Colossians 1:13-14 13For He rescued us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Paul shifts now to the answer for the Colossian situation. Verses 13-20 have hints of being a hymn or catechism of some type. Minimally, these verses lift of Christ and what he has done through giving of himself for our salvation. The basis for why Paul can give thanks for the Colossians is that they have put their faith in Jesus Christ. As a result of this, God the Father rescued (errysato) them from the authority of the darknessRescued (errysato) gives a powerful image of rescuing from a dangerous situation or delivering from enemies. All people are in an unsafe, grave, and eternally detrimental condition because of sin. Authority of darkness could refer to the reign of the darkness in the world. People have rejected the light of God and turned to walk in darkness. Into this darkness, a great light has shone (Isaian 9:2). This darkness also represents the deadness of sin (Ephesians 2:1).

But God has come to the rescue through Jesus Christ and moved us to a new kingdom. We have a new master and king. This transfer happens because people accept God’s offer of salvation. God is the one who makes the move, but God will only move those who want it. Sadly, the darkness blinds many people to the truth of the gospel, and so they continue to fall deeper into sin’s control with the outcome of judgment and God’s wrath. Just as Israel escaped from Egyptian bondage, there is a way of escape through God gracious salvation.

There are several significant attributes of Christ in these verses. First, he has a kingdom, therefore, he is the sovereign king and deserves our full devotion and commitment. He is God’s Son, so he is divine and deserves our worship. He is the Beloved One and examplifies to us what it means to be loved by the Father and to love the world unconditionally and fully by dying on a Roman cross. He is the one through him we have redemption (apolytrōsin). This word was used in the ancient world for the freeing of prisoners of war or slaves through an act or payment. Paul defines redemption with the last phrase which stands in apposition to redemption: the forgiveness of sins. This redemption is available now to those who trust in Jesus. We have been redeemed from the control of darkness and brought to a kingdom of light and life where Jesus is the Lord and where we find our greatest purpose for our existence.

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