Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, (see Colossians 1:15-20)
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (see Colossians 1:21-22)
Colossians 2:6-9, 13-15 ESV
The debt against us was nailed to the cross, along with all of its legal demands. That debt is pain in full by Jesus’ blood!
A number of years ago, I was memorizing this book and I remember some of the word pictures I appreciated from it, Particularly this one as Paul talks about God cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. Often people think God somehow ignored our sin because of His love for Jesus in some sort of nepotistic, sympathetic relationship. But in doing that, we forget that God is perfectly just and can’t put His justice aside, particularly as a holy God who must deal with sin justly. This is is one passage that tells us how He dealt with sin in a just way. He nailed our sin and the debt we owed, to the cross in the person of His son Jesus.
Jesus was the only One equipped to pay for our sin. To pay for sin, one would have to live a perfect life. Only God could do that. Colossians (among other books in the Bible) tells us how Jesus filled that qualification. He was God in human flesh. He also needed to be God to pay for an infinite number of people’s sins. That is what Jesus did too. By paying the debt we owed for sin, He was able to triumph over the powers of evil around us, putting them to open shame.
Is that something to get you excited about this lenten season? If you have trusted Christ for your salvation, it certainly is! If you haven’t yet, it is a great motivation to do so. All your sin and guilt forgiven. Imagine.
In light of what Christ has done for you, walk in Him…
It’s almost is if we look back from these important verses (12-13) for the why and the energy behind the earlier verses in this passage. We started out dead in sin. We had no way to save ourselves in our own strength. It took a miracle of God to not only save us, but also to give us the faith to even believe it was possible for Him to do it.
It’s the same for living the Christian life. We can’t do it on our own either. I have heard people say becoming a Christian was God’s gift to them and their gift to God was living for Him after that. However, that really isn’t true as much as we would like it to be. We can’t even live out the Christian life in a genuine way without the working of the Holy Spirit constantly in our lives. The whole thing is a miracle. It’w a miracle that we want to live for Him, that we obey Him, that we repent when we do, and that we continue persevering. It is all a miracle of God’s work in us. Satan would love to tell us that if we can’t be perfect little Christians, we are no good.
The truth is that we will not be perfect little Christians while we live in a fallen world. But we have a perfect God who helps us keep on going when we fail Him…which is often. But one thing is for sure. Once we were dead in sin and had no awareness of our sin. Now, we are alive in Christ and are growing in grace each day. But we are also growing in our awareness of how much we aren’t like Jesus. And we are growing in our awareness of how much He has forgiven us anyhow much we appreciate it and how much we need Him and those in the Body of Christ.
Rulers and authorities put to open shame as Jesus triumphed over them
Rulers and authorities seem to include evil powers. It may include other powers too, but it can include the evil powers. This means that when Satan or one of his demons comes at you to tell you what a lousy Christian/person/mother/etc. you are, or what a hypocrite you are, you can tell him that in Jesus name, you are His child and He paid for all that is wrong with you. It doesn’t deny there is work to do, but that is not the business of Satan or any of his people. The work of changing you belongs to God and He is bringing the change as it needs to happen, through His people. Meanwhile, Jesus and the Church (universal) have won the victory over Satan and His kingdom. That happened at the cross and after when Jesus rose from the dead.
Change Point: Thank God for forgiving you of all your sin and paying for every sin you would commit, past, present and future, on the cross. He paid for it with His blood. It wasn’t cheap. I know I don’t think about it often enough when I make a choice away from Him and make that nasty comment or dwell on that evil thought or go against His commands in other ways. Make some time to pause and reflect on how your sin, especially those pet ones, affected Him. Does that motivate you to deal more drastically with some of those pet sins? What do you need to do to make a change so you will show yourself that you are serious about ridding yourself of even one of these pets?