And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. (Colossians 2:13)
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote powerfully about God’s work in His people. He started by describing our condition before God’s work in us: and you, being dead. This is the place of every person before they are raised with Him through faith in the working of God as Paul described in Colossians 2:12. Before we have new life, we are dead. Before a person comes to new life in Jesus, he is not a sick man who needs a doctor; he is a dead person who needs a Savior.
How were we dead? In our sins (trespasses) and in our unholiness (the uncircumcision of your flesh). Before we have new life in Jesus, we are dead in our trespasses. A trespass is a specific kind of sin: overstepping a boundary. We are dead because we overstep God’s boundaries in our sin and rebellion.
Notice the words: He has made alive. It was the work of Jesus. A dead man can’t make himself alive, but God can make us alive. Remember that God specializes in resurrection, in bringing life to the dead.
It would be amazing enough that Jesus made us alive, but there’s really much more. Perhaps the only thing better than being made alive is to be made alive together with Him. We don’t only receive life; we receive Jesus Himself. After all, what would life be if we didn’t have Jesus?
Paul described one more remarkable thing God did: having forgiven you all trespasses. The new life with Jesus wouldn’t mean much if we still carried our debt of sin. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we are forgiven. In fact, when Paul wrote that we are forgiven, he used an ancient Greek word that comes from the root word for grace. The idea is that our forgiveness is God’s gracious gift, not something we earned or deserved ourselves.
In describing the new birth (made alive) and cleansing (forgiven you all), Paul described two things that go together as features of the New Covenant. This was prophesied in both the Old Testament (Ezekiel 36:25-27) and the New Testament (John 3:5).
– God brought you out of death – leave sin and unholiness behind
– God has made you alive – live out the new life He gave you
– God made you alive with Jesus – today, consciously live in His presence
– God forgave you all trespasses – live today in the freedom of His forgiveness