Colossians 2:11-15 – “In Whom also you are circumcised with the Circumcision made without hands (that which is brought about by the Cross [Rom. 6:3-5]), in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the Circumcision of Christ (refers to the old carnal nature that is defeated by the Believer placing his Faith totally in the Cross, which gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work):
“Buried with Him in Baptism (does not refer to Water Baptism, but rather to the Believer baptized into the death of Christ, which refers to the Crucifixion and Christ as our substitute [Rom. 6:3-4]), wherein also you are risen with Him through the Faith of the operation of God, Who has raised Him from the dead. (This does not refer to our future physical Resurrection, but to that Spiritual Resurrection from a sinful state into Divine Life. We died with Him, we are buried with Him, and we rose with Him [Rom. 6:3-5], and herein lies the secret to all Spiritual Victory.)
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh (speaks of spiritual death [i.e., “separation from God”], which sin does!), has He quickened together with Him (refers to being made Spiritually alive, which is done through being “Born-Again”), having forgiven you all trespasses (the Cross made it possible for all manner of sins to be forgiven and taken away);
“Blotting out the handwriting of Ordinances that was against us (pertains to the Law of Moses, which was God’s Standard of Righteousness that man could not reach), which was contrary to us (Law is against us, simply because we are unable to keep its precepts, no matter how hard we try), and took it out of the way (refers to the penalty of the Law being removed), nailing it to His Cross (the Law with its decrees was abolished in Christ’s Death, as if Crucified with Him);
“And having spoiled principalities and powers (Satan and all of his henchmen were defeated at the Cross by Christ atoning for all sin; sin was the legal right Satan had to hold man in captivity; with all sin atoned, he has no more legal right to hold anyone in bondage), He (Christ) made a show of them openly (what Jesus did at the Cross was in the face of the whole universe), triumphing over them in it. (The triumph is complete and it was all done for us, meaning we can walk in power and perpetual Victory due to the Cross.)”
Why Should I Place My Faith In Christ And Him Crucified?
In Colossians 2:11-15 Paul qualifies why our Faith should remain in the Cross. In the last four installments of this series we have laid the foundation for this statement. The first six Benefits have already been discussed. They are:
1. Verse 11a - Faith in Christ’s Cross causes a person to be Born-Again.
2. Verse 11b - Faith in Christ’s Cross brings me freedom from the dominion of the sin nature.
3. Verse 12a - Faith in Christ’s Cross causes one to be united with Christ, burying his past life forever.
4. Verse 12 - Faith in Christ’s Cross causes the Believer to be Co-Raised with Him and to live in Him.
5. Verse 13a - Faith in Christ’s Cross Co-quickens or energizes the Believer by the Spirit of God.
6. Verse 13b - Faith in Christ’s Cross Provides me with forgiveness of all sin, past, present, and future.
(14) “Blotting out the handwriting of Ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross. . . .”
Benefit #7 - Faith in Christ and the Cross Provides Me Freedom from Law as the Means to Righteousness.
To be freed from the Law means that the Law can no longer indict and condemn me. The purpose of the Law was to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that man is a sinner. The Law was man’s “schoolmaster” that instructed us in regard to our ungodly spiritual condition and plainly revealed our need for a Saviour. Galatians 3:24 says, “Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by Faith.” When describing the New Covenant to the Church in Rome, Paul said this in Romans 3:21, “But now the Righteousness of God without the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.” True Biblical Righteousness then, does not include Law. As well, living free from the dominion of sin does not include Law. In Romans 6:14 Paul would say, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the Law, but under Grace.” We also find that in the Time of Christ, Israel’s Spiritual condition was not a result of a lack of zealousness. It was a lack of not knowing how to pursue Him. They felt that by doing certain things or by just being a Jew, God viewed them as Holy. Paul described their true state in Romans 10:2-4 when he said, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God’s Righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the Righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Establishing Our Own Righteousness
The way man establishes his own righteousness or, in reality a false perceived righteousness, is through works. Most men claim righteousness or holiness based upon the bulwark of works. They think, “I act good, so that makes me good.” Every society on Earth evaluates people in the same way. Each society or culture has some system of rules or guidelines. If a man keeps those, he does not violate them, then he is good, he is righteous. If a man does not, then he is evil or no good. So, in the mind of man, in either a secular or a religious setting, the righteousness of a person is established by their works. This is righteousness by Law. Keep a certain system of rules, do a certain thing, don’t do others and you are righteous. However, true Righteousness, a perfect Righteousness, which God requires before entering into relationship with Himself, can only be attained by Faith in Christ and His Saving Work at Calvary. When the believing sinner places his heart-felt Faith in Christ Jesus, the Perfect Spotless Life of Christ, the Righteousness of Christ, is imputed into my account. The only Righteousness that God accepts is this imputed Righteousness. All else is as “filthy rags.” Therefore, my righteous standing is accomplished by Faith alone.
Paul would go on to teach in Colossians 2:6, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in Him.” This would mean that the way we obtain Righteousness is also the way by which we achieve righteous living. If Righteousness is our standing then righteous action should be the result. However, once again, living righteously is not possible for the human being on his own. Not even a seasoned, Spiritually-matured; Bible-believing spirit-filled God-fearing man will arrive at sinless perfection in this life. This is not an excuse to sin or remain the same, it is just a fact. The only way for me to achieve righteous living is for me to consistently place my Faith in the Person and Work of Christ. Then the Holy Spirit is free to help me. Paul taught this in Galatians 2:20-21 when He said, “… and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the Faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me. (21) I do not frustrate the Grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Only Faith in Christ’s Finished Work at Calvary, in the Cross, produces freedom from sin’s grasp and furnishes the Grace of God, that is, the effectual Working of the Holy Spirit, that I need to live righteously. This same process is voiced by Paul in Romans 8:2 when He says, “For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death.” This Spirit of Life always Moves when our Faith is in God’s Provision, the Provision of His Son’s Work at Calvary.
The Sinfulness Of Law Living
With all this in mind we must define what it means to live by Law. Basically, it is the thought that if I perform well I will be righteous. I will earn a righteous standing through my works. The pain of living this lie is that no man performs the task to perfection. God resists the proud who would attempt to take this route and allows sin to dominate them. To try to earn Righteousness, or maintain Righteousness, or to live righteously by man’s efforts is highly offensive to God. For the lost that attempt to do this, they remain the lost never able to achieve to Righteousness. For the Believer who chooses this false way of righteousness, God views them as a Spiritual Adulterer. When they came to Christ, when they were espoused to Jesus as a new convert, they trusted in Him and His Work of Redemption on the Cross. They stated they would look only to Christ for their Redemption. However, their faith turned to their works and some outside method other than Faith in the Cross. I thank God that my Faith is securely fastened to the Person of Christ and His Work for me at Calvary. I am free from the Spiritual grind of attempting to achieve righteous standing or righteous living in my own effort. Christ has blotted out the Law that condemns me and establishes me in righteousness by faith. When my Faith is properly placed in Christ, the Spirit of God then goes to work, progressively enhancing and increasing my righteous activity by the means of Faith through the Work of the Spirit. Why should my Faith be in the Cross? Because He has taken away the demands and the indictment of the Law as a means to righteousness and has extended to me righteous standing and righteous living by Faith in the Lamb of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me!