Colossians 2:13-14, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
If a friend asked you to summarize the heart of the gospel message, what would you say? Paul does it here in two verses in Colossians 2:13-14 by reminding the Colossian believers and us of our condition before God intervened in saving us and then stuns us with a detailed account of God’s work on our behalf.
Paul reminds us that before God saved us, we were dead in our sins. We didn’t realize it just like our friends and neighbors don’t realize that they are dead. Our hands and feet moved, our vital organs functioned, and blood flowed through our veins. But our souls were dead. Dead in sin and dead because of sin. We were dead not only as a result of specific sins we had done but also because of our sinful nature the natural disposition which prompts us to sin. It’s an unflattering truth but one we must face if we are to truly grasp the immense and glorious change that God has brought about. We were once dead but now we are alive! This is a miracle only God, the divine surgeon, could perform. Through Christ’s death, we have been brought to life. Life in all its fullness.
This is reason enough to celebrate, but there is more. Paul reminds us that we have not only been raised from death to life, but we have also been delivered from the guilt of our sin. Our guilt was like a record of debt, a debt we owed God because of our rebellion against his rightful rule. The more we sinned, the greater our debt became. And the record of our debt stood against us it testified to our guilt. But Christ took this record of our debt on himself. It was charged to him and he made the payment by his death on the cross. The record itself has been nailed to the cross along with Christ. The document that condemned us has been taken away. God has put it out of sight forever!
We are now free from guilt, and the sentence of death has been lifted. The record of our debt can no longer condemn us. God has forgiven all our sins the long list of every sin we have ever done or will ever do. And because our sin has been removed from us, nothing stands in the way of worship. There is nothing we need to do to make ourselves or our worship acceptable to God. He has done it all. We can now sing with confidence:
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!