Complete in Christ, Part 3

A Study of Colossians 2:8–15

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power: In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:8–15)

The last study was specifically about the identification of the Christian (not the adherent of the “Christian religion”, but of the believer in Christ and His finished redemption of and for him/her) with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

Continuing now, since we are thus identified, we will discuss the end of what we were in our old nature, and the completeness of our forgiveness, justification, and victory, remembering where this all begins:

For in [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him…(Colossians 2:9–10)

Our sins have made us dead.  “You’re dead to me” is an expression often said to someone who has ruined a relationship.  Keep that phrase in mind.  God has declared that the world is dead to Him.  The children of Adam are dead in their trespasses and sins.  In Adam, we are dead in sins because as a consequence, we are under a death sentence.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned… (Romans 5:12)

It is interesting to me here to recall when Abimelech, king of Gerar, took Sarah, Abraham’s wife, to be his.  Now, Abraham allowed this by misrepresenting her to him, but, nevertheless, God was not going to allow this to happen.  Abimelech was told in no uncertain terms about his future if he did not change course.  This was true, regardless of whether it was a sin of ignorance or not.  In fact, it was God’s grace and righteousness toward Abimelech to warn him of his fate before it was too late.  But notice the way that God told him of his fate:

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. (Genesis 20:3)

God told Abimelech as though his death was a fait accompli—an accomplished fact.  The sentence of death in Adam is also a fait accompli.  “In Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22).  That is the place that we start.  Let us look at the next sentence in this passage:

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…(Colossians 2:13)

 Ephesians chapter 2 is the Scripture’s great expansion of this passage.  Look at the description of the condition that we were in when we were made alive with Christ:

And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

The love of God for us would not leave us in that condition:

But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Read this entire chapter in Ephesians noticing everything that we were, especially considering what we were as Gentiles in the flesh.  We were not included in the covenant people, we were not counted in the citizenship of Israel, we had no promise of a Messiah, and as a group, were without God, and without hope.

But the blood of Christ changes all of this.  The blood of Christ takes down the ordinances that separated the Jew and the Gentile.  In Christ we are one.  The Gentile believer is no further from the Father and from Christ than the Jewish believer:

For through [Christ] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)

Let us look at a change of things:

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God… (Ephesians 2:19)

Remember that we were aliens from the commonwealth (a word denoting citizenship in the community) of Israel and as such strangers from the covenants that did not include us. We are no longer foreigners (a word denoting a person living on the outside of the community or household), but fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God.  We are not outsiders looking in, we are insiders. Now we can say:

For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ… (Philippians 3:20)

In so making us insiders, something needed to be done.  Our sins stood against our entrance, but God has separated us from them.  He has forgiven us ALL TRESPASSES.  He will “by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7), but he has taken our trespasses away by nailing all charges against us to the cross.  The charges were not cleared, but they were nailed to the cross.  This is the completeness of our forgiveness.

In [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins… (Colossians 1:14)

Forgiveness of sins is COMPLETE IN HIM.

And now, complete victory!  Our Conquering Hero has spoiled the powers of darkness that He delivered us from.  He has disarmed them and we can picture Christ leading them in parade out in the open as defeated foes for all to see, to their shame.  He has triumphed over all enemies and has put them to an open shame.  They will do their best to hide this from us, and they do this if we let them by letting anyone spoil us through the philosophy and vain deceit of the world.  We must keep our eyes on our Conquering Hero, the One Who set us free from the power that the devil had over us when we were dead in our trespasses and sins.

For in [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him…(Colossians 2:9–10)

One thought on “Complete in Christ, Part 3

  1. Mom

    Thank you for reminding us about where we are standing in Christ. All our sins have been nailed to that cross–past sins, present sins and future sins. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift!

    Like

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