Rescued, Redeemed, Restored and Forgiven—Colossians 1:13-14
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14)
As a believer, you are qualified to share in the inheritance of the men and women of faith who have gone before you (vs. 12). You are qualified because of Christ Jesus, who has secured your redemption. Your redemption was a legal transaction where Jesus traded His blood for your life. He purchased your deliverance from bondage, from the kingdom of Satan and translated you into His own domain. Now that this transaction has taken place, you are recused, redeemed, restored and forgiven!
We Were Delivered From Sin; We Are Introduced Into Freedom
“By the giving up of His sinless life sacrificially, Christ annuls the power of sin to separate between God and the believer” (Vines Dictionary of New Testament Words).
When Adam transgressed in the garden, he sold mankind into slavery lock, stock and barrel. Since that time, humanity was held hostage by the kingdom of darkness. It was a hopeless situation because the only way to undo what had been done was for mankind to redeem or ransom what was lost (Leviticus 26:25-26).
Jesus came to get it all back! Isaiah says, “And the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. And He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no intercessor [no one to intervene on behalf of truth and right]; therefore His own arm brought Him victory, and His own righteousness [having the Spirit without measure] sustained Him” (Isaiah 59:15b-16 AMP).
What Adam did in the garden, Jesus undid on the Cross! Adam sold you into sin, Jesus rescued you and brought you life (Romans 5:17-19).
Translated into Christ’s Kingdom
Several things happened when Christ redeemed you. First, He rescued you from sin's domain. This means you are no longer a hostage and this kingdom has no claim on you. We were brought into God’s Kingdom which means we legally and rightfully belong here.
In Genesis, Enoch was translated from the earth into the presence of God (Genesis 5:24). Hebrews sheds light on this, “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). This is the idea that Paul is conveying in this passage in Colossians, as believers we have been translated or removed from the previous kingdom and made to stand into God’s kingdom. This means we cannot experience the eternal death due to sin (Romans 6:23) and we exist in an entirely different realm now that this translation has taken place. We are qualified to be in this place, this kingdom, because Christ has rescued us by paying the ransom demanded of the previous kingdom (Colossians 1:12-14; 2:13-15).
Forgiven of Sin & Its Effects
Secondly, our redemption includes the forgiveness of sins, which pardons us from its penalty (Romans 6:23). The greek word used for forgiveness is aphesis, which means freedom, pardon, deliverance and remission. Because of this, it also has the ability to deliver us from the guilt associated with sin. It is in this realization we are introduced into the liberty of Christ. The cleansing agent in Jesus’ blood removes every trace and effect that sin could have on us. This means we are not only forgiven but all traces of the guilt and condemnation we feel because of sin have also been removed (Romans 8:1; Hebrews 4:16; 10:22; I John 3:20-21).
Restored To God’s Original Intent
Lastly, we are restored to the position of God’s original intent in creation. In the Septuagint (the oldest Greek version of the Old Testament), the word, aphesis, is never connected with the remission of sins (like in the New Testament), but connected with the Year of Jubilee (Vines Dictionary of New Testament Words). “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan” (Leviticus 25:10). The Year of Jubilee was when everything (land & people) was restored back to original possession. Land was returned to each tribe and each family clan and bond-servants were released from their indentured status. It was the means to restore the gift of the Promised Land back to the orginal owners.
There are several Greek words for forgiveness but this is the idea behind the word used in Colossians 1:14. The J.B. Phillips translation says it this way, “For we must never forget that he rescued us from the power of darkness, and re-established us in the kingdom of his beloved Son, that is, in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:13). Wow! This is God’s original intent and purpose for us, it was His design for us from the very beginning, to be a part of His family and in His Kingdom. Through Christ’s redemption we are once again united with God’s master plan. The cross was like the Year of Jubilee for the believer!
God's Invitation For You
This redemption is an amazing revelation of God’s grace toward you in the person of Jesus Christ. I pray that if you have never understood and accepted this, you will in this moment understand His great and intense love for you as demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ. I pray this truth penetrates your heart and produces faith needed to come to Him and find acceptance, forgiveness, wholeness and restoration. His grace is sufficient for you!