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Read Introduction to Colossians


“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled.”


Having dealt with reconciliation in the previous verse, Paul here shows how reconciliation impacts the Colossians themselves. He turns from “pure” theology to “applied” theology. In verse 20, Christ reconciled creation to God; in this verse, he reconciled individuals to God. Both the universe and people need reconciliation.

“And you, who once were alienated”

“Alienated” means estranged. At one time, God shut us out from fellowship and intimacy with him. In the secular world during biblical times, they used this term for those who lost their citizenship. The Colossians were without the citizenship of heaven. There is a need for reconciliation because people are alienated (enemies) from the life of God (Eph 2:12; 4:18). An automobile accident can knock out the physical life we received from our mother and father; however, the “life of God” is eternal.

“and enemies in your mind by wicked works “

The Colossians were enemies in their “minds” before becoming Christians. This alienation from God is an attitude of rebellion and persistent enmity toward him. They were in a state of mental hostility against God. Man hates God because God hates sin (Rom. 1:28; 8:7,8). People are at odds with God both in their minds and behavior. They are enemies to God both from within and from without. Sin begins in the mind and works its way into deeds.

“yet now He has reconciled”

The word “reconcile” in verse 20 extends to the curse, the reconciliation of things; here, it means the reconciliation of people. The word here is more intense in Greek; it carries the idea to reconcile thoroughly. A total, radical, revolutionary change occurs in the heart of the person who trusts Christ’s death to forgive sin. The word “reconciled” here is more intense than the word “reconcile” in verse 20. Here it means to reconcile absolutely, altogether. God, through Christ, absolutely reconciled us to God.


Jesus’ cross put away all enmity so that amity can exist between man and God.


No impediment remains to block intimacy with God except our acceptance by faith in the work of Christ.

Reconciliation is an act of God. He provided for our reconciliation by Jesus’ death upon the cross. It was an act of love and grace. That is undoubtedly different than trying to measure up to an absolutely holy God. That is distinct from trying to live by the Golden Rule.

Are you personally reconciled to God? Do you know that you do not base your reconciliation with God on your morality? God reconciles us because Christ paid for our sins (2 Cor. 5:17-21). Will you, at this moment, trust Christ’s death to reconcile you to God? If you do, at that moment, you will have become a Christian.