Colossians 2:13-14 and Reformed/Calvinist theology

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by MichaelNZ, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. MichaelNZ

    MichaelNZ
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    I was listening to Matt Slick Live today and he mentioned that non-Reformed Christians have a problem with Colossians 2:14. To put the verse in context I included the previous verse:

    "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Colossians 2:13-14 KJV)

    The term "handwriting of ordinances" in the Greek is χειρογραφον (cheirographon) which means a legal declaration. When Jesus was on the Cross, just before He died, he said "It is finished", in Greek τετελεσται (tetelestai). Matt Slick said that legal documents have been found with the word "tetelestai" written at the bottom meaning "paid in full". So according to this verse our certificate of sin debt was paid in full by being nailed to the Cross of Christ. So when was our sin debt cancelled - on the Cross or when we believed? If everybody's sin debt was nailed to the Cross then that would mean that everybody is going to heaven, and the Bible states that this is not so (Revelation 21:8). So whose sin debt was nailed to the Cross? It must be only the elect.

    I'm not a Calvinist - I'm just playing devil's advocate to better understand the issue. Could this verse refer to the sin debt of everybody who will put their trust in Christ, not necessarily being chosen by God?
     
  2. Bronconagurski

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    I will compare those verses to these: 1 John 2:1-2 (ESV)
    1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
    2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

    I heard a preacher say when he was in bible college that he had a teacher that used the verses in the OP and the verses I gave to indicate universal salvation. He told the class their job was not to go out to the bars and try and save people, but to convince them they are already saved. He said he withdrew from that college and went elsewhere.

    I think these verses indicate that Jesus' death was sufficient to save every human being that has ever been born, but we know that will not happen. I have also heard that the verses are only talking about the elect. If so, then I have always wondered why the scriptures didn't just use the word elect. I tend to think it was just showing how powerful His sacrifice was.
     
  3. Bronconagurski

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    I like what McCarthur wrote about being quickened together with Christ:

    Fortunately, the story did not end there. Because God is "rich in mercy" (Eph. 2:4), He made us alive together with Him. Paul again stresses the believer's union with Christ (cf. 2:10, "in Him"; 2:11, "in Him"; 2:12, "with Him"). Those who were hopelessly dead in sin received new life through that union. God initiates the salvation process, because spiritually dead people cannot make themselves alive.MacArthur New Testament Commentary, The - MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Colossians and Philemon.

    Without God, we would have no hope of salvation, and that is indisputable.
     
  4. TCGreek

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    Paul is addressing those who are already in Christ, simply reminding them of what happened.

    No need to get in a Calvinists-nonCalvinists fight.
     
  5. Bronconagurski

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    Ah, but what has already happened in the mind of God is the point from the Calvinistic view.
     
  6. Van

    Van
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    Thanks MichaelNZ for your well presented biblical discussion topic.

    Lets go over it and see if we share understanding:

    And you being dead... he hath quickened. So whatever is being said, is being said of folks who were once dead but now have been quickened

    And you being dead - refers to a person who is spiritually dead, being separated from God. To be made alive is to be united with God. So we are made alive together with Christ. No one is spiritually alive before they are spiritually placed in Christ.

    The "uncircumcision" of your flesh refers to our flesh not being part of what is dedicated to God. So again the idea is we were once fallen men separated from God with ungodly fleshly desires.

    He hath quickened together with Him refers to those whose faith God has credited as righteousness and placed spiritually in Christ so we have been "quickened" i.e. made alive when we were united with Christ.

    In Christ, we undergo the "circumcision of Christ" where our sins are forgiven, washed away by the precious blood of the Lamb.

    Now, spiritually in Christ we have received the reconciliation provided by Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Thus only those spiritually placed in Christ receive the propitiation and justification and therefore the forgiveness provided by the Cross.

    The "handwriting of the ordinances" refers to the Mosaic Law written in scripture. Thus Christ's sacrifice "paid in full" whatever debt might arise from transgress of the Law. Therefore anyone in Christ has that debt removed because the blood of the Lamb paid that debt. But note, only a person spiritually made alive, i.e. placed in Christ, has that debt forgiven. Again, read the verse and ask, when was the curse of the Law blotted out that was against us, before we were in Christ or after we had undergone the "circumcision of Christ."

    In summary Christ's finished work of the Cross provides justification of life to all men, Christ became the propitiation or means of salvation for the whole world, but an individual only receives that reconciliation when God spiritually places them in Christ. That is why scripture reads, in Christ, God is reconciling the world to Himself, rather than God has reconciled the world to Himself. Reconciliation is obtained when we are put spiritually in Christ based on God crediting our faith as righteousness, 2 Thessalonians 2:13. That is why, after Christ said "it is finished, paid in full" God begs the lost to be reconciled to God.
     
    #6 Van, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2012
  7. Winman

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    This verse also proves that faith precedes regeneration.

    "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Colossians 2:13-14 KJV)

    The phrase "having forgiven you all trespasses" points directly back to the phrase "hath he quickened together with him". This explains exactly what quickening or regeneration is, it is to be forgiven your sins. The moment your sins are forgiven, you are no longer "dead in sin" and therefore are now spiritually alive. No one can be spiritually alive while he is still dead in sins, and no one is forgiven their sins or justified until they first believe. Faith precedes regeneration or quickening.

    Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
    2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Again, we are justified or forgiven our sins by faith. It is by faith that we have access into grace.

    This verse does not give non-Cals problems at all, it supports their view and refutes Calvinism.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    But Paul is not preoccupied with what already taken place in the mind of God in these verses. Such Calvinistic reading is an imposition.
     
  9. Bronconagurski

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    No worries, dude, just playing d.a. as I have already stated that I thought it didn't refer to the elect, but the sufficiency of the work of Christ.
     
  10. HeirofSalvation

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  11. humblethinker

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    But it seems for the Calvinist all scripture is front-loaded with what has already taken place and so such a Calvinistic reading is not an "imposition" but is instead "inappropriate"... we should just go along with the script and not question whether it actually exists.
     
  12. Van

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    Just a slight nit pick, "when we believed" verse "when God put us spiritually in Christ?" "he hath quickened with Him" refers to being spiritually placed in Christ. So when were our sins forgiven, when we believed or when we were quickened according to this verse?
     
  13. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Not all Calvinists read the same script. Allow for differences. Do not stereotype.
     
  14. Van

    Van
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    That was so profound, not all Calvinists read the same scripture. So why discuss the fact that Calvinists hold views all over the map, rather than what does Calvinism teach about Colossians 2:13-14. Calvinism teaches penal substitution, where Christ died only for the elect's sins, so as to avoid paying twice for the sins of the lost, once at the cross and once in Hades/Gehenna. And of course this verse does not support that fictional view. The phrase "nailing to the cross" refers to how the "certificate of indebtedness" was taken out of the way. And since this occurred after we were quickened, i.e. made alive together with Christ, it refers to the decrees against us being taken away by the blood of Jesus who was nailed to the cross to die as the sacrifice for the sin of the world. The sacrifice is sufficient to pay for all the debt washed away by the blood of Jesus, whoever is placed in Christ, their certificate of indebtedness is taken out of the way, they are no long in debt, their ransom has been paid.
     
    #14 Van, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2012
  15. TCGreek

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    I believe you misunderstood me to a degree. At any rate, no all Calvinists think alike.

    Have you read someone like Horton on Col. 2:11-13?
     
  16. Van

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    You really need to abstain from your stereotypical thinking, not all non-cal read the same script. I actually posted my understanding of the passage, still waiting for someone to present another view. Have you read my position in this thread? Why not address it?
     
  17. humblethinker

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    TCGreek, I think you are correct regarding Van misunderstanding... but then again he seems to deny that he misunderstood you, which is confusing to me... I'm trying to make sense out of what he meant if it is actually the case that he didn't misunderstand... I'll just skip that and give him the benefit of my doubt.

    I recognize that what you say is accurate. Can you indicate how your beliefs differ from the stereotype you say I've presented? Maybe kill two birds with one stone by explaining your view of Col. 2:11-13?
     
  18. TCGreek

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    Regarding Col. 2:12-14, Paul is simply expanding on the sufficiency of Christ even in believers' salvation, so they don't need to be swayed by the Colossian heresy.

    My beliefs would differ in bring Calvinism to this text. As I said, such would be an imposition.
     
  19. Yeshua1

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    My sin debt in full as paid by jesus on the Cross, but I ONLY received the benefit of that when God saved me, when faith was placed into Jesus...

    Jesus death sufficient to pay for all who would ever get saved....
     
  20. Yeshua1

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    jesus death sufficient to pay in full and freely justify ALL who would come to god thru Him and live!
     

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