And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
— Colossians 2:15
We can count on the fact that there are unseen evil forces that have been assigned to kill, steal, and destroy everything good in our lives. The Bible clearly teaches that these devilish forces band together to commit acts of aggression against the saints — and that includes you and me!
This truth is quite evident in Scripture, for Paul wrote many verses about spiritual weapons, spiritual armor, and how we are to resist these unseen, demonic forces. Yet it is very important that we approach this subject with the right attitude!
Because of Jesus’ death on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead, the forces of hell are already defeated. However, even though they have been legally stripped of their authority and power, they continue to roam around this earth, carrying out evil deeds like criminals, bandits, hooligans, and thugs. And just like criminals who refuse to submit to the law, these evil spirits will continue to operate in this world until some believer uses his God-given authority to enforce their defeat!
We need to get ahold of this truth: These demonic forces are legally stripped of their authority and are defeated! We are not puny, struggling believers who are somehow trying to learn how to cope with the devil’s attacks against us. We’re not merely trying to learn how to scrape by or survive. Jesus’ death and resurrection gave us the legal authority to keep Satan under our feet, so we must always make sure we approach spiritual warfare as victors and not victims.
Let’s look at Colossians 2:15 to gain a greater revelation of the victory Jesus has already accomplished for you and me through His death, burial, and resurrection. Paul tells us that Jesus “…made a shew of them openly….” The word “openly” is taken from the word parresia, a word that is used throughout the books of the New Testament to denote boldness or confidence.
By using the word parresia, Paul declares that when Jesus was finishing His dealings with Satan, His victory over the devil was no “quiet affair.” Quite the contrary! Jesus boldly, confidently, and loudly exposed and displayed this now-defunct foe to Heaven’s hosts. Make no mistake! When Jesus “made a shew of them openly,” it was quite a spectacular show!
The verse continues, “…He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” The word “triumph” is taken from the Greek word triambeuo, which is a technical word used to describe a general or an emperor returning home from a grand victory in the enemy’s territory. Specifically, the word “triumph” was used to describe the emperor’s triumphal parade when he returned home.
When a returning emperor or general came striding through the gates on his big, powerful, and beautiful horse, he was accompanied by his fellow victorious warriors, who also appeared glorious after their triumphant battle. As the parade followed, the weaponry and treasures seized from the enemy’s territory were grandly displayed for all to see.
The grand finale to this triumphal procession was the foreign ruler himself. This ruler had been beaten and bound in chains and was now being forced to walk in disgrace, shame, dishonor, embarrassment, and humiliation as crowds of people came to celebrate his defeat and to get a “peek” at a once-powerful but now totally defeated opponent.
So when Colossians 2:15 declares that Jesus triumphed over evil powers, it is explicitly declaring that Jesus took the enemy apart piece by piece as He thoroughly “spoiled principalities and powers.” When Jesus was finished with those demonic forces, they were utterly plundered —“stripped to bare nakedness” and left with nothing in hand to retaliate!
Because of the words parresia and triumbeuo, Colossians 2:15 conveys this idea:
“…He gallantly strode into Heaven to celebrate His victory and the defeat of Satan and his forces. As part of His triumphal process, He flaunted the spoils seized from the hand of the enemy. Yet the greatest spectacle of all occurred when the enemy himself was openly put on display as bound, disgraced, disabled, defeated, humiliated, and stripped bare.…”
Jesus’ victory over Satan was a momentous affair! When Jesus returned, He was totally triumphant! The party Heaven threw that day was enormous! All of Heaven’s hosts came to celebrate Jesus’ victory and Satan’s downfall and demise! Right there in front of everyone, Jesus displayed the devil and his cohorts, so all could know that this enemy no longer had the legitimate right or the necessary arms to prolong his rule of terrorism.
Once again, Satan is not a force we are trying to defeat; he is already defeated. But because very few believers know how to effectively use their God-given authority to resist Satan, he tries to continue illegally operating and doing damage to the souls of men and even to the creation itself.
No matter what demonic strategy may come against you this day or how many demons are assembled together for your destruction, you never have to go down defeated. Jesus plundered the enemy when He rose from the dead. So when you look into the mirror, you need to learn to see yourself as one who already has the victory. You already possess the authority necessary to keep Satan under your feet where he belongs. Remember, you are no longer a victim — you are a victor!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I thank You for the victory You obtained by Your resurrection from the dead! No one else could have done what You did for us. You invaded hell; broke the power of its demonic forces; seized their artillery; and bound the devil. And because You did all this, You set us free! You are our Great Victor, our Great Champion, and You are the Lord of all lords. Thank You for cleansing me with Your blood and granting me the honor to be called a child of God and a joint heir with You.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that Satan is not a force I am trying to defeat because he is already defeated. I use my God-given authority to resist him, and he flees from me. No matter what demonic strategy may come against me this day or how many demons may try to assemble together for my destruction, I NEVER have to go down in defeat. When I look into the mirror, I see someone who already has the victory. I possess the authority necessary to keep Satan under my feet where he belongs!I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Do you approach life like you are a victorious champion, or a struggling victim?
2. Do you quickly give in to defeat, or do you dig in your heels and refuse to go down defeated?
3. What changes could you make in your thoughts, words, and attitudes to help you maintain a more victorious approach to life?