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  • Chad Werkhoven

Colossians 2:13-14 - Madealivewith

Your salvation is so awesome a word needed to be invented to describe it.



 

Colossians 2:13-14 (NIV)


13 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, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

 

Listen to passage & devotional:


 

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 15: The Doctrine of Original Sin


We believe

that by the disobedience of Adam

original sin has been spread

through the whole human race.


It is a corruption of all nature—

an inherited depravity which even infects small infants

in their mother’s womb,

and the root which produces in man

every sort of sin.


It is therefore so vile and enormous in God’s sight

that it is enough to condemn the human race,

and it is not abolished

or wholly uprooted

even by baptism,

seeing that sin constantly boils forth

as though from a contaminated spring.


Nevertheless,

it is not imputed to God’s children

for their condemnation

but is forgiven

by his grace and mercy—

not to put them to sleep

but so that the awareness of this corruption

might often make believers groan

as they long to be set free

from the “body of this death.”


Therefore we reject the error of the Pelagians

who say that this sin is nothing else than a matter of imitation.

 

Summary


Which came first - the chicken or the egg? That little conundrum is far more profound than what you think, especially if we change the subject: Which came first, your regeneration (being made alive again) or your repentance?


Our instinct is to make our repentance the catalyst in the salvific process: first a person is convicted of sin, then sorrowfully confess those sins to God and places faith in the atoning work of Jesus, and then finally is regenerated through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That sounds right, and maybe even reflects the way it felt for many people.


But passages like today's throw a wrench in this arrangement. You were dead when this whole process began. And dead people don't contribute much to their own rescue and resuscitation. That's how significant of an effect that original sin has on people; When God told Adam in the garden that certain death would result from eating the forbidden fruit, He was right. From that point on, Adam, Eve and every one of their offspring has been "dead in their sins," unable to even come to God in repentance on their own.


I often challenge people to be able to explain the gospel in a minute or less, and v13 is a great way to simply and quickly summarize all of this complex theology: "When you were dead in your sins... God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all of our sin!" Your salvation was fully accomplished by God the Father through Christ the very instant the Holy Spirit jolted your heart to new life.



Dig Deeper


It's just such a cool word that Paul uses here to explain what God did to you. What takes us three words in English, he accomplished with just one awesome Greek word, which translated would be: made-alive-with. I'm pretty sure Paul made this word up, as the only other place it's ever used in any sort of Greek literature is in the passage we read yesterday in the letter he wrote to the Ephesians (2:5) explaining the very same thing he does here in Colossians.


Paul had to invent a word to explain this concept. That's how revolutionary this idea is; nobody even could conceive of this until the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write it down. This word conveys two mind blowing concepts that you need to understand:


  • God made-[you]-alive. Remember, you were dead in your sins, and as we discussed a moment ago, dead people don't do anything on their own. It's not that you had just enough strength to grab the life ring God tossed you or swallow the life saving medicine He provided. Your new life is completely and totally the work of God.

  • God made-[you]-alive-with Christ. Your new life is not your own. You are as conjoined to Christ in this new life as what the word Paul used is all one word and not two independent ideas. This is why it's so very important for you to live in a way that honors and glorifies Him. This is what it means to become sanctified: that in looking at your life it's impossible to tell where you end and Christ begins.



  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who made-us-alive-with Christ even when we were dead in our sins;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you live in such a way that makes your union to Christ evident to all;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Matthew 23

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