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Reconciling All Things on Earth and in Heaven

Colossians 1:19-20

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reconciling all things

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 1:19-20 NIV

The verses immediately preceding this passage are a song that exalts the Son as over all things and the creator of all things. And the song concludes here by saying that in the Son, all the fullness of God dwells. Jesus was not just a good teacher or a person who was especially close to God. He was God in human form.

And it is through Christ, and what he did on the cross, that God is reconciling all things to himself. There is a depth to this passage that I believe we all too often pass over. We understand that the cross is an act of God’s grace. And that through faith in the shed blood of Christ, we are reconciled to God (Rom. 3:21-25). But we are not all that is reconciled to God through the cross.

Reconciling All Things

At the beginning of this song it is said that ‘all things’ were created in Christ. Things in heaven and earth, visible and invisible (Col. 1:16). And now it says that through Christ, God is reconciling ‘all things’ to himself. In some way, Christ’s atoning death on the cross has application to all of the creation. Not just to humans.

It is important to recognize that this passage is not teaching universalism, that all of creation, including all people, will be saved. There is, at least for us humans, a requirement that I respond in faith in order to experience this reconciliation.

But through our reconciliation to God, the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glory of the children of God (Rom. 8:19-22). And, it appears, that there will be some type of reconciliation in the spiritual realm as well since it is included in the ‘all things’ created through Christ. But, in similar fashion to the human realm, this reconciliation is not universal (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 1:6).

There is so much I do not understand about Christ’s work on the cross. The extent of the atonement is beyond my grasp. But I am so thankful that it included me. That God has reconciled me to himself and that, through the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, I can have peace with God.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

6 thoughts on “Reconciling All Things on Earth and in Heaven – Col. 1:19-20”

  1. which things in heaven did Jesus reconcile to God, that’s the main question I have, and it seems to be evaded by everyone.
    I need to know that

    • Let me start by saying that I do not have a definite answer to your question. I do not see an explicit answer to it in the Scripture, indicating it is not something we need to know. Even though we may want to know.

      Colossians 1:16 says that “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Christ created everything in heaven and earth. In both the physical and spiritual realms. Human and angelic. Everything apart from God.

      Colossians 1:20 goes on to say that God was pleased “through him [Christ] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” This would seem to indicate that the reconciliation included all of the creation. And that reconciliation was accomplished through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross.

      So it would seem that in some way, the things in heaven, the angelic realm, are also reconciled to God through the cross. And, of course, that raises more questions than we have answers for. Are the angels in need of reconciliation with God? It does appear like at least some of them are, although not all. How does the cross reconcile them to God? I cannot even venture a guess. Are all “fallen” angels reconciled to God through the cross? Since not all humans are reconciled, there would be no reason to suppose that all angels would either.

      So, without being dogmatic about it, it seems that Christ’s reconciling work on the cross has application to both humans and angels. Not all will be reconciled; some will refuse. But all who respond appropriately will.

      • Thankyou brother, I get your insight, I can venture into your anxiety in the knowledge of the subject on discussion and I wish to tell you that your answer has helped me alot, in my spirit, I feel the GREATNESS of the Reconciliatory work, it’s just too deep to phathom. Nay God bless you for such a vivid explanation.

        • Thanks. I am glad it was helpful. And yes, God’s work in reconciling us to himself is beyond our comprehension. As is most of what he does.


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