Colossians 1:12-14  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The human condition; we need deliverance.  

How did we get here?  Quite simply you were born into this kingdom of darkness!  The word kingdom does not mean a location somewhere out there like a fairy tale kingdom with castles and moats and drawbridges, princes and princesses.  Kingdom refers to the rule, reign, and power of a king. The ruler of this world is Satan. While Christ’s death and resurrection defanged and defeated Satan he has not been vanquished.  That is why Peter writes “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

We got here because of one man’s sin – Adam who was responsible for protecting Eve and failed! So both fell into the sin of rebelling against God and setting themselves up as God.  They came under the influence of Satan and all of mankind is now born into that domain or kingdom – under the influence of that ruler. Left on our own we want life on our terms, not God’s.  Until His spirit awakens our heart and we understand our utter depravity, and unless that happens, we will remain in the dominion of darkness.

We are unable to escape the dominion of darkness on our own, so Jesus made the way of escape. Before we can understand the idea being rescued and of redemption, we need to realize the reality of being in bondage.  Many are blinded by Satan and cannot see that they need to be rescued.

In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 Paul explains why this is so: “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

But our seeing the light of the gospel did not hinder God from executing his rescue plan. He set his plan in motion while we were still sinners – enemies of God.  Romans 5:10 “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. ”  It is the death of His son that qualifies us to share in inheritance.

The empty tomb is not only the way of escape from the kingdom of darkness, it is also the assurance that it is already done!

Redemption means being delivered from bondage.  This idea of redemption “from bondage or imprisonment” is rooted in the Old Testament, where God tells the Israelites: “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you;” (Deuteronomy 15:15)

So redemption is always redemption FROM something, and this ‘something’ is slavery under the power of sin, which also keeps us under the manipulation of our enemy, which also leaves us cursed under the perfect justice of God. There is no bondage worse than this. To be enslaved, to be bound, to be captured, and to be imprisoned in the “domain of darkness” is the worst of all conditions. Worse because it will be for all eternity!

However, He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. So in our redemption, we have been delivered FROM the domain of darkness and have been transferred TO freedom in the kingdom of His beloved son (this has already been done).   

Rom 6:17-18  But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

God’s deliverance is from slavery to sin to the slavery of righteousness.  We are delivered from the penalty of sin (God’s judgement) to the privilege of inheritance.

This is the ALREADY but NOT YET nature of our new kingdom.  Even though we have already been transferred to the kingdom of Christ, this does not mean we are never tempted, harassed, or influenced by Satan and demons. As long as we are still in our earthly bodies we will be. However, we are not under the authority of darkness, even though we live in a very dark and wicked world that opposes the things of God. We truly need the armor of God which is the truth of the gospel we need to believe.

We are already out of Satan’s authority but not yet in the fully realized kingdom of God where there will be only Christ’s reign. Things then will be different in us and around us.  When we look at the world today it seems as though the kingdom of darkness is winning. But Scripture is explicit: Not only will Christ reign over His Kingdom forever and ever (Revelation 11:15); already our Lord has overcome Satan’s kingdom.

The Kingdom is already here, but it has not yet come in its fullness. The decisive battle is already won, but final victory is not yet completed. The Kingdom already has invaded this “present evil age”, but every knee has not yet bowed to Lord Jesus. Like yeast in bread dough, the Kingdom today may seem insignificant; indeed it may seem invisible. But it will multiply and spread until it permeates the entire batch.

Today we live in this in-between time. Jesus has won the victory; He is King of the Kingdom of Light; He deserves all honor and praise; He has all authority. He has already accomplished all of that. But rebellion against Him continues. Death and destruction wreak their horrors. Pain and suffering are not yet over.

Since this is all true, how then shall we now live in this fallen world under the “rule” of Satan? Does your life reflect the reality of what Christ has already accomplished in you and for you?  Because of this Paul can write “to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

Are you growing in your manner of walking with the Lord?
Take some time for a little self-reflection while the resurrection is still fresh in your mind.

 

Author: Jay Scott, Elder & Administrative Pastor

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