Tuesday, December 26th, 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.
Col. 2:15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Teaching: In Colossians 2:9-14, Paul laid out how the Colossians, and all believers, are made complete in Christ. In verse 15, he adds one extra detail to what this means, not just eternally, but here and now. By taking our sin and nailing it to his cross, Jesus has “disarmed the rulers and authorities” and “triumphed over them.” In one sense, this means that Satan has nothing left to accuse us of before God: the debt we owed by our sin has been paid.
But in another sense, when we believe and are made complete in Christ, there is nothing in this world that still holds us spiritually captive. We all have likely said at some point in our lives, “I can’t help the way I’m made.” We let what we perceive as our immutable characteristics – our personality, our preferences, our addictions, our past failings – control who we believe we are. But, as Paul says here, in Christ, none of these authorities hold power against us.
Takeaway: David Garland wrote of Col. 2:15, “If most do not believe that their fate is written in the stars, many still believe that they do not make moral choices but simply fulfill unalterable genetic traits. If biological explanations lead us to believe that we cannot help ourselves, we are less likely to try to do battle with destructive behavior and more likely to succumb to it. The Christian faith offers the only remedy to this miasmic spiritual worldview. We find deliverance from everything in Christ.” Being made complete in Christ is not only for eternal salvation; as Paul says, completeness in Christ also grants us deliverance from the spiritual strongholds that dominated our lives before coming to Christ. In Christ, we are no longer bound by previous sin nor shackled by the things the world tells us cannot be changed. Jesus has overcome the world, disarming its rulers and authorities and making a public display of their defeat.