A Matter of Life and Death

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”—Colossians 2:13–15 (NIV)

Today’s passage presents an interesting concept. Paul tells us we were dead in our sins and “in the uncircumcision” of our “flesh. Let’s look at two words here.

Flesh (sarks): Human nature; that which is carnal. In Scripture, this word refers both to human life and life according to self—life apart from faith, independent from God. Sarks relates to that which is altogether untouched and disconnected from God.

Death (nekros): Entirely lifeless. Essentially, nekros refers to complete and absolute lack of life. It is in every way the opposite of life.

In our human nature, apart from the breath—pneuma or Spirit—of God (Genesis 2:7), we lack life. Life untouched by and disconnected from God is lifeless; it lacks vitality and spirit. This happened when sin entered the world. In that moment, Adam and Eve’s spirits died. Since then, every child has been born without life.

Thus, in our sinful state, we’re the walking dead—lifeless shells wandering aimlessly through this world until judgment. There’s no life in any experience, any moment, any relationship, or any physical breath apart from God, the source of all life and the giver of true life.

So, in order for true life to come, one death needed to take place, followed by another! The first death was the death of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who was untouched by the stain of Adam having been immaculately conceived. He, the perfect and sinless One, the One who was fully alive as fully God and fully man, gave His life as a sacrifice, which was enough to cancel “the charge of our legal indebtedness.” And in doing so, He removed all power from Satan, the prince of this fallen world, and his demonic forces. He publicly stripped them of all their power by His death on the cross.

But what about the second death? It’s the death of our flesh! It’s the spiritual circumcision that takes place when we die to ourselves; it’s the cutting off of our sinful nature (Colossians 2:11). When we receive Jesus and die to our old selves, God makes us alive with Christ, because apart from Christ, apart from the life-giving touch of Christ, there is no life.

So, our coming to life takes place the moment He again breathes the breath of life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! This is the true miracle of life. I pray we who have been given life will make the most of every opportunity we’re given to share and preach life to those who have yet to receive it!

DIG: Think about what life apart from Jesus was like and what the world apart from Jesus is like right now. What do you see in the mentality and outlook of those who don’t know Him?

DISCOVER: Be intentional about finding opportunities to speak life into the lives of those who doesn’t yet know Christ.

DO: Today, thank God for the life He’s given you in Christ, for saving and indwelling you with the Holy Spirit. Pray for opportunities to make the gospel known to those who need to hear it, with those who are not yet alive with Christ.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.