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We are buried and raised with Christ and resurrection has been released in us and we have been called to cooperate with it. Releasing resurrection in and through us sometimes even through the simple but costly act of forgiveness.
Here are my notes for this portion of our study:
- 11 in him you were circumcised…
- every requirement of the law was fulfilled in Christ.
- we have no need to adhere to things that are old covenant realities (sacrifices, feasts, etc) they were the shadow of the real thing
- 11b "by putting off the body of the flesh"
- circumcision was a sign that the flesh would be mortified (killed) as was sacrifice
- Death and sin are still at work in our physical bodies, but our flesh died in Christ that it may be resurrected.
- 12 having been buried with him in baptism
- buried in baptism - baptism is not a necessary thing for salvation but it is an EXPECTED act of obedience to the example of Jesus both in his water baptism AND in his death and burial
- 12b in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead
- through faith in the powerful working of God our resurrection has already begun! It is IN PROCESS!!
- Faith is the way we enter into and cooperate with the resurrection process - LEAN IN!!!
- that is why our problem is NOT what GOD needs to do but what WE need to do - learn, and believe. Our enemies are ignorance and unbelief.
- 13 And you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh
- you were dead - "A corpse is insensible. It sees not, and hears not, and feels not. The sound of music, and the voice of friendship and of alarm, do not arouse it. The rose and the lily breathe forth their fragrance around it, but the corpse perceives it not. The world is busy and active around it, but it is unconscious of it all. It sees no beauty in the landscape; hears not the voice of a friend; looks not upon the glorious sun and stars; and is unaffected by the running stream and the rolling ocean. So with the sinner in regard to the spiritual and eternal world. He sees no beauty in religion; he hears not the call of God; he is unaffected by the dying love of the Saviour; and he has no interest in eternal realities. In all these he feels no more concern, and sees no more beauty, than a dead man does in the world around him. Such is, in "fact," the condition of a sinful world. There is, indeed, life, and energy, and motion. There are vast plans and projects, and the world is intensely active. But in regard to religion, all is dead. The sinner sees no beauty there; and no human power can arouse him to act for God, anymore than human power can rouse the sleeping dead, or open the sightless eyeballs on the light of day. The same power is needed in the conversion of a sinner which is needed in raising the dead; and one and the other alike demonstrate the omnipotence of him who can do it.” Barnes
- in your trespasses - "may signify the slightest deviation from the line and rule of moral equity, as well as any flagrant offense” Clarke
- and the uncircumcision of your flesh - the flesh had not been broken off of them. They were still controlled by and in marriage with the flesh.
- 13b God made alive together with Him
- Resurrected as we talked about above… ONLY the power of God can raise the dead - only the power of God can save a soul and make it ALIVE again after it is gone
- 13c Having forgiven us all our trespasses
- forgiven - given grace for - the only word here is “charizomai” grace - he has “graced” us those trespasses - it makes more sense once we start in on the next verse.
- trespass (transgression) - a false step - a mistake
- 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us
- by canceling - wiped out, erased and obliterated
- we have a record! you and I have a real record - real things we “owe” for. They are not just offenses that can be forgiven without cost. They must be PAID
- 14b with its legal demands - there are decrees made against us - honest, correct, accurate legal demands set against us - we have transgressed against the worth and the glory of God - it is the ONLY eternally worthy thing - therefore transgressions against it are the ONLY eternally punishable offenses!
- If God had just forgotten we committed these crimes he would devalue his own worth - he cannot do that! He WILL NOT SO...
- 14c this he set aside, nailing it to the cross - he paid the price. He could not just forget it but we could not pay it so he paid it himself. He meted out the punishment that was DESERVED just not to us. To His own son. In this way he preserved the worth of His own glory AND undid all the work of Sin in creation - he began the resurrection explosion that we call the kingdom and is manifest first and most powerfully in the human race!