Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, (emphasis added)
Colossians 2:13 is one of those verses that has incredibly discouraging news, and incredibly encouraging news in the same sentence.
Yesterday I wrote a devotional on the idea that apart from Christ we are dead or unable to save ourselves. Describing it another way, we are addicted to sin, and cannot choose the right way .
If this verse ended with those words there would be very little hope for life, thankfully it ends with hope filled words.
Those who were dead are made alive in Christ
Obviously this doesn’t mean a physical resurrection from the dead. Instead Paul is illustrating the truth that a persons life is completely transformed by God.
The one who was dead and unable to save himself has now been saved by God. or to use our other illustration, the addict who cannot do the right thing now has a choice.
This change comes because our sins have been forgiven (more about this when we get to 2:14 tomorrow) but at the moment let me take a few moments thinking about the words “together with him.”
Granted those three small words don’t seem like much at first, but they share a very powerful truth.
Salvation (or the ability to choose God) only comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Editors note: while Jesus isn’t named in this verse, a study of Colossians 2:14-15 shows the word “he” in 2:13 does refer to Christ.
Another reason Paul uses the idea of dying and being raised from the dead is it reminds us of the Gospel which tells us:
- When Adam and Eve sinned against God it began a curse that included separation from Him, and death
- The only way this curse could be broken is for someone perfect (who never sinned) to willingly pay the price for all mankinds sin
- Throughout the Old Testament mankind tried to pay this price, but everyone failed
- God chose to send His own son Jesus Christ who lived a sinless life on the earth
- Christ willingly died on a cross for the sins of mankind, and three days later He arose from the dead
- Today Jesus is in Heaven, and because of the price He paid, we can live there for eternity as well 
God knew that as dead individuals addicted to sin we had absolutely no hope of saving ourselves, so He sent Jesus to pay the price for us.
The good news is we can have a choice (be made alive) and live for eternity with God…but this is Salvation is only found by Faith in Jesus Christ.
Being with Christ means more than just accepting Him as my Savior though.
It requires that I rely on Him for my strength, help, and wisdom.
Because apart from Christ’s strength and help I’m still a sin addict.
See I may be able to choose God’s way. But there is a big difference between being able to do the right thing, and actually doing it when life’s hard.
To be honest I struggle with that part of being “with Christ” because there will always be a part of me that wants to take care of things on my own.
A part that will say I have things under control when I obviously don’t.
A part that is so focused on fixing a problem that I can’t see what a mess I’m making of things.
A part that forgets that apart from Christ I am broken