As we continue our study in Colossians, I believe the Holy Spirit is saying that there are some readers that are struggling with fear, worry, and anxiety. If that is you, then allow this study to minister to your soul, for God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.
Vs. 8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Vs. 9 For in Him all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form, Vs. 10 and in Him you have been made complete.”
Paul warns the new Christians at Colossae, “See to it!” A few years ago my wife and I were driving in Wichita, Kansas when sirens began to blare all over town. We found out later that the sirens were the result of a tornado being sighted, but most of the local citizens paid very little attention. In the same way the apostle Paul continues to warn anyone who will listen, “Wake up! Don’t be duped by people who say that traditions and keeping the letter of the Law are necessary to keep us in good standing with God. For sure, some traditions are good, but when lighting a candle becomes as important as hearing the Word, deception has taken its captives. When the Law negates the blood of Jesus, the deception of works have crowned Grace. Once again, we can search for completion in many ways, but our job cannot complete us, the next deal cannot complete us, our spouse cannot complete us, and our works cannot complete us. Yet here is the truth: Our spiritual man was made complete the moment we said “Yes” to Jesus. We don’t want to confuse this with chapter 1: 28 that reminds us that our physical man is being made complete and is a continuous work in progress. We are body, soul, and spirit, and we must “see to it” that we do not drift away from the Word.
Continuing Vs. 10: “and He is the Head over all rule and authority.”
God is not trying to gain rule and authority, He is the Head of all rule and authority. Does that mean that God’s will is always done on earth? No, His will is not always done here on earth. He doesn’t will that we sin, but we do. He didn’t will that Cain would murder his brother Abel, but he did. Satan was able to steal Adam and Eve’s rule and authority because they refused to listen to the will of God and instead listened to empty deception. Listen closely, Satan is still the prince and power of the world, specifically — the unsaved, (Ep. 2:2) but he has zero authority over a born again believer! When Christ died on the cross of Calvary, His spirit went into hell and defeated Satan on his own turf. Satan and every howling demon of hell had to bend their knees to Him, and with victory in hand, Jesus left hell and ascended into heaven, having full possession of the keys over death, hell, and the grave. Satan was not stripped of some power, he was stripped of all power. We therefore have this great assurance: “No weapon formed against us can prosper!
“Vs.11 “and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;” Vs.12 “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
For the Jew this was a tough one to swallow. They had followed the rite of circumcision since Abraham, and now they were told, “Hey guys, save yourself some pain, it’s no longer a flesh issue, it’s a heart issue, the same problem it has been all along.” Paul is saying, put this on repeat mode, “It’s no longer the Old Covenant of “Do;” it’s now the New Covenant that began at the Cross and with a foundation based on what He has Done. We who have been grafted in have very little trouble with the issue of circumcision, but being fully convinced that Christ has totally destroyed sin is another issue with most Christians. But what do the scriptures say? “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Get the full picture! God isn’t checking His list to see if we have been naughty or nice. Christ conquered sin at the Cross and Jesus now stands before His Father declaring us — “Not Guilty.”
Vs. 13 “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the un-circumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, have forgiven us all our transgressions.”
As innocent as they seem, every baby child is born into this world with a sin nature and a dead spirit because of the sin of Adam. When Adam sinned, His soul was separated from God and his spirit man died. That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Before Christ, we were walking dead people whose eternal destination was headed in the opposite direction of heaven, but God Himself reversed our destination when we accepted His Son as Savior and made us alive and totally cleansed of sin. Jesus was stripped and beaten that we might be clothed in His Righteousness.
Vs. 14 “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which were hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross.”
The more we read, the better it gets! Imagine opening a letter and finding out that someone has paid your home mortgage and every other debt in full. That would be great beyond words, but as you read on you see that all other debt incurred by you will also be paid by the same generous donor. That is the majesty of Grace. Martin Luther’s understanding of grace began a spiritual revolution that spread over most of Europe, but his new understanding of grace did not come without marked opposition, both from man and from demons. He related to friends of a dream that was filled with spiritual warfare. Whether awake or asleep, he was not sure, but he became vaguely aware that his room had become ice cold and the presence of an evil spirit saturated the air. He opened his eyes and saw a hideous figure standing at the foot of his bed holding a long scroll. On it were written all of the sins he had ever committed, and at the bottom of the scroll a long bony finger pointed to, Guilty- Guilty-Guilty! He began to weep and cry for help for it seemed that hell had won and all was lost. But then, another figure entered the room, and he could see that it was the Lord Jesus Christ. The atmosphere changed to a supernatural warmth and peace flooded through the room. The Lord pointed to another scroll that had been sprinkled with blood that said, “Not Guilty, debt paid in full.”
Vs. 15 “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”
We need to gain a firm understanding that we are no longer striving for victory; we are walking in victory. Our enemy wants us to believe that he still has supernatural power over us, but we now repeat what has already been said; He is absolutely powerless. On his best day (there aren’t any) he pulls out a toy pistol, (a lie) points it at believers and yells, “Hands up!” Isaiah the prophet looked into the future and of the soon coming return of Christ and said, “Those who see you will gaze at you; they will ponder over you saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook the Kingdoms” (Is. 14:6)? Paul says, “See to it” that you are not deceived! So now the question comes full circle, “Do we walk by faith, or do we continue to walk by sight?”
Thank you for joining us in this bible study. We don’t profess to have all the answers, but we know the One who does. Next Friday, we will attempt to complete chapter 11. Until then, enjoy the victories given to us by our Savior and be of good cheer. Christ has overcome the world and promised to never leave or forsake us. In Christ Jesus, Don & Penny