Encouragement in Colossians
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”Colossians 2:13–15
Of all of the responsibilities that adults have to carry, one of the least liked is paying the bills. Not only does paying the bills require a fair amount of responsibility and organization, but it also means you watch your bank account drop with each payment. At times, the payment due is much larger than you had anticipated, causing your eyes to bulge as you open your bill. Some bills may even come dangerously close to being more debt than we can pay. Can you remember a time when you had a bill that was too much for you to pay? In truth, every person has a debt that was too much to pay off. That debt is our sin.
If you owed a company more money than you were able to pay, the company would cut you off from their services, repossess property, or assess late fees or other penalties. This may seem severe, but our debt to God is much greater than a debt to any company. As the apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, “The wages of sin is death” (6:23). Our sin was a debt that we could not pay. No amount of money, goods, sacrifice, devotion, or piety could pay off our debt to God. We were hopelessly “in the red.” But God is not like your typical businessmen.
Because God’s love for you is so great, He would not allow this debt to cut you off from Him. Colossians 2:13–14 says that God made us “alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Rather than hold our debt against us, God chose to pay the price Himself and set us free from sin, death, and the devil. When Christ proclaimed, “It is finished,” our debt was paid in full.
We read in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death,” but this is not the end of the verse. Paul continues by writing, “But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This gift is free for us. There are no additional fees, no tax, and no penalties. We can rest in this freedom we have in Jesus, knowing that in Him, we have the gift of eternal life with God.
What does it mean to you to know that you have been freely justified by Christ? How does it affect your everyday life?
Heavenly Father, we confess to You that we are sinful and unclean. Our debt to You is far too much to pay. Thank You for sending Your Son to pay the price for us and for being faithful and just to forgive us and renew us so that we may have new life in Christ, now and forever. Help us to live in this freedom with joy and thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.