'He forgave us all our sins ... '

We have already looked at the thought of forgiveness in Colossians 1:14. There the word used referred to the lifting away of the sin barrier between man and God.

A different word used here in Colossians 2:13. It speaks of God 'gracing over' all our sins, of God granting a totally free and unconditional pardon.

Here something quite undeserved and unexpected is done to our sins. Here we are not treated as we deserve to be treated. Here, instead of the punishment we deserve and expect, is an entire absence of punishment.

This free forgiveness, this gracing over of our sins, is something that has been done once and for all at a particular point of time in the past. It was accomplished through the sin-bearing death of Christ on the cross, as the next verses in Colossians point out.

In addition, this gracing over of our sins, was done to all of our sins. When Jesus died on the cross not one of our sins had been committed by us. None of us were even alive. Yet all of our sins were even then a reality. God, even then, because of his eternal outside-of-time existence, knew all of our sins. Christ died for all of our sins. They are all graced over by his death.

Our pre-conversion sins; our present sins; our future sins. All graced over. All forgiven. Never to be punished as they deserve. Jesus Christ, who took our place, bore all the punishment that all of our sins deserve.

It is no wonder that the Bible says that God's grace has been 'lavished on us', that his grace is 'glorious', and speaks of 'his indescribable gift', and 'the incomparable riches of his grace expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.'

This is indeed 'amazing grace'. Let us all who believe in Christ rejoice in it; and let us not receive this grace in vain.

[Scriptures: Colossians 2:13; 1:14; Ephesians 1:8, 1:6; 2:7; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Philippians 3:1,3; 2 Corinthians 6:1; Galatians 2:21]



'He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and stood opposed to us; he took it away ... '

This text teaches us about:

[1] The reason we need forgiveness: there is a 'written code' that opposes us. The Bible calls this written code 'the law'. This refers to God's laws for human existence. Most religious people use law as a check list by which to gauge their level of righteousness or goodness in the hope of being good enough to get to 'heaven'.

However the Bible teaches that God's law was never meant to be the means of our salvation; rather, the law identifies us as sinners who persistently fail to reach God's standard. It is against us and stands opposed to us because we are sinners who sin. It condemns us and holds us under its penalty.

[2] What God did in this impossible situation: he 'cancelled' this written code. The word used here in the Greek text means to completely 'blot out' in the way that graffiti is covered completely by a coat of thick paint, or to 'wipe away' in the way that writing on a slate or whiteboard is completely erased so that it no longer exists.

This teaches us of the complete obliteration of the entire record of our sins, of our failure to obey all of God's commands.

It is this failure on our part to keep God's law that has stood between us and God, barring our access to him, denying us acceptance in his presence. But now, the Bible tells us, God 'took it away' - the Greek means that he has taken it 'out of the middle' - 'out from in between' - in such a way that it is no longer in between us and God.

This is indeed a message of good news. We will learn next week how through the death of Jesus Christ, God could blot out and take away his law, and at the same time still uphold that law.

[Scriptures: Colossians 2:13,14; Romans 3:19,20; Galatians 2:15-21; 3:1-14; Isaiah 59:2; Hebrews 10:19-22]

© Rosemary Bardsley 2018