[CF Devotionals] 2009-02-04 - Willingly, Thankfully, Joyfully

Colossians 2:13, "And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions."

There are a couple of important topics in this verse, that are linked together: making alive and forgiveness. These are foundational to the Christian faith. The Apostle is pointing personally to us. This is not something that concerns angels or spirits, or those who live under the surface of Mars in tunnels. It is about us. It is about spiritual life, our spiritual life. It is about forgiveness of sin, and how we obtain it. The short story is that God does the work. We are the objects of the work of God. God has made us alive. God has forgiven us. It certainly applies to us, but the work is one that is done by God.

There is forgiveness in Christ. It is to be had by all who come to Christ in faith, trusting in His work of Atonement for sin on the cross - applied personally to them. We know this, but how can we do it if we are, as this verse says, dead in our transgressions. If we are dead to all things spiritual, then how can we trust in Christ? Dead types do very little - if anything, but mostly nothing. How can those who are dead trust in Christ? This is the consolation we find in this verse, and do not lose it: "while we were dead; He made you alive together with Him." Do you feel the relief here? We are unable, but God is more than able. We are dead. We are beyond hope, but God gives hope where it is not, and our deadness in sin (Ephesians 2:1) is no hindrance to His making us alive. We read the story of Lazarus in John 11, and we find great comfort. God makes dead people live. We are dead in sin, but God makes us alive, we respond in faith, and our sins are forgiven - all our sins, or as the verse says, "all our transgressions." It is a concept that we will never be able to fully comprehend. God loves us when we are in the filth of sin, dead in it, and gives us spiritual life. What thanks and service can we give to such a Savior? All we have, all we can give, all we are, is not nearly enough - but we give all to Him willingly, joyfully, thankfully - because of this great love with which He has loved us.

We do not know the way of the Spirit or how the Spirit moves. "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit," John 3:8. We only know that when the Spirit gives life, then there is life. Forgiveness is free. God looks at nothing that you can do for Him. He needs nothing from us. God does not give grace because of some works we have done or will do in the future. God forgives because He delights in mercy. He loves because He loves. He forgives our sin, because it is His nature to be gracious. It is not something in us that "catches God's eye." We have nothing in ourselves, but when God makes us alive, we have all, we have it by gift, and we have it forever, even unto eternity. His grace and mercy never fail and never end.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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