Colossians 1:13-14 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.
There’s a lot of good content in this chapter, but Paul’s sentences are so long it’s hard to pull out just one thought to write on it! However, this part is indeed a gem. As has come up in the readings just recently, the Bible is filled with references to evil being dark and God being light. I don’t think it was an accident that the first act of Creation was when God said, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3) Jesus famously said that people don’t come to Him for salvation because they like the dark, because their deeds are evil. (John 3:19) The problem is, there’s no salvation in the darkness, and we need to be saved. We are right to be ashamed of our sins, but God knows everything we’ve done anyway, so the only answer is to come to His light. The particular expressions in this passage are interesting. The Japanese uses a character in writing “dominion” that means “pressure.” Practically everyone complains about “being under pressure” from one thing or another. As Paul said, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17) The way out of the pressure is to come to Jesus! At the same time, we don’t come out from under the darkness into some amorphous la-la land, but into the kingdom of the Son. When we pray in the Lord’s prayer, “Thy kingdom come,” we often fail to realize what that means. A kingdom is under the control of the King! American Evangelical Christians tend to separate “Receiving Christ as your Savior” and “Making Jesus your Lord,” as though the second half of that were just a part of spiritual growth. Paul was clear that making Jesus your Lord is an essential part of salvation. (Romans 10:9) If we want to be out from under the crushing weight of sin and evil, the only answer is submission and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord.
This of course applies to me as well. I delight in the liberty of the Spirit, but I am not immune to the temptations of darkness. I’ve got to remember where my citizenship lies. (Philippians 3:20) When temptations come, I’ve got to remember that’s none of my business; it’s no longer “natural” for me, because my nature is now hidden in Christ. As a pastor I am constantly dealing with people who can’t seem to get their allegiances straight. I have no high horse from which to look down on them, but I need to keep speaking the truth to them in love; (Ephesians 4:15) I need to come alongside them to teach and admonish them as necessary. (Colossians 3:16) We all need help to keep walking in the light! (1 John 1:7)
Father, thank You for this reminder. This picture, of transferring from one realm to another, is one that comes to me frequently. Help me indeed live it out and communicate it effectively, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!