This is the final devotional in a four-part series on what the Bible means when one of its authors, Peter, wrote, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life" (2 Peter 1:3, NIV).
What is everything? It would be unwise to put a limit on what it could be, but I wanted to point out four things from Colossians 2. The first was wisdom for foolishness; the second was power for inability; and the third was freedom from guilt.
Here's the fourth and final section from Colossians 2: "He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him." (Colossians 2:15, ESV).
There's theology available that would name the Cross as a momentary defeat, and that God had to scramble to "bail out" His loss in battle by resurrecting Jesus from death. That's not the theology of this passage.
The Apostle Paul is arguing that the Cross of Jesus Christ is a triumph, and it was God's idea for victory all along. It was the moment where sin would be defeated, where God's anger would be satisfied, and where atonement would be purchased with blood.
The Cross isn't a defeat at all, at least not for the Lord. Rather, the Cross is a moment of mocking victory - God is saying to the Enemy, "Is this the best you have to throw at me? You think you've won, but you've actually lost!"
This historical moment of victory means day-by-day victory for your sin. That victory has already been given - you don't need to hope for it. What you now need to do is live out of that victory.
Of course, the presence of sin still remains, so you will be fighting against the sinful desires of your flesh each day. But with this victory, the power of sin has been broken. You don't need to break the power of sin - you need to take hold of the victory on the Cross and live as if you actually believe it happened.
I'm concerned that there are many Gospel amnesiacs out there who celebrate victory on Sunday but live defeated during the week. I wouldn't for a moment question that your life is difficult and filled with trial, but victory has already been won and is freely available to you every day.
Do you move forward in life with hope and courage because you embrace that victory on the Cross? It's the deepest prayer of my heart that the Lord would encourage you in that way today.
Paul David Tripp
Instead of reflection questions, I want to give you an assignment.
Reflect on a moment where you struggled - with anger, depression, lust, impatience, etc (choose something that's a normal struggle for you). In those moments, how can you live in light of Christ's victory?
Now do the opposite. How can you live as a "Gospel amnesiac," forgetful of Christ's victory for you on the Cross?
It might be helpful to write down your answers. Be sure to focus on the motives of your heart rather than the actions of your flesh. Spend time reflecting on what you thought and desired rather than what you did and said.