“I bear it no more”

Colossians 2:13-14 ESV

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, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Douglas Moo:*

The forgiveness that we enjoy in Christ is total: “all our sins” are forgiven (v.13). The completeness and definitiveness of our forgiveness are the theme of v.14, which Paul presents via two striking word pictures.  Paul’s first word-picture portrays a document that all human beings have signed, an “IOU.” in which we pledge complete allegiance to God. Our sins stand as conclusive evidence that we have failed to give God that allegiance, and so that document is ‘against us’ and ‘condemns’ us. But God has taken that document and wiped it clean; indeed, he has taken it completely out of the picture. H has, in fact, in a second word-picture that both highlights the completeness of the removal and the means by which it was accomplished, “nailed it to the cross.” The third stanza of Horatio Spafford’s hymn “It is Well with My Soul” beautifully captures the point of the verse: 

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

*Douglas Moo, The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon, p.208.

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