Wednesday, January 18, 2012

a change of kingdoms

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.
Colossians 1:13-14

The reality of Christian salvation is found in this powerful, poetic passage. There are four words that I find particularly encouraging in this description. Two of them are verbs, describing God's action in our salvation. The other two are nouns, showing us what we have received in our salvation.

The first action of God is that He delivered us. We were lost in slavery to sin. We were under bondage and unable to free ourselves. And Jesus stormed the "domain of darkness" and cut the chains that sin and Satan had bound us to in that realm. Christ brings deliverance to us. Sin imperils and imprisons us. We are in danger of death and of eternal damnation. But God's great mercy in Christ provided the deliverance. The cross was the means by which Jesus broke the inescapable power of sin over us. We have been delivered by this saving work on the cross. This was the major reason Jesus came to earth.

The second act that He did for us was to transfer us to Christ's kingdom. Salvation is about a permanent change of spiritual location. We were delivered from the grip of a dark lord, and brought into the glorious kingdom of a new King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our hearts were in bondage to the darkness of the rule of sin. But with the transfer, we are free to serve our new loving, Lord Jesus! That is a GREAT change!

The third word celebrates the result of redemption. We know that we were "bought with a price". Our lives were saved, delivered, and transferred by the blood of Jesus. And only His atoning sacrifice could give us this new life. And knowing that my life cost my King leads me to worship Him in grateful praise!

The final word on the matter is that God has granted us forgiveness in Jesus. God sent His Son on this bold mission to storm sin's powerful prison, not to save good heroic people, but to deliver and save sinners so that He could then pardon them and give them new lives! Imagine that... God's rescue operation was to free and redeem hopeless convicted criminals. Our salvation is a jailbreak. And we are pardoned into full freedom in a new kingdom. If redemption shows us God's mercy, then forgiveness sings of God's grace! Our salvation is an amazing event, not ever to be taken lightly.

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