20 November 2016 PM – Colossians 2:11-15 – Col16 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Your car needs certain provisions in order to run. It needs oil to lubricate the moving parts. It needs water to cool the moving parts. It needs petrol to run the motor. It needs a battery to start the motor. If any of these provisions are lacking, it will not run.
Spiritually we also need certain provisions to become a Christian and to live the Christian life.
Transition: This evening we are going to examine three spiritual provisions that Christ has given us at salvation.
1. Christ Gave Us a New Circumcision (v.11-12)
a. Circumcision was important to the Jews
1) Circumcision was the cutting away of a male’s foreskin. It was a sign of God’s covenant with Israel (Gen 17:11). It was a sign of Israel’s consecration to God, but it became an empty ritual if it was not followed by a consecrated life. It symbolized purity. It was a mark of separation.
2) Many Jews in the first century still thought that circumcision was required for Christians.
b. Christians have a new circumcision
1) This circumcision is made without a hand. In other words, it is not a physical circumcision. It is a spiritual one.
2) Instead of cutting away flesh, this new circumcision cuts away the sins of the flesh. It is a cleansing and identification that takes place at salvation.
3) Paul uses baptism to illustrate the identification of this new circumcision in the next verse (v.12).
a) Christians are commanded to be baptised by immersion in water after their conversion as a public picture of one’s new life in Christ.
b) Water baptism does not save; it is simply an act of obedience, testimony, and identification with Christ.
(1) We were buried together with Christ when He was buried.
(2) We were raised again together with Christ when He was raised.
(3) This was through faith of the operation (working) of God. God did this miracle, not us.
c) This verse is in no way a justification for claiming that baby baptism replaces circumcision. That is heresy. New Testament baptism was always by immersion.
4) Christians do not need physical circumcision. Salvation and baptism by immersion identify us with Christ.
2. Christ Made Us Alive (v.13-14)
a. We were dead in our sins
1) The word Paul used here for sins literally means misdeeds. It is a false step. It is any failure to be perfect.
2) All sin offends our holy God. Every lie is a failure to be perfect. Every angry word is a false step. Every bad thought, swear word, mean deed, selfish act and prideful attitude is a wicked sin. Every neglect of good, every act of disobedience, every selfish motive and every failure to put God first is a condemning sin. We had NO spiritual life. We were dead in our sins and condemned to eternal death in hell. Jesus said, (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
3) Many who claim to be “Christians” will one day miss heaven and go to hell because they never saw the wickedness of their sins. Recall what Jesus said. (Matthew 7:21-23) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
b. Christ made us alive.
1) The word “quickened” simply means to make alive.
2) At salvation, a person is made alive together with Christ. Our sin condemned us to spiritual and eternal death in hell. Faith in Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf made us alive with Christ. (Read Ephesians 2:1-5)
3) By His death and resurrection, Christ is able to make us alive and to forgive our trespasses. This is the same word translated sin earlier in the verse. It is our misdeeds, false steps and failure to be perfect. Christ can justly forgive our sins because He paid for them in full on the cross.
4) Christ blotted out the handwriting of ordinances. The “handwriting of ordinances” was a bill of debt or a bond standing against every sinner. Vincent It must have been the judgment of the law.
5) To blot out simply means to erase, to rub out, to cancel, to wipe off. Christ erased our bill of debt. That bill of debt was contrary to us or against us. It condemned us. By it we were doomed to hell.
6) Eadie points out that, “Whatever these ordinances are, they belong to an obsolete economy, and are no longer of any obligation, for they were on the handwriting which has been wiped out.” (v.20)
7) Christ took that handwriting out of the way by nailing it to the cross. Christ took that bill of debt out of the way or out of the midst. It is no longer before us to condemn us. He nailed it to His cross. “Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” Jesus Paid It All, Elvina M. Hall
8) Wiersbe makes a wise observation. “We are ‘delivered from the Law’ (Rom. 7:6). We ‘are not under the Law, but under grace’ (Rom. 6:14). This does not mean that we are lawless, because the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us as we walk in the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8:4). Our relationship with Jesus Christ enables us to obey God out of love, not out of slavish fear.” The Bible Exposition Commentary, 2:128
3. Christ Enabled Our Victory Over Sin (v.15)
a. Christ spoiled the enemy
1) One meaning of the word “spoiled” is to disarm. Christ disarmed our supernatural enemies – the devil and his demons. (Hebrews 2:14-15) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
2) The devil and his demons have no power over us if we are walking in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
b. Christ triumphed over the enemy
1) A custom of first century victors was to publicly parade the captives to celebrate a triumph. This shamed the enemy and showed everyone the victory had been won.
2) Christ did this with the devil and his demons. The devil is still a roaring lion seeking to devour us (1Pe 5:8), but he has no power over us when we rely on the indwelling Holy Spirit. (1John 4:4) “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
3) If you are truly saved, you do not have to be a slave to sin. You can have victory over lust, over a bad mouth, over a temper, over selfishness, over bitterness or over any other sin. You have all the provisions needed.
Conclusion: The spiritual provisions Christians have include the fact that Christ gave us a new circumcision that identifies us with Him, He made us alive by His death and resurrection, forgiving us and blotting out our huge bill of debt, and He enabled our victory over sin. We can now say “no” to sin. If Christ has truly saved you, then these provisions belong to you. Let them show in your life.
Are you positive you are a Christian? Have you been truly saved? Has Christ changed your life? Has He forgiven you? Has He blotted out your huge debt? If you are not sure, I would like to show you from the Bible how you can be sure.
Song: Jesus Paid It All, 125