The Freedom of Knowing Christ
When we were dead in our sins. When we were dead in our sins. We had no more power to walk or eat or get dressed than an actual dead man lying in a coffin to chose God and submit to Him let alone confess our sin, cover our sin and be at peace with Him. “The work of Christ is a work of power because it puts life into dead men.” (Barclay). For us who believe, God made you alive with Jesus Christ. God made you alive. God forgave us all our sins. Jesus blotted out the handwritten list of crimes we have and will committ against him. The literal word for “written code”, means “autograph”. The technical meaning was a handwritten note written by the debtor acknowledging his indebtedness. It was what you and I would consider an I.O.U. Men who were on death row personally acknowledged the debt. In the New Testament days these charges were written on papyrus or animal skin called velum. Both were vey expensive and the ink used on these surfaces was not like our ink today that bites into the surface.
The ink of that day could be literally wiped away like a white board. When Paul says, He “canceled the written code” he is saying GOD literally wiped the board that we had written of our debts CLEAN. GOD wiped my long list of sins away. I acknowledge my failure and my crimes that are punishable by death because we fail so immeasurably short before an infinitely holy God. But HE took my crimes, evil thought and wrong words and perverted actions that I know are wrong and HE wiped the slate clean that I written and continue to write every day of my life. We all are writing an I.O.U. to God and that list stands in opposition to us. It condemns us every minute of every day. But God nails that list, that I.O.U, that indictment, to the Cross of Jesus Christ and that I.O.U. of sin and guilt and shame itself was crucified. The list itself was crucified. It was executed. It was run clean through and put to death. It was completely destroyed. Never to be seen again.
All our cussing, our lust, our greed and jealousy, our perversion, our hatred, our worry, our murderous thoughts and wishes, everything that makes a man unclean was put to death, wiped clean away and forgotten because of the final, sufficient and all authoritative work of God on the Cross of Jesus Christ.
The traction of Colossians 2:16-23 sits on the shoulders of the finished work of Christ. Paul says, “Since you died with Christ and the basic principles of this world, “WHY” do you return to its rules that do not save?” (20)
“This section closes the second chapter of Colossians in which the emphasis was on danger. Paul defended the preeminence of Jesus Christ, and he refuted the false doctrines of legalism, mysticism, and asceticism. It now remains for us to believe what he wrote and practice these spiritual principles.
We put all of this into daily practice as we fellowship with Christ through worship, the Word, and prayer. As we yield to the indwelling Spirit, we receive the power we need for daily living. It is in our fellowship with other believers that we contribute spiritually to the growth of the body, the church, and the other members of the body contribute to us. (Weirsbe)
Neither legalism (2:16-17), nor mysticism (18-19), nor asceticism (20-22) adds anything to your salvation. Life in Christ is found only through what HE has already accomplished on the Cross.
Do you add to the Gods commands or does grace abound with His truth?
Do you worship Christ alone or do you look for some subjective experience to validate your position in Christ?
Do you think that harsh treatment of your body will get you closer to Him?
All these things are shadows.
The reality, the true substance is found in Jesus Christ. Will you seek to know and trust Him alone?