Tuesday, December 19th, 2023
Scripture: Col. 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
Col. 2:14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
Teaching: Having expressed two ways the Colossians are made complete in Christ in the preceding verses, in verse 14, Paul expresses the third way. Not only are the Colossians, and us today, given new hearts and raised to life in baptism, but we are also completely forgiven of our sins. In faith, we are credited the righteousness of Christ, as he took on our sin and paid the price for it: death. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” We are complete in this forgiveness; there is nothing else needed because we do not have our own righteousness, we have Christ’s credited to us by faith in him.
Takeaway: What is interesting in the Greek of verse 14 is the phrase “cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness.” The word for cancelled connotes a smearing away of an impression in wax, which, unlike perhaps writing on paper or stone may leave indentations even after erasure, smearing wax completely removes the impression. What’s more, Paul says this legal indebtedness we all faced in our sin before the holy God, was taken away from us and nailed to the cross with Christ. Such a vivid image shows us what God has done: He has completely forgiven us, not even allowing the sins of the past to mark or indent us any further. Then, he took those charges, for which we deserved death, and nailed it to the cross with Jesus. We are given Christ’s righteousness in God’s eyes, and Christ took our due punishment. This is called substitutionary atonement. It’s hard to grasp such love, but yet, this is the love of God. We, like the Colossians, sometimes need encouragement of the completeness of our forgiveness by God’s grace through our faith. Today, walk in the freedom that Christ has given you and proclaim His name as the only name that brings complete salvation.