A Life Transformation

Colossians 2:8 ESV

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

If we are following Jesus Christ with our lives wholeheartedly, if we are walking in obedience to his commands, and daily by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and if we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and the Lord is our desire, Satan is going to fight against us to harm us and he will try to trick us into deserting our Lord and into following his lies, instead.

For, Satan wants to take us captive to do his will, so he will use other humans to try to work us over, to try to persuade us to follow them and their gospel, instead. They will want us to be passionate about their message, and to give our minds, hearts, and souls to them instead of to the Lord. And they are very clever. They are very manipulative. And they can be very charming and convincing, too.

So, we have to find our refuge in the Lord and in his strength to fight off the attacks of the enemy against our souls. We have to be steady in our walks of faith and certain of our convictions, and we have to know the Scriptures, and we must be putting them into practice in our daily lives. Righteousness must be what we practice. We must have assuredness of purpose as a matter of practice, too, and confidence in the Lord and in what his word teaches.

If the Lord is not our steady shelter… If he is not our confidence… If he is not our continual source of strength and protection from the enemy, and if we regularly give the enemy entry into our lives, we will be vulnerable to the enemy’s schemes against us and we are likely to fall into his traps. And we may be attracted to these humanistic philosophies and empty deceit which are not of God but of man and of Satan.

For, what they are trying to convince us is that we can believe in Jesus, have our sins forgiven, and be on our way to heaven, but that we can continue to live in deliberate and habitual sin against God without guilt and without conscience, and that we don’t have to obey the Lord or leave our lives of sin behind us, and that we don’t have to honor God with our lives and with our bodies because his sin sacrifice covered it all.

But this teaching was created in the minds of humans and is not of Christ. For the truth that is in Christ Jesus is that we are to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (see Eph 4:17-24; cf. Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14).

Colossians 2:9-12 ESV

“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

If we have been born of the Spirit of God… If we are truly his children, by genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ, then we were crucified with Christ in death to sin and we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Rom 6:1-6).

This is what is meant by the circumcision of Christ, and it is what our water baptism symbolizes, this dying with Christ in death to sin and this being raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer according to the flesh, but now according to the Spirit in holiness and righteousness. For, this is a spiritual cutting away of our sinful flesh so that we can now live in freedom from addiction to sin and according to the word of truth.

And this is our spiritual protection from the enemy of our souls who is out there trying to get us to forsake our Lord and to follow him, instead. It is what Jesus did for us on that cross and it is our heart response of faith in him whereby we are crucified with him in death to sin and whereby we now walk by faith in him in holiness and righteousness in his power and strength. This isn’t just forgiveness of sins. This is release from addiction to sin.

For, we must walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Sin must no longer have mastery over our lives, but Jesus Christ must be our only Lord and Master. So, we are not to let sin reign anymore in our mortal bodies so that we obey its passions and desires. But we are to present ourselves to God as instruments of his righteousness. For if we obey sin, it will end in death not in life eternal (Rom 6:7-16).

Colossians 2:13-15 ESV

“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.”

Now, let’s read this in context. If we have received Christ Jesus as Lord, we are to walk in him in practice, in conduct, in holiness and righteousness. We are to be rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, which means our dependency is in him and in him alone, and we are walking according to the faith he has provided, and we are no longer walking according to the flesh (Col 2:6-7; cf. Rom 8:1-17).

We are not being captivated by worldly and fleshly teaching which would have us forsake our purity of faith in Jesus Christ and which would convince us that it is okay for us to continue on the path of sinful rebellion against our Lord and Master. For, in Christ Jesus we have died with Christ to sin and we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Col 2:8-12; cf. Eph 4:17-24).

So, when this says that we were dead in our sins and the uncircumcision of our sinful flesh, it means sin had not yet been put to death in our lives. We had not yet been crucified with Christ in death to sin in the cutting away of sin out of our lives so that we could walk in holiness and righteousness. But then God made us alive together with him, but not just by forgiving our sins, but by putting sin to death in our lives so it is no longer our master.

And when this says that God cancelled our debt that stood against us by nailing it to the cross, this is not saying that we now have free reign to continue in deliberate and habitual sin against our Lord guilt free. For, this canceling of our debt also includes us dying with him to sin and living to him and to his righteousness in the power of God. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24).

And when this says that he made us alive together with him, this is also talking about us being raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, free from the control of sin over our lives, free from slavery to sin, so that we are now slaves of God and of his righteousness who have forsaken our lives of sin to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways. So, this is not just forgiveness. This is a life transformation (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26).

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

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P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

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