Friday, March 17, 2017

Colossians 2:15

Continuing in the imagery describing the Colossian believer’s release from the trespasses, Paul depicts glory and triumph of Christ.[1] Christ, by the cross, has not only removed us from the guilt of sin, He has broken the hold of sin over us. He not only blotted out the debt we owed, but He took control; over all forces that would continue to call for our indictment. The instrument of disgrace became the instrument of defeat and disablement to those forces.

As we found in verse 10 above, Christ is the head (Greek kephale) of all rule (Greek arche) and authority (Greek exousia). The word arche literally means a beginning, and carries the connotation of that which is the active cause or origin, whether a person or thing. The word exousia means the right to exercise power, or the power of rule and government. Paul can be referring to the idea of spiritual principalities and powers as presented in the Scriptures. Christ is preeminent over all creation, including all the principalities and powers.

In this celebration of victory and triumph, Paul states the totality in two phrases. The first, “made a public display” (Greek deigmatizo) gives us a picture of a conquering King parading his spoils down the street for all to see. This display would make clear that the king was totally victorious over his enemy. And the second phrase, “triumphing over them” (Greek thriambeuo) repeats this picture again, thus giving an emphasis to the importance of the statement. This was a humiliating procession, driven, involuntary, making the captives impotent before all that saw them. Christ was totally triumphant over all evil forces. 

The cross of Christ is the answer to the theosophy[2] that had been seeking to beguile the Colossian believer’s away from the truth. The spiritual forces had been stripped of and disarmed of their weapons.[3] They had learned the truth, and now could hold on to the promises of God that even though we might not see everything in subjection to Him (Heb. 2:8), we still can be assured that because of His redemptive work on the cross, all creation will one day be set free from the decay and bondage (Rom. 8:21). We can rest assured that we have already entered into the liberty given by the work of Christ over anything that we think might separate us from Christ (Rom. 8:38-39).

Prayer: What a great reminder, as the hymn goes - "He breaks the power of canceled sin." I am set free because of Your work on the cross. That horrid instrument of disgrace, pain, and suffering has become my treasure of defeating my enemies, relieving my pain and removing my suffering. Hallelujah, what a Savior! I can think of doing nothing else but singing Your praises. I am wondrously renewed and made clean. I am so glad that You loved me enough to come and redeem me back. I owe You my all- may I not hold anything back from You. Amen.

[1] This is a figure of speech called a hypotyposis, or a word-picture. Bullinger, E. W. (1968). Figures of Speech used in the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich., USA: Baker Book House. Pages 444-445. 
[2] Theosophy is teaching about God and the world based on mystical insights. The Gnostic view was based upon secret knowledge gained only by the indoctrinated. Today, Theosophy is the teachings of a modern movement originating in the U.S. in 1875 and follows chiefly Buddhist and Brahmanic theories esp. of pantheistic evolution and reincarnation. 
[3] See, Matt. 112:29; Luke 11:21-22; John 16:11; Rom. 8:37-39; 1 Cor. 15:55-57; and, Heb. 2:4)

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