The coolest thing about being in God's word (and world for that matter) is seeing His character revealed. And oh man, He has been showing me stuff right and left in Colossians 1.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col 1:13-14)1. God rescues us.
So here we are living in the dominion of darkness, living in a place where Satan is ruling, living in death because of our sin. And then God in all his love reaches down into the pit of darkness to rescue us, to save us. Jesus risked his own perfection and willingly came down to live on earth (the dominion of darkness) just so that he could rescue us. He did that you he could rescue you. He is our Rescuer and Savior
2. God transfers us.
When Jesus rescued us by his blood on the cross, He didn't just leave us stranded. He brought us into the kingdom of light. The word here is translated brought, but a much better translation is transferred. The word was historically used to describe the deportation of a population from one country to another, specifically in wars. Jesus is taking us from one country (death and darkness-Earth) to another (light and love-Heaven). It literally means a change of situation or place.
Jesus reached down into the depths of darkness to change our situations. To rescue us and bring us into a better place, a place of light and love. The verse says we're brought into the "kingdom of the Son he loves." You and I can know without a doubt, if we allow Jesus to rescue us, that where we're going (Heaven) is full of light and love.
3. God redeems us.
In Jesus we have redemption. We posses it, it belongs to us. So what is redemption? (Besides one of those church words that people throw around.) It literally means "a releasing effected by the payment of a ransom" or "liberation procured by payment of a ransom". It means freedom.
It doesn't mean that Satan was holding us ransom and Jesus came in and gave him 3 million dollars or anything like that, but rather that Jesus met the holy demands of God's law and still took the punishment that we deserve by hanging on the cross. The ransom he paid was to himself. He poured out his own wrath onto himself therefore paying the penalty of death that we all owe because of sin. Because of this we become a whole new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).
Through the cross we are FREE and redeemed.
4. God forgives us.
Redemption and forgiveness go hand in hand. The Greek word for forgiveness (aphesis) means the cancellation of a debt owed, as if it never even happened; a release from bondage or imprisonment. On the cross Jesus cancelled every debt we owed (and will ever owe) so that we will never again be enslaved.
Forgiveness, past and future, is not a license to continue sinning but rather an encouragement for obedience. Confession of our sins and forgiveness allow for fellowship with God since sin is what separates us from God in the first place (Rom 3:23; Isa 59:2). We can really only appreciate fellowship with God if we understand forgiveness. And when we're walking in fellowship with God, we're able to better seek His will for our life and understand the glory of His character. (There is a great video on walking in fellowship with God here and more resources here)
Oh Jesus you are so good to us!
He just keeps heaping grace on top of grace onto us. Not only did Jesus reach down into the dominion of darkness, but he desires to bring us into his kingdom and change our situations. He came into Satan's territory to rescue us, to rescue you and to rescue me. And then on top of that, he forgives us as if we never committed any wrong and redeems us, liberating us from our enslavement.
It reminds me of one of those infomercials. You know the kind.
"You get these awesome chefs knives and a special garlic crusher, and an orange peeler. And wait! You also get this handy jar opener, and it's all for the low low price of $19.99!!!! Buy now!!!!" Except here's the catch with Jesus...,
There is no catch. Seriously. You get it all for free. You get the rescuing, the transferring, the redeeming, and the forgiving all for the low low low price of nothing. That my friends is grace. Getting something we surely don't deserve for absolutely nothing. We give nothing and get Jesus. We get all his amazing love and grace if we just let him into our lives. If we allow him to rescue us.
Oh Jesus how can you possibly love us that much? How can you love us enough to die on a cross? To rescue us? We surely don't deserve the grace, forgiveness and redemption you give us, and yet you still give it to us. You still give it to us abundantly and lavishly. You are beyond good.
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