"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of 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.
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."
In verse 13, Paul identifies two problems for the unsaved person. They are spiritually dead and they are spiritually unclean. In other words, since birth, our hearts are spiritually dead, and we are stained by our own sin. This is a hard pill that most people will not swallow. In fact, most of people spend their entire lives trying to cover the fact that their hearts are dead to the things of God, and to ignore the stain which sin has left upon their lives. As people, we go to great lengths to bury these realities. We want to believe that we are spiritually good, and that our sin is not that bad. But the Bible's testimony against man cannot be ignored. The Bible is forthright in its assessment of man. The reality is that since birth, we are spiritually dead, sinful people deserving nothing but God's wrath.
Yet, Paul goes on to describe the glorious remedy which God has provided for those who are dying. God gives us new life and he forgives our sin. He gives us a new reality. He does this through his substitutionary work on the cross. This is something received, not earned. Being made alive, or having our sin forgiven is not something we can earn, or something we do, but rather it is something God did. God made us alive. God cancelled the record of debt that stood against us. He disarmed and defeated the power of evil in our lives. We are the recipients of God's marvelous work on the cross.
God calls each one of us to live in this wonderful new reality; from dead, guilty, enslaved, hopeless sinners to born again, forgiven, redeemed saints. Today, I am thankful as I am reminded of this amazing new reality. I am thankful that some 6.5 years ago God called me out of the dark reality and made me spiritually alive, awakening me to the forgiveness that's in Christ.