Summary: I am painfully aware that there are many Christians who believe in Christ, but who are not free. How can we be free? We Christians need to experience the dynamic of the cross. Here we find that Jesus preformed three redemptive acts for us on the Cross
COLOSSIANS 2: 13-15
THE CONQUERING CHRIST
Would you consider yourself a free person? On what basis would you make your evaluation? What would you say makes a free person? These questions force us to define what we mean by freedom. Truly free people have four ingredients of liberty.
1. They have dealt with the past and are free from incriminating memories of failure.
2. They have experienced forgiveness which has extricated them from self-condemnation.
3. They have been released from the bonds of compulsive patterns.
4. They have been emancipated from dependence on the opinions and criticism of people.
From these basic elements flows the freedom to accept and love ourselves, give affirmation and esteem to others, and live with confidence concerning the future. This quality of freedom comes only from fellowship with Christ. Yet I am painfully aware that there are many Christians who believe in Christ, but who are not free. How can we be free? We Christians need to experience the dynamic of the cross (CIM). Only the power of the cross can grant us our personal liberation from the failures of the past and the disturbing memories of what might have been. The power of the cross also can grant us freedom from being unsettled by the criticism of others who demand we live up to their standards. When we experience such release we are on our way to being unlocked from the prisons of the past and enabled to breathe the fresh air of our deliverance. [Oglive, Lloyd John. Colossians: Loved & Forgiven. Regal. Glendale, CA. 1977. 77-78]
Here we find that Jesus preformed three redemptive acts for us on the Cross that we might be free to experience the abundant life He alone gives.
I. JESUS ENACTED FORGIVENESS, 13.
II. JESUS CANCELED OUR INDEBTEDNESS, 14.
III. JESUS DISARMED OUR ETERNAL ENEMIES, 15.
The new life believers have in Christ is contrasted in verse 13 to the life they lived before they were baptized. Before Christ we were spiritually dead in our sin. “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
The wages of sin is death; moral death and spiritual death (Rom. 6:11; Eph. 2:1,5). They were dead and helplessly gone in their condition of sinfulness. Those who are spiritually dead are dominated by the world the flesh, and the devil and do not possess eternal life. They stood in desperate need of forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the most exciting and comforting doctrines in Scripture because it is what lost sinners need to be made right with God.
The Colossians were so dead in their sin they had not even acknowledged the existence of the One True God or they would have been circumcised under the sign of the Old Covenant. They were completely locked in sin’s grasp. They had not even responded to the spiritual light shone them.
Their hopeless story does not end there, because God is rich in mercy for any and all who would recognize and acknowledge who God is and who they are. All that here follows is because of their, because of our, union with Christ (suneksôpoiçsen- alive together; zôos,+ poieô, + sun) in His death and resurrection. When Christ died, we died with Him. When Christ rose, we rose in Him. As Christ was raised from the dead the believer (the one who is baptized by the HS into Christ) has been raised and brought into life. We who were dead in trespasses and sin are now spiritually alive, in Christ.
The enacting of forgiveness is simultaneous with being made alive. Being made alive involved the forgiveness of sin, the forgiveness of everything which once alienated, separated us from God. God forgives the sin of those who place their trust in Him, in who He is and what He has done. God’s response for all who will look to Him and turn from their sin is forgiveness and grace. [The Greek word translated forgiven [charisamenos] is built out of the Greek word for grace].
The cross and the empty tomb are God’s attitude toward us. When Christ died 2,000 years ago He atoned for all our sin past, present, and future. By the cross of Christ we can own up to what we have been and what we have done and then disown it all because of what God has done. You are freed from your past in Christ and no longer need to demean yourself or listen to Satan demeaning you. God can not undo what we have done, but by dying for our sin on the Cross He could pay the cost of our forgiveness, and blot out our sinful past. In Christ you find forgiveness and freedom from the condemnation of our sin; past, present, and future. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).