He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Paul continues to explain what Christ has accomplished through his work. The cross and resurrection of Christ not only defeated our sin, but also all of the evil forces. Perhaps the false teachers were telling the Colossians they needed to observe certain rituals to keep the spirits away. However, the work of Christ is sufficient to cover everything. Satan and his evil forces have no power over the Christian because of the cross and resurrection of Christ!
It’s important for believers to understand that the powers of darkness have no power over them. Satan can tempt us, but he cannot make us do anything. However, he will do everything he can to get us off course and keep us from living in the freedom of the Gospel.
For example, as we have seen in Colossians, Christ has completely paid the penalty for sinners. There is no condemnation for those who believe (Romans 8:1). A born-again believer can walk in that freedom because all shame and guilt has been removed. However, Satan is the Great Accuser. We know we fall short of God’s holiness daily, and the Spirit of God within us convicts us. This conviction is a grace-gift that is meant to lead us to confession and repentance so that we might find healing and forgiveness in Christ. However, the forces of evil stand back and remind us of our guilt and try to flood us with shame and guilt. Satan knows if we are walking in shame then our worship of God and our witness to the world will be affected.
Our response to such accusations from the evil one should be trust in the finished work of Christ. We shouldn’t be overcome by the shame because Christ has already paid the price for that specific sin. If we fall into the trap laid by the enemy instead of walking in the freedom of Christ, we can be overcome with shame for our sin then attempt to pay for something that has already been atoned for. Christ has disarmed the accusations of the enemy, but sometimes we willingly walk into the trap and listen to the accusations against us.
Remind yourself of the gospel daily. Take joy in the forgiveness you have in Christ and the freedom he has purchased for you. Let it stir you to worship and joy! And when you are tempted to fall under the accusations of the enemy, remember that while it’s true you are guilty Christ has already “canceled the record of debt that stood against us…nailing it to the cross” (Col. 2:14).
- Do you believe that when Christ was on the cross, he was paying the penalty for your specific sins?
- If Christ has paid for your sin, what reason is there for you to walk in shame?
- How can reminding yourself of the gospel help you the next time Satan accuses you and attempts to overwhelm you with guilt?