13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Do you really believe that God has canceled all the record of debt that stood and stands against you with its legal demands? I say stands because according to the apostle John in 1st John 1:8 we will still sin until glory. If you have been saved for more than about ten minutes I’m convinced the enemy of your soul has caused you to question this reality. I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s look at the context and make sure we understand who the “And you” is in verse 13.
In context, Paul is describing what a great struggle he is in the midst of for those in Laodicea and those who have not seen him face to face (Col 2:1). His struggle centers around the fact that those who are in Laodicea and those who have not seen him face to face are evidently struggling with assurance and this lack of assurance is giving an open door to some who might take advantage and delude them (Col 2:4). Paul explains that though he is absent he is rejoicing in spirit to see their good order and there firmness in faith in Jesus (Col 2:5). Paul starts 2:6 with a “Therefore” (when you see this always ask what is this there..for?). In light of everything thing he just said: “as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” He then goes on to warn them not to be deceived. How may they be deceived? “8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” What may they be deceived about? The assurance and foundation they have in Christ for those who have received Him, as he has already stated. When you see all the 2nd person plural pronouns “you” he’s talking to those who have received Christ the Lord.
To bring us back to our text Paul is stating some un-negotiable doctrines in a couple short verses. “And you”, those who have received Christ. “who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh”-what can a dead person do in regards to his salvation…NOTHING. How do you know that apart from it being logical? Glad you asked because Paul explains “God made alive together with him”. The word Paul uses here is συζωοποιέω (syzōopoieō): raise to life with, make alive with (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13+). God did this, not the dead person who couldn’t do anything. For those who wonder what being born again is (John 3:7) this explains what it means to receive Christ, you must be born from above. ἄνωθεν (anōthen): from above, often implying from heaven (Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Jn 3:3, 7, 31; 19:11, 23; Jas 1:17; 3:15, 17+), 2. LN again, a repetition (Jn 3:3, 7; Gal 4:9+), 3. LN 67.90 for a long time (Ac 26:5; Lk 1:3+); 4. γεννάω ἄνωθεν (gennaō anōthen), be born again (Jn 3:3, 7+). All Greek definitions have come from
“Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament)”.
You must literally be born again from above. God does this as Paul explains in our verses context “by faith”. To be born again means one must receive by faith God’s finished work on the cross. Paul explained from another angle in Ephesians 2:8 (as we just looked at) “this is not of your own doing, this is a gift of God”. So we see the doctrine of sola fide here. Moving on “God made alive together with him”, again this is what it means to be born again, we are alive together with him. How can we who are sinners by birth, by practice and by choice be together with Jesus, Who is perfect? Paul again answers your question: “having forgiven us all our trespasses 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
Do you realize as one who has received Christ by faith, that God the Father sees you white as snow? I could develop this for longer than you want to read, but that is amazing. Amazing grace indeed! The fact that the Father and the Son who are both more Holy than your mind or mine can imagine, has forgiven us our sins, past, present and future and caused His Holy Spirit to live within us (Eph 1:13), because we have received by faith what only a perfect sacrifice (too long of a discussion for this section but only Jesus perfect life would do) to satisfy a Holy Father. And God the Father did all this. Do you really think that God needed a hand with this? Do you think some act of righteousness would trump what only Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice could do? Rest in Christ’s finished work. As Augustine once said (loose paraphrase), “live like it depends on you, but know that it depends on Christ.” I hope you won’t be deluded when the enemy comes accusing. but your confidence will be in Christ and His finished work. Enjoy Colossians 2:13-14.