We’ve Moved! – Colossians 1:13-14 06/14/20

We’ve Moved! – Colossians 1:13-14 06/14/20

If we’re paying attention when we read this passage, we might begin to note that almost every term in this passage is present to counter the false teachings that were being brought into the church at Colossi.[1] All the fuss and ritual these false teachers were promoting simply had no value. If you take nothing else out of this blog today, take this. Only Jesus matters, not what we may or may not be doing.[2]

Now, I hasten to note that some practices, fasting, prayer, study, meditation, in fact, all of the spiritual disciplines, can serve to encourage spiritual growth. What’s more, there is certainly nothing inherently wrong with having a vision or prophetic dream. The prophet Daniel did, and so did the Apostles John, Peter, and Paul. But when we make these things a prerequisite to knowing God, they become a hindrance rather than an aid.[3]

So it seems that the false teachers were setting up a hierarchy of spirit-beings who stood between mankind and God. These beings had to be placated in some way. But Paul tells the church that, in contrast to the powers of darkness surrounding us, in contrast to the hierarchy of beings that the false teachers said needed to be placated, in contrast to the laws and rituals of the Jews, the deliverance that’s available through Jesus Christ is final, complete, and sufficient.[4]

We who are Christ-followers are presently, right now, citizens of the heavenly kingdom, our home is with our Lord, it’s finished.[5] Our pardons have been obtained once and for all. This is accomplished through something rather remarkable, as we turn to Jesus in faith He takes us, people who were once card carrying members of the kingdom of Satan, and He transfers our allegiance to Himself as He marks us as His own.

To accomplish this, God did some truly miraculous things. Although the NKJV translates (ερρυσατο) [6] as “delivered,” a better translation might be “rescued,” with the implication that the danger in question is overwhelming.[7]

The contrast between the two realms, one being a kingdom of darkness, symbolizing sin, rebellion, and wickedness, and the other being the kingdom of light reflecting the righteousness of our King, is intentionally stark.[8] The passage then says He (μετεστησεν) [9] us. In secular Greek this word was used to refer to persons who were removed from one country and moved into another, settling them as colonists and citizens in their new country.[10] For Jewish readers the imagery would point to the exodus of the Jews from Egypt as they moved to the land God had promised them. It would also have, in the background, the exile of Israel under Syria and Babylon as entire populations were uprooted and moved to a new land.[11]

God has, again, by divine grace, provided an exodus for His people.[12] The passage says we have been “conveyed” into Jesus’ kingdom. God doesn’t stop with simply taking us out of a bad servanthood, it’s not enough that we’re delivered from the power of darkness. He takes us out of that hateful kingdom, and He then gives us a new home in the Kingdom Jesus rules.[13] This kingdom is infused with the glory of Jesus who shines, not into this world, but into the hearts of His people.[14]

The kingdom of the Son of His love doesn’t reference something yet to come, it references something here and now, it is present on earth today.[15] By virtue of His conquest over the power of sin and death, Jesus demonstrated His authority to invade the kingdom of Satan.[16] There’s no reason for us to pay homage to these beings, the demonic forces any longer. These forces and powers, as powerful as they are, stand defeated. Our King has already won.

Because of this we, followers of Jesus Christ, stand delivered.[17] Jesus is sovereign Lord over the heart of every Christian… right now.[18] We enter into that Kingdom as we receive Jesus as our Savior and are instantly translated into Jesus’ realm.[19] We no longer need fear the demonic or satanic, that power over our lives has been broken.[20]

Having said this, there yet remains a time when Christ shall rule with a rod of iron over the affairs of men. But not yet. God continues to work, and He asks us to wait patiently for His plans to unfold. Ultimately, the reign of God will begin, and endure forever.[21]

Still, we have to admit that there is a very real sense of tension throughout the New Testament.[22] The reality is that, even as we look forward to the Millennial Kingdom, Jesus’ rule in our lives is a present reality.[23] Christ’s present rule in our lives now shapes us; our conduct, and our expectations in this life are changed.[24]

Although we receive forgiveness freely, God does not arbitrarily and sentimentally forgive sin, it is made available through the shed blood of Jesus.[25] The emancipation we receive was purchased at the price of Jesus’ life, a sacrifice He willingly made.[26] That shed blood was the price required to redeem me out of bondage to the kingdom of darkness.[27] Those who’ve moved into Jesus’ kingdom enjoy the benefits its Ruler has won.[28] These are experienced in the life of each believer. The marvel of the Gospel is that to be “in Christ” is to be in the sphere of God’s mercy and forgiveness.[29]

Where does all this take us? Many Christians repeatedly pray for forgiveness, deliverance, and victory, never understanding that these things are already theirs.[30] Our victory hung on a Roman cross and died.[31] That work is done… once and for all. Our victory left the cold of the tomb, and rose from the dead alive in power and glory.[32] That work is also done once and for all. At this moment, even though we cannot see it with our physical eyes, Jesus reigns supreme.[33]

But there’s something I want you to experience because of this. I want you to live a life of profound victory, I want you to set aside your fears and live in joy. I want you to know that Jesus has already won, and because of this, if you belong to Him, you’ve already won too.

He reigns...[34] but, based on how you live, can anyone tell?

[1] Ralph Martin, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, ed., James Luther, NT ed., Paul Achtemeier, (John Knox Press, Louisville, KY.: 1989), 104. [2] Earle Wilson, Alex Deasley, and Barry Callen, Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians: A Commentary for Bible Students, Wesleyan Bible Commentary Series, gen publisher, Donald Cady, exec. Ed., David Holdren, managing ed., Lawrence Wilson, theological ed., Stephen Lennox, snr. ed., Darlene Teague, (Wesleyan Publishing House, Indianapolis, IN.: 2007), 279. [3] Earle Wilson, Alex Deasley, and Barry Callen, Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians: A Commentary for Bible Students, Wesleyan Bible Commentary Series, gen publisher, Donald Cady, exec. Ed., David Holdren, managing ed., Lawrence Wilson, theological ed., Stephen Lennox, snr. ed., Darlene Teague, (Wesleyan Publishing House, Indianapolis, IN.: 2007), 279. [4] James Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds., I. Howard Marshall, W. Ward Gasque, and Donald Hagner, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI.: 1996), 78. [5] James Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds., I. Howard Marshall, W. Ward Gasque, and Donald Hagner, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI.: 1996), 78. [6]Thomas Newberry and George Ricker Berry, The Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2004), Col 1:13. [7] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 240. [8] Eduard Lohse, Colossians and Philemon: A Commentary on the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon, Hermeneia – A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, ed., Helmut Koester, trans., William Poehlmann and Robert Karris, (Fortress Press, Philadelphia, PA.: 1971), 37. [9]Thomas Newberry and George Ricker Berry, The Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2004), Col 1:13. [10] Curtis Vaughn, Colossians, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Volume 11, Ephesians – Philemon, gen. ed., Frank Gaebelein, assoc. ed., J.D. Douglas, NT eds., James Boice and Merrill Tenney, manuscript ed., Gerard Terpstra, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI.: 1978), 180. [11] Eduard Lohse, Colossians and Philemon: A Commentary on the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon, Hermeneia – A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, ed., Helmut Koester, trans., William Poehlmann and Robert Karris, (Fortress Press, Philadelphia, PA.: 1971), 38. [12] Earle Wilson, Alex Deasley, and Barry Callen, Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians: A Commentary for Bible Students, Wesleyan Bible Commentary Series, gen publisher, Donald Cady, exec. Ed., David Holdren, managing ed., Lawrence Wilson, theological ed., Stephen Lennox, snr. ed., Darlene Teague, (Wesleyan Publishing House, Indianapolis, IN.: 2007), 279. [13] Curtis Vaughn, Colossians, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Volume 11, Ephesians – Philemon, gen. ed., Frank Gaebelein, assoc. ed., J.D. Douglas, NT eds., James Boice and Merrill Tenney, manuscript ed., Gerard Terpstra, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI.: 1978), 180. [14] F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, gen. eds., Ned Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce, and Gordon Fee, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1984), 51. [15] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume V, 1 Corinthians – Revelation, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1983), 337. [16] F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, gen. eds., Ned Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce, and Gordon Fee, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1984), 51. [17] F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, gen. eds., Ned Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce, and Gordon Fee, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1984), 51. [18] Curtis Vaughn, Colossians, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Volume 11, Ephesians – Philemon, gen. ed., Frank Gaebelein, assoc. ed., J.D. Douglas, NT eds., James Boice and Merrill Tenney, manuscript ed., Gerard Terpstra, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI.: 1978), 180. [19] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume V, 1 Corinthians – Revelation, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1983), 337. [20] F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, gen. eds., Ned Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce, and Gordon Fee, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1984), 51-52. [21] Eduard Lohse, Colossians and Philemon: A Commentary on the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon, Hermeneia – A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, ed., Helmut Koester, trans., William Poehlmann and Robert Karris, (Fortress Press, Philadelphia, PA.: 1971), 38. [22] James Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds., I. Howard Marshall, W. Ward Gasque, and Donald Hagner, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI.: 1996), 79. [23] Eduard Lohse, Colossians and Philemon: A Commentary on the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon, Hermeneia – A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, ed., Helmut Koester, trans., William Poehlmann and Robert Karris, (Fortress Press, Philadelphia, PA.: 1971), 38. [24] Eduard Lohse, Colossians and Philemon: A Commentary on the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon, Hermeneia – A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, ed., Helmut Koester, trans., William Poehlmann and Robert Karris, (Fortress Press, Philadelphia, PA.: 1971), 38. [25] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume V, 1 Corinthians – Revelation, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1983), 338. [26] F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, gen. eds., Ned Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce, and Gordon Fee, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1984), 53. [27] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume V, 1 Corinthians – Revelation, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1983), 338. [28] F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, gen. eds., Ned Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce, and Gordon Fee, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1984), 52. [29] James Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds., I. Howard Marshall, W. Ward Gasque, and Donald Hagner, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI.: 1996), 82. [30] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume V, 1 Corinthians – Revelation, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1983), 338. [31] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume V, 1 Corinthians – Revelation, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1983), 338. [32] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume V, 1 Corinthians – Revelation, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1983), 338. [33] Earle Wilson, Alex Deasley, and Barry Callen, Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians: A Commentary for Bible Students, Wesleyan Bible Commentary Series, gen publisher, Donald Cady, exec. Ed., David Holdren, managing ed., Lawrence Wilson, theological ed., Stephen Lennox, snr. ed., Darlene Teague, (Wesleyan Publishing House, Indianapolis, IN.: 2007), 281. [34] Earle Wilson, Alex Deasley, and Barry Callen, Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians: A Commentary for Bible Students, Wesleyan Bible Commentary Series, gen publisher, Donald Cady, exec. Ed., David Holdren, managing ed., Lawrence Wilson, theological ed., Stephen Lennox, snr. ed., Darlene Teague, (Wesleyan Publishing House, Indianapolis, IN.: 2007), 281.

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