Yesterday, I wrote about the fact that the world likes to create its own philosophies that do not lead to freedom, but instead lead to captivity. In Colossians 2:8, Paul refers to such teachings as "empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense," (NLT). I found it interesting that I focused on that verse (even though my original plan was to go further) and later in the day I had an opportunity to speak with a friend about the spiritual freedom they experienced through Christ. This freedom didn't come because they followed all the rules the right way, this freedom came because they believed that Christ could give them freedom. There is no freedom like the freedom we experience in Christ! As we were talking, my friend was sharing some changes that were taking place in their life as a result and it struck me this morning what a perfect example of the amazing work the truth of the Gospel does in us when we believe. You see, my friend found the ability to do the things that God wants because of the freedom they experienced in Christ. I will look at this truth a little more later in the week, but today's verses focuses in on that wonderful and incredible message of the Gospel that brings us this freedom; please read Colossians 2:8-15.
When reading these verses in the New Living Translation, it is so clear the amazing work that God has done through Christ. Just as Paul reminded the church of Colosse in chapter 1, he reminds them again that in Jesus "all the fullness of God" lived in a human body. Paul also reiterates the union we have in Christ and the authority Christ has over all things. These are important truths as we continue reading the message of hope we have in Christ. In verse 11, Paul begins to bring up one of the rules that the church was struggling with: circumcision. He explained that Christ didn't perform a physical circumcision on anyone who believes; instead, He performed a spiritual circumcision that cut away the sinful nature in us. Paul was explaining the point of the circumcision and the reality that it is the cutting away of our sinful nature that is what makes the difference.
But Paul didn't end there! He continued on to explain the process of baptism in Christ; since we have a unity with Christ our sinful selves were buried with Him and we were rose to new life with Him! This didn't just happen, Paul reminds us that it was because we "trusted in the mighty power of God." This is an important point that I will bring back in the next couple of days because we need to believe that our freedom comes from God's grace and power over death and it has nothing to do with what we do. The ability to do what we do comes as a result of the freedom we experience. Please read Ephesians 2:8-10. In these verses we see that it is God's grace and not our good works that saves us. Verse 10 (one of my favorites) sounds very similar to the verses we are reading today: we are created new in Christ so we can do the good things that God planned for us.
Continuing on in these verses we are reminded that before Christ, we were dead in our sins. It is through the cross that our sins were wiped away. I love how it is worded in verse14, "He cancelled the record of the charges against us..." That is completely amazing to me! Paul then brings back the reality of Christ's authority over everything in verse 15 when we are told, "...He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities..." We are free!
Have you experienced freedom from sin through Christ? Have you praised God today for your freedom?
This post is linked with Winsome Wednesday, Word Filled Wednesday, and iFellowship Blog Hop.