“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” (Colossians 1:21–23 ESV)
We were all alienated from God, dead, helpless, hopeless. Dead men can’t reach out, but because of His great love, He reached down. He has reconciled us (notice that we are passive) in order to present us as holy, blameless and above reproach before Him. This is possible because He did it, not because we contribute anything. It is imperative that we not shift our hope from the Gospel as we begin our sanctification process. Meditating upon these truths presses the Gospel deeper in to our souls and provides the fuel for sanctification because we become confident of this, “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 ESV).
Paul reminds them of who they were and what God did for them in Jesus. These are Christians that he is talking to. Remembering what God has done and continues to do has a way of redeeming our rejoicing. The Gospel does that, it reminds us of our complete inability and His complete ability. It reminds us of the great exchange, His righteousness for our unrighteousness. We brought nothing to the table, being spiritually bankrupt and we continue our relationship the same way – in utter dependance.