Complete Forgiveness in Christ pt. 2
14 He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him. (Colossians 2:14-15)
As mentioned over the past few days, from verses 11 to 15, Paul is showing the believers at Colossae on how they are complete in Christ to the fullest, going more specifically in that they are forgiven completely from their sin once they have repented and believed in Christ Jesus. To describe this amazing gift of grace, Paul writes that, because of man’s sinfulness, we were all under God’s judgment, a “certificate of debt,” in which the “obligations,” would result in our eternal spiritual death. We were guilty under the law “against us and opposed to us.” Yet, God in His mercy completely cancels the debt. In fact, God goes beyond words of canceling it, and destroys it, taking it away “by nailing it to the cross,” through Christ Jesus. Bible commentator Max Anders writes, “How can he do that? Doesn’t that make the law cheap when guilty people are set free without having to pay for their crimes? Absolutely not. God himself paid the debt when his Son died on the cross. God upheld the holiness of his own law when Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin…We are fully forgiven.”
Through this total forgiveness, Christ has also made His followers have absolute victory over Satan and his forces. Christ has “disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them in Him.” The imagery used here is after a victory when the general of an army parades through their home city, with the people cheering, and at the end of procession, the defeated king and army follow at the end humiliated. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, He has defeated Satan. That isn’t to say that there will be no more trials and tribulations in this present life. Although Satan has lost, he has not yet conceded and will continue to attack believers. That is why Peter warns believers to be ever vigilant in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” As James 4:7 says, “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” With Christ always with us, believers can confidently resist the defeated devil and his temptations.
Isaac De Guzman