[SW425] 04/04/2020 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn
Texts: Colossians 2:13-15, Hebrews 2:14-15, etc.
Jesus Christ triumphed through the cross! Hallelujah! That is very much worth celebrating! All praise and honor belong to Him!
And as one who has believed in Him, you share in His triumph when you believe into Him and are saved from the wrath of God and reconciled to Him, and then obey Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), and become a triumphant one through whom the world will believe that the Father sent the Son!
Paul writes to the infants in Christ at Colossae, who have begun to follow false teachers, reminding them of Christ’s triumph —
Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature (that is, it had not been cut out of you), God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed (literally, stripped) the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (NIV)
How were you dead in your sins, and in your sin nature?
The wages (payment) for sin is death (Romans 6:24). You were dead in your trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). Before you believed into Jesus Christ, you sinned. Therefore, you were dead — condemned to death and hell. But He made you alive!
How did He make you alive?
After He was crucified and buried, He rose on the third day. He defeated death and is alive forever more! Therefore, if you have believed into Him, your past sins are forgiven, and you are no longer dead — you are no longer condemned to hell. He has made you alive, giving you eternal life!
But if you continue to sin against Him after believing into Him, you reveal that you do not love Him, for you do not obey Him (John 14:24). He made you alive, but by your own choice, you again sentence yourself to death and hell, by continuing to sin.
Beloved, it is essential that you respond to the gift of being saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to God by obeying His commandments to stay and wait, so your sin nature is crucified and sin is no longer in you. Then your death sentence for sin is permanently removed, because you no longer sin. He makes you alive, permanently!
What was the written code that He canceled out, and why did He cancel it?
The written code was the Law of Moses which was given by the Lord to Moses. Its purpose was to outwardly separate His chosen people from the pagan nations that surrounded them. By obeying the Law, they were outwardly holy (set apart). That outward holiness foreshadowed the inward holiness that He now works in human hearts, since Christ came and died, rose, ascended, was glorified, and poured out the Holy Spirit.
The Law included the law of circumcision, as well as laws that said, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch” (see Colossians 2:21), and laws regarding Jewish feasts. These were outward forms of holiness (purity), but they did not remove the impurity from human hearts — the sin nature all humans inherited from Adam.
From before God the Father and God the Son formed the cosmos, they knew that Adam would sin, and that from that point onward, no one’s heart was pure and no one could perfectly keep the Law established by the Lord.
So, from a human point of view, the Law was like an enemy that stood against those who believed into God. Even if they dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” of the Law, their sin nature remained within them, and they failed to keep it, for their hearts remained impure.
Why did the Lord give them laws they could not keep? As I have said, it was to outwardly set apart His people from the pagan nations. But it was also so they would understand the condition of their hearts.
But He is not cruel! He does not desire that any should perish, but all that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, from before God the Father and God the Son formed the cosmos, the Father planned to send His Son, to carry away the past sins of all who would believe into His Son.
And, from before God the Father and the Son formed the cosmos, it was the Father’s plan to send the Holy Spirit, so that when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the sin nature is crucified (Galatians 5:24) and your heart is purified (Acts 15:9), and you gladly obey the Lord! With His very finger, God the Father writes His Law on the tablet of the heart of each Spirit-filled believer (2Corinthians 3:3)!
It is just as He promised in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, in prophecies that pointed to the infilling of His Holy Spirit —
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe (Hebrew-to-English, you will keep) My ordinances (commandments).
NOTE: Jesus Christ did not cancel out the Ten Commandments when He died on a cross for you and for me. They are a tutor to lead you to Christ — to show you that you need to be saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to Him (see Galatians 3:24).
And after you are saved and find you cannot keep them, they teach you the condition of your heart and your need to obey His commandments to stay and wait until your sin nature is crucified and you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you are able keep them as easily as breathing!
Over what did Jesus Christ triumph, and how does His triumph affect you?
— Death, because He rose on the third day. So He defeated death itself. And because He triumphed over death, those who believe into Him also triumph over death, because their past sins are forgiven and they are no longer under a death sentence for their sins. So all believers share in His triumph over death!
— Sin itself, because He triumphed over the sin nature inherited by all humans from Adam, when He ascended, was glorified (John 7:37), and poured out His Holy Spirit. When believers obey His commandments to stay and wait, their sin nature is crucified and their hearts are purified and permanently filled with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (John 14:23) Again, sin is no longer in them, so they no longer sin. So they share in His triumph over the sin nature!
What or who are the powers and authorities which He disarmed? How did He disarm them?
How wonderful that the Greek word for “disarmed” means stripped! Jesus Christ was stripped of His clothing, His skin, and His muscle, as He hung on the cross.
But through His cross, He stripped the powers and authorities, for they no longer have power or authority over those who believe into Him and have asked Him to crucify their sin nature and purify their hearts by filling them with the Holy Spirit.
What or who were the powers and authorities, and how did He strip them of their power and authority? They are the spiritual forces of wickedness in this world (Ephesians 6:12), and Satan himself, who is the ruler of the kingdom of the air (Ephesians 2:2), which is the evil realm that is between the natural heavens and the kingdom of God.
The writer of Hebrews says of Jesus Christ, who triumphed and set us free from slavery to sin and the fear of death —
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might (no “might” in the original Greek) destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (KJV)
Beloved, when you believe and obey His commandments to stay and wait, you share in His triumph permanently, because sin is no longer in, so you no longer sin. Therefore, you no longer fear death and hell! Satan cannot hold the fear of death and hell over your head!
If your church leaders and teachers tell you that you cannot help but continue to sin after believing, they contradict the Bible. Thus they reveal that they have not stayed and waited for Him to crucify the sin nature in them and fill them with the Holy Spirit. By their teaching, they deprive you of the permanent triumph over the power and penalty of sin that Christ gives those who stay and wait.
Listen to the words of Jesus Christ, and of Paul—
John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free . . .” 34 Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Beloved, when you are saved and reconciled, and then personally experience salvation from the power and penalty of sin, you will share in His triumph over sin, over death, and over Satan and the powers of darkness! What a triumph He has won, on your behalf, and what a triumph He commands you to share with Him!
Your response to His triumph
None of us deserved the kindness of God. But He forgives your past sins through the sacrifice of His Son on a cross, because you have believed into Him. So, beloved, how will you respond to what He has done on your behalf?
— Will you continue to sin, and will you refuse His commandments to stay and wait because you want to continue to sin? If so, you place yourself back under a death sentence (Hebrews 10:26). You are no longer alive with Him, for you have refused to share in His triumph over the penalty and power of sin and Satan.
— Or will you obey Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait, so your sin nature is crucified and you are filled with the Holy Spirit? Then you will share in Jesus Christ’s triumph over the penalty and power of sin, and will say with Paul and with me —
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NIV)
These truths have eternal significance, both for you and for all those you meet. Why? When you believe into Him, you receive eternal life. And when you obey Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait, you become His witness here (Acts 1:8) — the evidence by which the world will believe that the Father sent the Son (John 17:21).
I have spoken these truths at the Lord’s command, so your heart is revealed to you and you will repent! Again, He does not desire that you perish, but that you come to repentance! So, choose this day whom you will obey and serve! As for Jeff and me, we have obeyed the Lord, and we serve Him (Joshua 24:15)!
Lord Jesus, may today’s infants in Christ, both leaders to those in the pews, both hear and repent because of the words you have given me to speak. Make it so, I pray. Amen.