Impartial Grace: Colossians 3

where there can’t be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.

(Colossians 3:11, emphasis added)

Mr. Sprenger tells us, “All creation is birthed in Christ; all creation remains in Christ; but not all of creation has been awakened to Christ ‘Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give thee light.'” (Eph 5:14). Paul provides insight to life in Christ. Because we know Him we are confident He knows us. Because we know Him our focus is on Him at the right hand of the Father. Our focus should be on heavenly things; spiritual things. Our focus should be prayers to be blessed with wisdom. Paul tells us that our temporal lives have changed in Christ. Our spirits are quickened in Christ and we have a life kept with Christ in God. Paul presses the church in Colosse to set aside all things worldly. End all that is earthly in you. End immorality of all kinds. Put aside passions. Do not succumb to self. Let pride and envy go. Do not idolize your self.

Every person ever exposed to the Light of Christ acknowledges his sins. Pride, which is also idolatry, puts up obstacles, but over time with the Spirit of God working in us we “put away: anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk.” We come to live lives in Christ Jesus and we do not deceive one another. Christ has given us a new life and we change. Our old self is discarded and He gives us renewal in Him. He is in us and we strive to bring glory to Him and away from ourselves. The old self that condemns another is put off and love is put on. The old self that judges harshly is put off and love is put on. The old self that practiced the ways of the world is put off and the life of Christ is put on.

Christ’s Gospel is not party to any nationality or culture. “There is not Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Knowing Christ Jesus and being known by Him is crucial. Being a believer “is a gift from God and that by way of faith.” He leads us to believe. Our lives change and our focus is to bring glory to Him. That is Christ-like life…bringing glory to God. God intends that believers set aside animus for those who disagree with us and take up a new life with the Spirit of God at our head. Christ is everything. He is the fullness of God dwelling in Him. God is pleased in Him. Christ Jesus is in the men and women He created. Everything that is created was created by Him at His command. He is in all. This is universal reconciliation wrapped in relentless love.

Other doctrines teach that billions of people will be eternally punished by a just God. Those doctrines lessen the power of Christ. They diminish the “fullness of God in Him.” Those doctrines contradict the meaning of scripture as these verses simply and plainly understood teach “Christ is all, and in all.”

Dave Armstrong writes a Bible Study from a Catholic perspective. He posits about forgiveness on a human level and then declares God cannot forgive an unrepentant sinner. 1He writes, “Forgiveness is, of course, a distinguishing characteristic of the Christian life.” We are commanded by no less than Christ Jesus to love our neighbors, to love our enemies, to make peace with our brothers. We are taught to care for widows and orphans. Mr. Armstrong teaches we forgive others “because God has forgiven us.”

Mr. Armstrong tells his audience that the person receiving God’s forgiveness “must repent.” If there is not an act of repentance then the receiver cannot “obtain true forgiveness.” Mr. Armstrong adamantly states Divine forgiveness “is not absolutely unconditional, as many falsely teach.” However, being truly remorseful and truly repenting is “a firm resolve to try to do better…and a determination to cease engaging in that sin.” He writes Christians ought to forgive others unconditionally, especially others who have repented. God, though, does not forgive unconditionally. “…God cannot and will not forgive a person who doesn’t repent and accept the forgiveness (in this case, salvation itself).”

Universal reconciliation teaches it is enough that Jesus, Whose Name means “God Saves,” is all and in all just as scripture declares. Mr. Armstrong expounds upon the orthodox understanding that the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Him, but that the fullness of God cannot and does not dwell in all men. Jesus is Emmanuel. His Name is “God is with us.” Scripture declares all has been given over to Him and He has subjected it to Himself. He then subjects His creation to His Father and God is pleased. These verses stand alone, even so all other scripture supports this simple truth; “It is God’s will that all be saved.” “God is Love. His love will save all.” This is Impartial Grace.

1 Dave Armstrong. “Apologetics-Oriented Biblical Commentary on Colossians (RSV).” Biblical Evidence for Catholicism. July 7, 2015. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/07/commentary.html. Date accessed:06/06/2018.

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