Comments from Colossians (1:11-14)

“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” (Colossians 1:11-14; New Living Translation)

Rescued from darkness. Purchased from slavery. Forgiven of sin.

Paul also uses words like redemption and justification to describe what God has done for us through Christ. It’s easy to forget the magnitude of what has really happened.

cross at sunsetJesus was not a slick snake-oil salesman hawking bottles of elixir to brighten our day. He did not die on the Cross so that we could join the church or clean up our act a little. He did not take on the form of a man and a bondslave so that we might discover our purpose and feel better about ourselves.

The Cross represents far more than just a low-point in human violence. It forms the hinge of human history. In that moment, we see God in His truest and fullest revelation. And He, for His part, does something unparalleled in its drama, purpose, and outcome.

Rescue. Purchase. Forgiveness.

The Cross alone forces back the darkness that envelopes the world and (sometimes) our own lives. Christ pays our ransom. He purchases us and redeems us on the Cross. He sets us free from slavery. No more slavery to sin, death, or Satan! He is Christus Victor.

The Cross alone makes forgiveness possible and permanent. Every offense we have committed and every good we have neglected is resolved by the One who hung in our stead. The Cross meets the profound need of every human heart for absolution.

Rescue. Purchase. Forgiveness.

Is anything as powerful, radical, transformational, hopeful, or eternal? When we grasp this and live in it, then Paul’s prayer for the Colossian Christians gets answered in our own lives. We become filled with joy, marked by gratitude, and empowered for endurance no matter what life brings our way.

We all know, and know all too well, that the prosperity Gospel rings hollow; much as we’d like to believe it. Hardship and suffering are not eliminated this side of the grave, even for the saintliest among us. The Gospel is not about changing our circumstances, but changing our status, changing our focus, and changing us.

While the world would reduce Christian faith to morality, doctrine, and the Church, the Cross preaches differently: rescue, purchase, forgiveness. This is the Gospel of Christ and the true promise of the Cross.

If Christ is your Lord, then these are your truths today. Live in them deeply, fully, and confidently.

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2 Responses to Comments from Colossians (1:11-14)

  1. Redemption sets us apart from other religions…great word this morning Dr. Timms.

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