After speaking about the fullness of deity in Christ and our fullness in him, Paul begins to teach further about what makes Christ sufficient and therefore should keep us from falling into some type of slavery.
According to Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, the fourth way by which we can remain free is by understanding our deliverance from sin in Christ.
After speaking about the fullness of deity in Christ and our fullness in him, Paul begins to teach further about what makes Christ sufficient and therefore should keep us from falling into some type of slavery. According to Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, the fourth way by which we can remain free is by understanding our deliverance from sin in Christ. Paul teaches about Christ’s sufficiency in our death to sin (Col. 2:11). When we were saved by God, Christ circumcised our heart. He cut away the sin nature and delivered us from the power of sin.
We are no longer slaves of sin. Certainly, we still battle sins and the lusts of the flesh, but we are no longer slaves to them (Rom. 6:5–7). Christ has circumcised every believer—not a physical circumcision, but a spiritual one—as he broke the power of sin over our lives. We do not need legalistic laws or spiritualism to conquer sin because Christ is sufficient. Our old man died with him, and therefore we can start to walk in that freedom. Paul was declaring to the Colossians and to us, “Christ is enough!” Fifth, we can remain free by understanding the forgiveness that God has given us in Christ (Col. 1:14).
People who are drawn into cults or other false teachings are often people who are bound to sin and guilt and do not truly know the forgiveness that they have in Christ. If we are going to be protected from false teachers and secular wisdom that promise freedom, then we must know Christ is sufficient. He is enough to deliver us from sin and also give us complete forgiveness. Paul says Christ abolished the law with its commandments in his flesh. When Christ died he wiped out every accusation against us and every accuser (Rom. 8:33–34). Christ’s resurrection was proof that God accepted his sacrifice for us.
Understanding our complete forgiveness in Christ will protect us from Satan’s enslavement. Many Christians are enslaved by Satan’s lies and condemnation. He keeps them out of church, he keeps them from reading their Bibles as he continually reminds them of their sins, and he draws them into something else that promises relief but only brings bondage. In order to remain free, believers must know their complete freedom and forgiveness in Christ.Sixthly, we can remain free by understanding our victory over Satan in Christ: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Col. 2:15).
These believers were being tempted to submit to elementary spirits and the worship of angels. This was very common in paganism. Pagans live in fear of demonic spirits and would offer sacrifices and perform religious acts to pacify them. Paul says all these spirits have been disarmed and triumphed over in Christ. All these powers are in submission to Christ, and therefore we should not be enslaved to them. Christ stripped the devil of his power over believers, including the power of death.
The disciples fled in fear at the prospect of crucifixion right before Christ died, but after Jesus’s resurrection all were willing to die and give their lives for Christ. They had been freed from the power of Satan through Christ’s death and resurrection and therefore were willing to die. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. This victory over the devil was prophesied from the very beginning in Genesis 3:15. God prophesied that there would be a seed that would crush the head of the serpent, Satan, and this happened at the cross.
The enemy and his demons (powers and authorities) were defeated on the cross and made a “public spectacle.” Christ is our victorious general; he defeated sin and the devil. We are now victorious in Christ and have nothing to fear from “elementary spirits.”