Tuesday, December 12th, 2023
Scripture: Col. 2:13 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,
Teaching: Having asserted that the Colossians were made complete in Christ by the powerful working of God in verses 10-12, Paul reminds them of something else: they were made complete in Christ while they were still sinners. They did not clean up their act, start walking with the Lord, and then God made them complete in Christ. God moved first. It is the result of His grace that any come to faith. This is what Ephesians 2:8 means when it says, “by grace you have been saved through faith.”
Paul illustrates this inability to earn salvation without first God moving in grace by describing the Colossians as “dead.” The word dead is nekros, which literally means a corpse. Just as a dead body cannot raise itself to life, so, too, could the Colossians, and us today, not decide to raise ourselves to spiritual life. God pours out His Spirit in grace, which leads to a faith response. This is what Paul means in verse 13 when he says that God made each of them alive together with Him even while they were still far from Him, dead in their trespasses and the natural sinful state of the flesh.
Takeaway: When we stand back to consider how God brings faith to us, it is awe-inspiring. When we consider our own sinful and dead ways of living when He poured out on us His Spirit in grace and mercy, it is overwhelming. We often think too highly of ourselves and our deeds, believing they earn us some credit before God. But without Christ, none of us, and none of our deeds are good. R.C. Sproul famously said, “Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, and He volunteered.” The only one who was ever good, who was sinless, died for us while we were still sinners. As Paul says in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” As Paul is arguing here to the Colossians, not only are we made complete in Christ by the powerful work of God, but He did it when none of us remotely deserved it. God deserves all the praise.