If you have the time now and then, it might a great idea to read through a sort book of the Bible and collect the themes it addresses. Naturally it will help you get a handle on the Book’s main message and the subsidiary messages that flow from the primary message. I want to consider a few themes popping up in the Book of Colossians. The intention of this devotion is encouragement. Once we prisoners in the kingdom of darkness.
Col 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness.
We might not like to think it, but the reality is that before we were Christians, we belonged to the devil and his domain. I shuddered the first time I understood Ephesians 2:2.
Eph 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
As verse 2 hit home, I realized I was a devil worshipper without even knowing or realizing it. It was a sobering moment! Living under the control of the enemy means eternal ruin unless Jesus saves! But Jesus does save.
Col 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves
During the course of my lifetime I have been made aware of many rescue missions. As an example, on July 4th 1976, Israeli commandoes went on a rescue mission to Entebbe Airport in Uganda rescuing 102 or 106 hostages. This mission saw a quarter of Uganda’s air force destroyed. Then on Friday a 60-year-old hiker with head injuries was rescued from a precarious site in the Drakensberg thanks to the efforts of the provincial nature conservation agency, the Mountain Club of SA, Westline Aviation and the SA Air Force (SAAF) (defenceweb.co.za). How often have we heard of rescue missions when mine shafts or tunnels or work sites have collapsed? It’s wonderful, noble and sacrificial how these brave men and women risk their lives to save others … yet this is only about life on this earth. The Lord Jesus saves from eternal hell! Where the mine rescue team or the mountain rescue team or the Israeli rescue mission, as said was noble … it’s just about this earth. Jesus rescues from the worst ever punishment and trauma that would ever be known or understood. He rescues from a gruesome enemy … the devil! And look what He does … the rescue is not for this earth … it is for eternal safety in the Kingdom of the Son of God. Once Jesus saves you have been redeemed.
Col 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
This word “redemption” in a noun … the verb is “redeem”. Redemption is to recover something through paying a ransom. To redeem is “to buy out” in the context of a slave’s freedom. We must not be mistaken in thinking that God paid satan the ransom price. God in Christ paid the ransom to God to redeem all those chosen before creation. It was an atonement … see:
Col 1:14 the forgiveness of sins.
When Jesus died He redeemed us from the spiritual slave market through the ransom price of His blood sacrifice. The benefit is the forgiveness of sins. This forgiveness is final for all past, present and future sin.
Look at the flow … saved, redeemed and reconciled.
Col 1:21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.
Think of a marriage turned sour to the point where the husband and wife separate. They are known as estranged or alienated from each other. Then there is Biblical pastoral counseling and when both parties seek God through prayer, they are reconciled. This reconciliation means they are united in oneness and love:
Ge 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
In a far greater way, the wicked rebellious sinner, once ransomed and redeemed is reconciled to the thrice Holy God. Now look at the objective of reconciliation:
Col 1:22 to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Because your sin is dealt with through the precious blood of Jesus …no one can point a finger of scorn or a word of accusation against you because God sees you separated from the world of evil (holy), without sin stains (no blemish) and no one can lodge any complaint against you (free from accusation). You are fully and finally reconciled to God through His beloved Son. From being ruined to rescued to redeemed to reconciled follows all the way to reward.
Col 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Once we are solidly and securely saved, we want to serve God faithfully. We realise that whatever we do, be it in the home and family, be it at work or in the neighbourhood, be it at church or in missions … we are doing our work )service, ministry) for the Lord Jesus Christ! Before we served man and self … now we serve God by fulfilling all our duties and responsibilities out of love. Now look at this … “you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward” … in the context of your daily functions … you now do everything for Jesus because “you know that you will receive”! You know you are receiving heaven as your reward and so serve Jesus in everything you do … and never forget, your service is evangelism for people will see what you do and how you do it and realise you are serving your King.
Precious Lord, thank You for being my Lord and Saviour. I marvel at what You have done for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Today I stand rescued, ransomed, redeemed, reconciled with the reward of heaven. Thank You for your generous salvation. Graciously help me to be intentional in my all my work for I do know I am serving You, not man. How I look forward to that reward … to be with you in glory through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen