What does the cross mean to you? Many people in the world today view it as a symbol of Christianity, but think about what it represented in Christ’s day. Nobody wore a miniature cross around the neck or displayed one in a place of worship. The cross was a tortuous means of execution, and the mere thought of it was repulsive.
Yet believers throughout the ages have chosen this as the sign of their faith. In fact, to remove the cross from our teaching and theology would leave nothing but an empty, powerless religion. How could anyone be saved if Christ had not been crucified and resurrected? According to Scripture, there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). Christ had to bear the punishment for our sin in order for God to grant us forgiveness.
Every time you see a cross, remember what it really was – an instrument of execution. Then thank Jesus that He was willing to be crucified so the Father could forgive you of sin. Though the scene of your redemption was horrendous, Christ turned the cross into a place of great triumph. For more about Jesus and His gift of salvation: https://wordpicturesbydlink.wordpress.com/jesus/
This refers to the spiritual liberation or rescue by God from Satan’s kingdom, which, in contrast to the realm of light with truth and purity, is the realm of darkness with only deception and wickedness (1 John 2:9,11).
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 1:13.
Nonbelievers are so bound in the sphere of sin, the world (Eph. 2:12), the flesh (Rom. 8:8), and the devil (1 John 5:19) as to be unable to respond to spiritual stimuli; totally devoid of spiritual life. The spiritually dead have no ability to make themselves alive.
Only through a union with Jesus Christ can those hopelessly dead in their sins receive eternal life. Believer’s sins are all put to Christ’s account, nailed to His cross as He paid the penalty in their place, for them, thus satisfying the just wrath of God against crimes requiring punishment in full.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 2:13,14.
Setting our mind on heaven means we have to think like heaven thinks. Do you think the hosts of heaven are anxious and insecure about the future of planet earth? If they are not, we should not be either. Setting your mind on heaven means we are not upset by the events on earth. That doesn’t mean we ignore life on earth. It simply means we don’t look to earth for our security, our comfort, our knowledge, or our hope. For those things we must look to heaven alone.
Commentary from Dr. David Jeremiah, What Do You Think Bible study.
Jesus Christ is the perfect image – the exact likeness – of God and is in the very form of God (Phil. 2:6), and has been so from all eternity. By describing Jesus in this manner, Paul emphasizes that He is both the representation and manifestation of God. Thus, He is fully God in every way (John 8:58; 10:30-33; Heb 1:8). Firstborn in this context means highest in rank, not first created.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 1:15.
To speak with grace is to speak what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complimentary, gentle, truthful, loving, and thoughtful. Just as salt not only flavors, but prevents corruption, the Christian’s speech should act not only as a blessing to others, but as a purifying influence within the decaying society of the world.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 4:6.
The Greek word for continuing earnestly means “to be courageously persistent” or “to hold fast and not let go” and refers here to persistent prayer (Acts 1:14; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Being vigilant in its most general sense means to stay awake while praying. But Paul has in mind the broader implication of staying alert for specific needs about which to pray, rather than being vague and unfocused.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 4:2.