Colossians 2:14 is one of the most common scriptures quoted by “Christians” telling us not to observe God’s laws anymore because it is already nailed to the cross, thereby, freeing us and giving us the license to do whatever we want. However, does Paul teach that we should break God’s law rather than keep them?
In this blog post, let us go through the scriptures and discover what Paul really means with what he said and let’s found out what was really nailed to the cross.
I beseech you to have an open mind and to have the courage to face the truth and live by the truth.
Let’s establish first some facts
Before we answer the question of the day, let us first establish some facts. We need to look into the scriptures that are clear to build a solid ground.
Paul is not against the holy laws of God.
- Rom 7:12 “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
- Rom 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
- Rom 2:13 “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the DOERS OF THE LAW shall be justified.”
Based on these verses, we can see that Paul is not the champion of doing away God’s law as many people suggest. Paul repeatedly says that following God’s commandments are still needed. Therefore, if there are some things that may seem to tell us that God’s law is obsolete, then we can be sure that this is NOT THE CASE as we know that the scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35).
Examining Colossians 2:14
Let us read Colossians 2:14.
“Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
At first look, the popular belief that Jesus’ death gets rid of His Father’s law may seem the case, but let us not jump into any conclusion yet.
First, is God’s law “against us”? In the words of Paul, the Law of the Lord is “Holy, and just, and good”. Also in Psalms 19:7-11, we can see how King David praised God’s law; calling it PERFECT, SURE, RIGHT, PURE, clean, ENDURING FOREVER, RIGHTEOUS, PRECIOUS than gold, and SWEETER THAN HONEY. Absolutely, something that is defined with those beautiful words cannot be something that is against us.
What does handwriting of requirements mean?
In the original Greek manuscript, the handwriting of requirements is translated from cheriographon tois dogmasin. According to Friberg Lexicon it means a strict handwritten document which is used in legal matters as a promissory note, record of indebtedness, bond.
In short, the handwriting of requirements is the RECORD OF OUR CHARGES or the RECORD OF OUR SIN.
This is very clear in other Bible translation. Please read.
- “He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.” (New Living Translation)
- “Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over his own head on the cross.” (New Testament in Modern English)
- “God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross.” (Contemporary English Translation)
Physically, what was nailed to the cross?
There were two things that had been nailed to the cross, Jesus Christ and the sign put above His head which talks about the accusation to Jesus Christ. Notice in Matthew 27:37, it has some parallelism to Colossians 2:14.
“And they put up over His head the ACCUSATION WRITTEN AGAINST HIM: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS”
Thus, we can see that the accusation to Jesus was also nailed to the cross. Paul figuratively tells us that the ACCUSATION or RECORD of SIN has also been nailed to the cross!
With these passages and explanation, we therefore conclude that the RECORD OF SIN, not the law, was nailed to the cross. Jesus Christ’s death blot out our sin and not His father’s law. Won’t it be a rebellious act of Jesus if He did so? Thankfully, He did not.
So the next time someone tells you that we don’t have to observe the Ten Commandments and other statutes of God and supporting that claim with Colossians 2:14, then you now know better.
Jesus died for us and made the Grace of God available. When we are forgiven us of our sin through God’s grace, it does not give us a license to go out there and break God’s commandments AGAIN. We are expected to change and live a life according to God’s will and commandments.
Beyond Today Program