Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
In context, we know that the principalities and powers being referenced by Paul are those that are evil. This was declared more explicitly in his letter to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection were public events. His resurrection openly proved His power and authority over Satan and all his evil forces. Satan had tried in many ways to thwart the coming of the Messiah. I am sure he thought he had finally won when Jesus was crucified and buried. I think he had convinced himself that he had finally proven himself the most powerful—but he didn’t count on the resurrection. I wonder if even now he truly thinks he has a chance at winning, or is he just determined to take as many with him as he can at his final defeat. He knows the scripture as well as we. He has always had to operate within the parameters that God has established for him—as evidenced by the record of his attacks on Job. His commitment to his losing cause is amazing to me. But isn’t that the pathetic mindset of many who reject the truth of God and His word. It’s like they think if they believe something different hard enough and commit themselves to it with great passion, that it will prove to be true. All that just to avoid humbling themselves before God and accepting the gift of salvation that He offers in His Son. They just don’t want to be accountable to God. They choose to put all their energy into serving the flesh and enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season instead of putting that same energy into serving God and enjoying His presence and His blessings for eternity.
Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Paul is warning the Colossian believers that these false teachers would try to provoke them to guilt by judging them for eating what they identify as unclean or for not observing set holy days. This would indicate that they would make use of the Old Testament scriptures to teach that obedience to the law is what God demands of them, contrary to the freedom in Christ that Paul and the other apostles were teaching. In fact, the law they were espousing was according to the traditions of men and not according to the intent for which God established it. The laws and holy days were originally established as a picture the ministry of the Messiah in the life of the believer. They were but shadows to the reality that would be lived out by Christ in the flesh.
Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
The whole of the law and the holy days were dominated by a sacrificial system that required that an innocent animal without blemish be killed and its blood shed to provide temporary atonement for their sin. This system along with the design of the tabernacle and temple and ministry of the priests all pointed to the coming Messiah who would willingly lay down His life as the only acceptable sacrifice before God to provide atonement for mankind once for all for all who would turn to Him in faith and repentance.
Hebrews 10:7-10 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
1Timothy 2:4-6 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
This does not mean, however, that all men are automatically saved. Scripture is very clear in declaring that the gift of salvation is only bestowed upon those that accept it through faith and repentance that are evidenced by obedience.
Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth….”
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
(to be continued…)