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Alive in Christ: Part 2

In November 2018, the Federal Reserve reported that student debt in the United States had reached an all-time high, surpassing 1.5 trillion dollars. This incredible level of debt represents an enormous burden upon today’s college graduates. It often prevents them from home ownership or from being able to have savings to deal with life’s emergencies.

Today, we continue to look at the five metaphors Paul uses to illustrate what happens to someone who comes to faith in Christ. In verse 13, Paul declares that Jesus “forgave all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness.” He pictures our sin as having run up a debt with God. Unlike a student loan, we could never hope to repay this debt. Imagine the feeling of relief students would have if all their loans were forgiven. How much more grateful should we be that Christ paid our debt by “nailing it to a cross” (v. 14)!

Another metaphor Paul uses is that of death: we were “dead in our sins” (v. 13). In a sense, this is more than a metaphor, we really were spiritually dead. But in Christ, “God made you alive” (v. 13), an act of creation that rivals God breathing life into Adam in Genesis 2.

The final metaphor in this rich passage is found in verse 15. Paul describes a Roman triumphal procession. When Rome defeated an enemy, their army would march back home in triumph. At the end of the parade, they would include prisoners of war. Leaders and defeated generals would be dragged out in front of the Roman crowds to be shamed and mocked. Paul notes that is exactly what Jesus did to hostile spiritual forces on the cross, He “made a public spectacle of them” (v. 15). Satan has been defeated!

Apply the Word

In this rich passage, Paul celebrates the fact that we have been (1) circumcised by Christ; (2) buried and raised with Him in baptism; (3) made alive in Him, no longer dead in our sins; (4) freed from our spiritual debt; and (5) victorious over the Enemy. Thank God today for all that He has accomplished for you in Christ.

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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