Colossians 1.

"You hath he reconciled," etc. This is a thing to give thanks for now If I am to return in heart and mind to God, I must be reconciled. God saw the need, and from the fulness and perfectness of His own love He did it all. "We have known and believed," etc. Such is the condition of the Christian; and if you ask a proof of it, this is the answer - He laid down His life. "You that were sometime alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." Not only have we a wicked nature in us ("children of wrath"), but more than this, we have done wrong, thought wrong, spoken wrong; and then, besides that, our hearts are alienated, the sure consequence of sin. Did you ever see a servant or a child do wrong, and glad to meet his master or parent afterwards? Does not the sense of having done wrong keep them away from those against whom they have sinned? Yes. Alienation of heart there is, because we do not want God to come and say to us, as to Adam, "Where art thou?" There is first, lust, then the commission of sin, then the mind turned away and at enmity. Then, in this condition, God comes to bring it back. How can He do it? Ruined, unhappy, wretched as I am, if God is for me, I can come to Him. Grace can come and make me happy. God comes in grace to win me back when thus alienated, and tells me He has dealt about my sins. This will bring me back. Law convicts, but never wins back - never. It is as though we said to God, My conscience makes me dislike you - makes me unhappy with you: take away my sins; and I will come back. This certainly is in substance what the gospel of God says to us both about our sin and about His grace.

347 And will He half reconcile? No, He has completely done it: "In the body of his flesh through death." There were you under your sins. Christ came as a real true man about these sins that are distressing you and keeping you away from God. I see Him made sin, bearing to take the dreadful cup of God's wrath: all the sins laid upon Him like the scapegoat: Jesus Christ coming in a body, not with a message that it shall be done. No, the thing is done. God has visited sinners in love. I meet God by faith there where He had met me; and I see in the body of Christ's flesh through death, He has put sin entirely away. I have nothing to do with it. Who could do anything to add to such a work? Men may wag their heads at it in derision, but the work is done fully and completely. Christ is gone up; and He is gone to present you holy, and unblamable, and unreprovable in His sight. Was there any mistake, any uncertainty? No, the soul knows and feels that God has done it. If He has me in His sight, He must have me holy and unblamable and unreprovable, and He has made me so: and when He finished the work, He sat down. "After he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God." Well then may it be said, "Giving thanks unto the Father who hath made us meet," etc. The work is done; and now God sends "to declare," as the apostle says, "his righteousness." Did you accomplish it? Did you do anything towards it? Nothing, but your sins. He has made peace. Our souls then can rest in this blessed peace. And it is not only that I have this peace: no, God has peace for me; and the nearer I get to God, the more I see the fulness and perfectness of this peace. It is God's peace, and I have peace in it. All there is according to His own perfectness. He rests in Christ's work for my sin. If He had nothing more to require, what can I require? All the ground of my connection with God is that His love has been manifested in putting away my sins; and I have peace in that. If you think you must satisfy God as a creditor, you do not know God. God is love, and He is known through the cross. If I own God as my Saviour and Lord, it marks all my character. I have new objects and new motives. I may do the same things, harmless in themselves perhaps, but I have a different motive in doing them when I know God. It is not what a man does that marks his character, but why he does it. When I know God in Christ, I go and do right things because I love God. I may be outwardly correct and moral, but the spring and motive may be all wrong at once. A child may see if you say He has translated me from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son. If I have peace with God, there is nothing between Him and me. The peace is made. It is a thing accomplished.

348 Now, are you reconciled to God? Grace, and glory, and love then are brought before your soul by the Holy Ghost; and you will be changed into the same image from glory to glory, etc. If I know I am to be like Him at the day of His appearing, I shall be purifying myself, "even as he is pure" now. May the Lord work in our hearts by His own Spirit, conforming us who believe into the image of Jesus, soon to be conformed to the Firstborn in glory. J. N. Darby.