Today, Selwyn looks at Collossians 2:13-14 (NIV): “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”
I liked the points raised by Selwyn in today’s study. First off; ‘ … it is possible not to sin. God has made us alive with Christ , and when His life pulses through our soul then freedom from sin is possible.”
The second point I liked is: “In ancient times the record of a debt, after it had been paid, would sometimes be nailed to a public notice board so that everyone could see the matter was settled. Our Lord has taken the debt we owed and nailed it to the most public place in the universe – the cross.”
I think there are a number of layers of meaning in these two verses. The written law demanded punishment for sins – while animal sacrifices were part of a process to seek God’s forgiveness – it never fully dealt with punishment. The Jewish written law did two things: showed us that no one could keep the written law andÂ everyone sins. We can never be free from sin based on our best efforts. Â Consequently, there was/is no pathway for us to follow which would restore the broken relationship with God. Therefore, as God loves us, He took it upon Himself to pay the debt we owed,Â as defined by the written code and regulations.
In a very real sense – Jesus cancelled theÂ consequences of the written code by allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross and paying the death penalty on our behalf, as demanded by the spirit of the written code. Perhaps an example would be helpful, to illustrate the last point: Jesus said that being angryÂ with a person was the same as murder, and looking lustfully at a person was the same as adultery (if you are married); under the written code – both these sins demand the death penalty.Â He is making the point that it’s impossible not to sinÂ by using our own resources; and the very nature of sin highlights are broken relationship with God. Those who don’tÂ have a relationship withÂ God, cannot live with God; and, must depart from His presence when they die. The only sure way of escaping from the consequences of the written code is to believe in Jesus and His power to cancel our IOUs!
This study on Colossians has been really helpful, do you agree?