There would not be sin, confusion, and chaos in this world if not for the enemy of man-the enemy of our very souls.
The term for “alienated” means “estranged,” “cut off,” or “separated.” Before they were reconciled, all people were completely estranged from God (Ephesians 2:12,13). The term for “enemies” can also be translated “hateful.” Unbelievers hate God and resent His holy standard because they love “wicked works” (John 3:19,20; 15:18,24,25). Actually there is alienation from both sides, since God “hates all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5). Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross that paid the full penalty for the sin of all who believe made reconciliation possible and actual (Romans 3:25;5:9,10;8:3).
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 1:21.
The Last Enemy
He demonstrated [this power] in the
Messiah by raising Him from the dead
and seating Him at His right hand
in the heavens-
far above every ruler and authority,
power and dominion,
and every title given,
not only in this age
but also in the one to come.
Everything exposed by the light is made clear,
for what makes everything clear
Therefore it is said:
Get up, sleeper,
and rise up from the dead,
and the Messiah will shine on you.
-On the broad road-
the state of being superior.
Your Enemy is real. Imagine for a moment that you’re a soldier during wartime. You’ve made it through basic training, mastered the weapons of war, memorized all the relevant warfare strategies, and are heading to battle. You’ve seen the war in news headlines. Friends of yours have already been deployed. And now that you’re on the front lines, you witness explosions and desolation all around you. Without a doubt, you know there is an enemy out to destroy you.
Now, imagine a fellow soldier coming to you and saying, “I really don’t believe there’s an enemy out there. I think it’s a myth, or maybe just a metaphor for evil. It isn’t real.” How ridiculous! Right there in the midst of combat, with fallen comrades and used ammunition littering the battlefield, how could an intelligent person ever fail to acknowledge the presence of the enemy? It’s unthinkable.
What does the Bible convey and how does this unfold in our lives? Remember the words in 1 Peter 5:8? Be sober! Be on alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.
In our lives this unfolds many, many ways. I’m actually going to start posting excerpts from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis as secondary posts, because this is some of the best writing that reflects tactics of our adversary that I have found. One effective tactic though, is explained in 1 Corinthians 15:33.
Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.
Being around others who are ignorant about God is just one way our enemy plants seeds of doubt in the minds of believers. Regardless of the tactic, remember this, your enemy will almost always have a smile on his face while he looks for an opportunity to take you down-he does not want to give himself away…he is a deceiver. Therefore, we often won’t even know our enemy is in our presence. Be sober! Be on alert!
Just a couple more reminders, Hebrews 10:38-
But My righteous one will live by faith;
and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.
Also, 1 Peter 4:14-
If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed,
because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
Finally, this could be helpful:
“It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,
Your affectionate uncle
Excerpt from, The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, pages 60-61. HarperCollins ed. 2001.
Beginning ‘wartime’ commentary from Charles Stanley, In Touch devotional, October 18.