Enemies Become Friends

“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”— Colossians 1:21–22 (NIV)
Every great hero has an archenemy. Superman has Lex Luthor, Batman has the Joker, Sherlock Holmes has Professor Moriarty, Beowulf has Grendel, Peter Pan has Captain Hook, Hamlet has Claudius, and Dr. Jekyll has Mr. Hyde. Now, if you were to ask the average person on the street, “Who is the enemy of God?” the most common answer you’ll receive is Satan. Yes, the devil has always been portrayed as God’s enemy, and rightfully so. He opposes the presence and purposes of God. But guess what? Satan is not the Lord’s only enemy!
According to Colossians 1:21, we—humanity—are also God’s enemies. We were alienated (apēllotriōmenous), which means we were estranged, separated from the knowledge, love, and life with and in the Lord, shut out from His fellowship and intimacy. We became His enemies, like Satan, opposed to His presence and purposes in favor of our own. Our wicked works, our selfishness and pride, put us at odds with God’s perfection and plan. 
But unlike the other hero/villain dynamics, God made us His friends. “While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son . . .” (Romans 5:10 NIV). And what’s more, not only did He reconcile us to Himself, and not only did He make us His friends, but He made us holy! That’s right, through the resurrection of Jesus, all who believe are washed clean, justified, covered by the blood of Jesus.  
Here’s the interesting thing about this passage . . . In the New Testament, the word for present (parastēsai) was commonly used in two contexts. First, in a sacrificial sense, as something being presented at the altar (Romans 12:1). Second, in the sense of introduction and presentation, like a bride being presented on her wedding day (Ephesians 5:27). 
Now, the beautiful thing about our relationship with Christ is that, here, it’s used in both ways. The words “holy and without blemish” speak of an offering being presented at the altar. But “free from accusation” is out of place in that context, and a parallel passage (Ephesians 2:18) speaks of “access” or introduction to the Father. 
Thus, we are presented to God, introduced and brought before Him, now being justified, and we are presented as a living sacrifice unto Him, to live and love as His ambassadors, to allow Him to speak and work in and through us. We are offered as vessels for Him to fill and overflow into the world. What a beautiful thing to do for your enemy!
DIG: Have you ever been at odds with someone that eventually became your friend? What happened to change your relationship dynamic?
DISCOVER: At any point in your life, did you ever consider yourself God’s enemy? Did you ever believe that is what you were before receiving His grace?
DISPLAY: Spend time in prayer today thanking the Lord for extending His hand of friendship and grace while you were still His enemy (Romans 5:6–8).

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.