Saturday, 22 April 2017
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, Colossians 2:13
Paul now expands upon what he said in the previous two verses. “And you” is speaking of those Gentiles at Colossae, and thus to any who receive and read his letter afterwards. Speaking to the Gentiles, he says that you “being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh.” This deadness is a spiritual state. Of course those who read his words are physically alive, but he is referring to a spiritual matter. This dead state comes from the power of sin (trespasses) as well as from their state of alienation from God because of their spiritually uncircumcised state.
The uncircumcision looks to the carnal state of the flesh, and of the deadness which resulted from original sin. That original sin then is only magnified through continued trespasses which visibly demonstrate the “uncircumcision of the flesh” in the person. But through Christ, God has done something marvelous. Paul continues with, “He has made alive together with Him.” This is speaking of God the Father who raised Christ Jesus from the dead. The resurrection proved that Jesus was sinless, and it also proved that the sin-debt which was laid upon Him had been removed; He was delivered from it.
In that act, we were “made alive together with Him.” Our sin debt, having been laid upon the Lord Jesus, and now having been removed, thus removed the death which resulted from our sin. In this act, we have been spiritually quickened to life. As Christ fulfilled the law, then there is no law by which sin can again be imputed to us. Our quickening is thus an eternal one. Spiritual life is restored, once and for all time. This is realized in the words “having forgiven you all trespasses.” The stain of original sin is removed, and the stain of all sins committed in life are likewise removed. Through Christ’s death, we have died to sin; through Christ’s resurrection, we live to God in Christ.
As a point of theology, Calvinists will use this verse to deny free will in man. They say that if we are dead, then it is impossible for us to raise ourselves to life. Therefore, we must first be “regenerated in order to believe.” When that happens, we are then brought to life. That is both a category mistake, and it is nonsense.
First, we are spiritually dead, not physically dead. Just because we are not morally good beings, it does not mean that we cannot see the good in God and desire it. We see the good in many things before coming to Christ, and we act upon that knowledge, moving toward the good. How much more, when we realize the surpassing goodness of God, will we then want to receive Him?
Secondly, if we were “regenerated in order to believe,” but it is belief that makes us alive, then we would still be dead until we believed. As we would still be dead until we believed, the regeneration would not mean anything. It is a convoluted and unnecessary stretch of what God has done for us in Christ. Please, don’t listen to convoluted theology. The bible teaches free will in man; you are encouraged to freely believe that what the Bible teaches is correct.
Life application: Take time today to thank God for what He has done in Jesus Christ our Lord. When we were dead in trespasses, He made us alive together with Him. All credit, honor, and glory belongs to God! Be sure to let Him know how you feel.
Heavenly Father, it’s hard to imagine that the penalty that we deserve for our sins was transferred to the Lord Jesus. An Innocent stood in our place and died so that we may live. In a simple acknowledgment that we have offended you and wish to have our debt removed through His death, restoration is granted. In believing that He was resurrected, we too shall receive the resurrection of eternal life! How can such love exist that You would do this for us? Help us to never treat this marvelous act with anything but the greatest of thanks. May You forever be praised for the salvation which came at such a high cost. Amen.