morality is not good enough for an absolute God.
Jesus is the only person who has the wherewithal to meet God’s demands.
“19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19,20).
The commodity that Jesus used to pay for our sins is in the last phrase, “having made peace through the blood of his cross.” Jesus is the only way to acceptance with God (Acts 4:12).
As my grandson would say, “So let me get this straight: ‘all things’ doesn’t really mean all things? “Subdued” is quite different from “reconciled”. But “all things” must mean all of something. Any other suggestions?
Don, reconciliation here is positional reconciliation. God reconciled the sin issue completely through the death of Christ for our sins. One day when Jesus comes back, He will reconcile all things on earth to Himself.
Could you tell me please what would have to be reconciled in heaven. I can understand on earth I think but what would have needed to be reconciled in heaven? Thank you.
Anne, God has already reconciled those who trust Christ. He will one day reconcile all things in the Millennium. Nothing needs reconciliation in heaven.
If nothing needs reconciliation in heaven, why was it even mentioned or written down?
How about the angels that rebelled/disobeyed against God? Aren’t they the spirits in prison being referred to in 1 Peter 3:19? Why did Jesus go and preached to them? Thank you for giving your input on this.
Leizi, the point is God does not need reconciliation because He has nothing to reconcile within Himself, only mankind needs reconciliation. Go to my study of 1 Peter 3:19 to see my answer there.