Delivered from the Domain of Darkness

Colossians 1:13-14 ESV

“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.”

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, God the Father delivers us from the domain of darkness (the control and power of sin over our lives) and he transfers us to the kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption. And Jesus Christ redeemed us (he bought us back for God with his blood) that we might now honor God with our bodies. And forgiveness of sins includes deliverance from bondage (addiction) to sin.

Being saved from our sins is not just forgiveness of our sins so that we can escape hell and so we can go to heaven when we die. Being saved means we are being set free from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so that we can now live holy lives, pleasing to God, and so that we can now walk (in conduct, in practice) in a manner worthy of (fitting to) the Lord Jesus, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work (see Colossians 1:9-12).

This means that we no longer walk (conduct our lives) in sin. Sin no longer has dominion (control, power) over our lives. Sin is no longer our practice, but righteousness is now our practice, by the grace of God, and in his power and strength. We have forsaken (walked away from) our lives of living in sin and for self, and now our lives are surrendered to Jesus Christ to now walking in his ways and in his truth and righteousness.

Colossians 1:15-20 ESV

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

Jesus Christ is not only the only Begotten Son of God, but he is God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And he is our creator God. He is the one who formed us in the wombs of our mothers. All things were created through him and for him. And that is amazing when you think of all the things that Jesus (God) created. And he is absolutely sovereign and in control over all that he has made.

We, as genuine followers of Jesus Christ, who have surrendered our lives to the Lord Jesus, who have forsaken our sinful lifestyles, and who are now, in practice, walking in obedience to his commands, are his body, the church. For, the church is not a building nor a church denomination nor a civic center nor a social club nor an institution of man nor a corporation under the state, although that is what many people have made it into, in practice.

We, who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, are his church, and he is our head, not men. And he is to be the one directing our lives, not humans, and not marketing books on how to grow “the church.” Now we are to have human shepherds to lead God’s people, but they need to be people who are truly following Jesus Christ and not other humans and their marketing schemes and worldly methods.

Colossians 1:21-23 ESV

“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

When we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Sin should no longer be our master, but now Jesus should be our only Lord and Master. We should no longer walk in sin but now in righteousness and holiness for the glory of God, in his power and strength.

Doing evil deeds (making sin our practice) should be a thing of our past, not in our present. This is not saying that we will be absolutely perfect, for we are still living in flesh bodies, but “not perfect” should never be used as an excuse for continuing in willful, deliberate, and habitual sin in direct defiance to God’s commands and to his will for our lives. We once lived that way, but now that Jesus has changed us, we are to no longer walk in sin.

When we were still dead in our sins we were separate from God because of our sin and we were not capable, in our own flesh, of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness. But by faith in Jesus Christ, because of what Jesus did for us on that cross in putting our sins to death with him, we are able to be made right with God in order that our Lord might present us as holy and blameless and above reproach, i.e. as those whose lives are separate from the world and unto God who are becoming like Jesus.

But we have a part in this. We can do nothing in our flesh to earn or to deserve our own salvation, but part of our Lord’s redemptive plan for our lives involves our cooperation with him, and it involves our surrender to him and our obedience to his commands. But all this is empowered by him, and even our faith to believe in him comes from him, but we must appropriate it to our own lives, in his power and strength.

So, our salvation is contingent on our obedience to the Lord. We must continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that we heard. We must continue to put sin to death, to not allow it to have dominion over our lives, and we must continue to walk in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord and not in sin if we want to be certain of our salvation and our eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Blessed Assurance

Frances J Crosby, 1873
Phoebe P Knapp, 1873

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

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