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 with God-given and God-persuaded faith, and we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, he delivers us from the domain (power, control) of darkness (sin, wickedness) and he transfers us to the kingdom of Christ. Our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin.
[Eph 2:8-10; Jn 6:44; Heb 12:1-2; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24]
For when Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross it was to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now be God’s possession, and so that we will now honor God with our lives in how we think and believe and live. For when Jesus died on that cross it was so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and so that we will live for him now and no longer for ourselves. For we are to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, for Jesus set us free.
[1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15,21; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24]
For forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven when we die is not the totality of the gospel message, even though many people have made it out to be such. So, when we study the New Testament Scriptures in their context we learn that Jesus died so that we will die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. And that was his consistent message.
So, we don’t just “get saved” (a one-time deal) and now all our sins are forgiven and heaven is our eternal destiny. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. And Paul taught that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. So, a saved life is a changed life, not the same old life.
[Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14]
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.”
So, when we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine faith, and we die with Christ to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, we are changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God. Now we want to obey the Lord. We want to do what pleases God. We don’t want to continue living in sin. And I am certainly not saying that we instantaneously become perfect in every way, for the Christian life is a process of sanctification. But lack of perfection should never be used to excuse away deliberate and habitual sin.
So, when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith this is to be a picture of our lives. We used to be hostile in our minds towards God. We used to be doing (in practice) evil deeds. This is not to be who we still are. For God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. So such things as sexual immorality, lust, idolatry, lying, cheating, stealing, unfaithfulness, impurity, etc. are to be no more.
Yet, many people professing faith in Jesus Christ today have this mistaken idea that once they believe in Jesus that heaven is now secured for them regardless of how they live, and so they continue in deliberate and habitual sin while claiming Jesus as their Lord and Savior and while claiming heaven as their eternal destiny. For they have not had that transformation of the Spirit of God, for their faith was of the flesh, not of God, and they don’t really want to die to their sins, but they want to continue in them, truth be told, even if some of them may claim they want rescued.
For many of them are still living to please their fleshly appetites and so they live for the pleasure of their senses. Although they may claim to be Christians, they don’t live like those who have been delivered from slavery to sin. Many of them are still contemptible people, evildoers, meanies, monsters, scoundrels, and villains, while they profess faith in Jesus. For they are drawn to what gives pleasure to their senses regardless of right and wrong, and regardless of who gets hurt in the process. It is all about them!
But Jesus Christ did not give up his life for us on that cross so that we could continue in deliberate and habitual sin guilt free, and so we could continue to live to please our flesh and not to please the Spirit of God. He died to free us from all that so we would now honor him with our minds and our bodies. He freed us so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, and so that we would live holy and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. But his grace to us has stipulations. His salvation has requirements.
If we want to have eternal life with God and heaven as our eternal destiny and be assured that our sins are forgiven we have to walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. We have to forsake our former lives of living in sin and for self and we have to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And then we have to continue in that faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel, and until the end of time. So please take this to heart.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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