There is a brilliant little booklet called “Two Ways to live” that helpfully presents the Gospel in picture form. But there are not only two ways to live but also two gods to worship. There is the true and living God who made us, loves us and in Christ has redeemed us. Then there is the false god who is distant, impersonal and remote.
The ancient world saw the ultimate divine entity as unknowable and distant. This world was messy, unclean and accident and such a divine being would not come close to it or us. So, they worshipped mini gods, and demi gods. Those gods and spirits were seen as populating the gap between heaven and earth. There was a lot of fear and superstition. Such gods were not good, were often angry and needed to be appeased.
This made for a very frightening existence on earth because the gods and spirits could turn on you at any moment. Knowing that Christ is exalted above all powers and that we are in him is a great source of confidence. This is as true today as in Paul’s day. We may not have the same superstitions but we have our own fears. Our society puts God at a distance, if he exists at all. We live in fear of powerful institutions and bullying people.
Part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to help us know that we too are seated with Christ and so do not need to fear the powers and authorities of today