Colossians 1:13

Delivered and Translated

 

Introduction:

1. In this section, Paul is describing a worthy walk.

2. It is described by four participles: being fruitful, increasing, being strengthened, and giving thanks.

3. The giving of thanks is here directed to the Father…

4. The Father is being thanked because He is the One who does the following:

a. He made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. (we looked at this last week)

b. He delivered us from the power of darkness

c. He translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son

d. As believers, we have been delivered and translated!

Delivered Us from the Power of Darkness


1. The Term: ῥύομαι [rhuomai]

a. Strong’s: to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver

b. Greek – English Lexicon: draw out of danger, to rescue, save, deliver

c. The term is not used frequently (Only 15 times—and ½ of those are used in quoting the Old Testament.)

d. The term itself implies danger… rescued, saved, drawn out of danger: like a person who is drowning and is drawn out of the water.
» The danger is eternal condemnation in the Lake of Fire!
» The danger is that God is a consuming Fire… and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God apart from faith in Christ.
» The danger is that all men everywhere are on their way to hell unless they are born again. That’s why Jesus said, “Ye MUST be born again” to a religious man!
» The danger is that there is opportunity for a man to be saved in this life, but once this life is over—all hopes of salvation are lost forever, and that one will be cast into a literal place of torment forever.
» The danger is REAL—even though most men mock at God’s Word and joke about it.
The danger is real—and the deliverance is absolutely necessary.

2. The Subject: The Father

a. Most often Christ, God the Son, is spoken of as the One who delivered us… who rescued us from danger.

b. Christ is our Redeemer… our Savior.

c. But the Father is also our Savior… (I Tim.1:1)

d. The Father is the Author of our deliverance, for the Father planned it all.
» He chose us before the foundation of the world; He predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son; He planned the work of redemption.
» Often in the Old Testament God is referred to as the “God of my salvation.”

e. The Father delivered us in the sense that He sent His Son to be our Savior. (I John 4:14)

f. God is the Savior. Only God can save.
» As sinners, we NEED a Savior.
» As sinners, we are UNABLE to save ourselves—no matter how hard we try. (Eph. 2:8-9)
» The Savior saves. We are the recipients of that salvation through FAITH… and no other way.

3. The Object of the deliverance: US!

a. Here the Father is the Deliverer… the One who rescues from danger.

b. And WE are the recipients of that deliverance.

c. “Us” = Paul and the Colossian believers—and all believers of this age.
» Us refers to the saints and brethren of faith in vs.2…
» Us refers to those who put their faith in Christ Jesus (vs. 3)
» Us refers to every believer of this age… Christians… born again believers…

d. The fact that this deliverance is focused upon this narrow object (us – a small minority) indicates that the rest of mankind is still in danger!
» We have been delivered… but THEY have not!
» That means that our friends, relatives, coworkers, and neighbors who are not born again are STILL in danger… danger of eternal condemnation!
» We have a responsibility to tell them the good news: that the same God who will one day be their Judge WANTS to be their Savior… and has provided for them to be saved…
» BUT—they need to come to Christ in faith… and be saved.

4. The Sphere of the deliverance: The Powers of Darkness.

a. Power: exousia: authority…

b. The power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed).

c. Jurisdiction, the sphere of authority (Luke 4:6; 23:7 – Herod’s jurisdiction….

d. Control – Acts 5:4 – “after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?”
» Power over; authority… (Matt. 28:18 – all power is given unto Me in heaven and earth.” – speaks of His universal authority)
» Authority to rule over – Luke 19:17 (And he said unto him, Well done, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.”

» Power of darkness…
• This refers to Satan’s authority over this earthly realm.
• Jesus used this term to describe both the evil human forces and demonic forces that worked together at His arrest which ultimately led to His murder on the cross (?Luke 22:53?).
• Eph. 2:1-3 – the unsaved all WALK according to the world system designed by Satan.
· Their whole manner of life is part of this cleverly planned system—which leaves God out…
· The prince of the power of the air WORKS in each one (energizes). He has power and influence over the whole world system. He’s got the whole world in his evil hands!
· I John 5:19 – he is presently lulling the world to sleep spiritually.
· II Cor. 4:4 – he is the god of this world who blinds men to truth. He controls darkness… lord over that realm.
· If you can keep a people in the dark—you can exert a huge influence over them.
‣ Darkness causes men to stumble; they don’t know where they are going;
‣ But men with sinful natures LOVE the darkness because their evil deeds are not exposed.
‣ Thus men are trapped in darkness—it hinders them from knowing how to walk; but they love it… for it enables them to continue in their sin.
· Ignorance is a powerful weapon. That’s why many evil dictators seek to control the press and propaganda…and they do whatever they can to keep their people in the dark.
· Ignorance of God and His Word is one of the greatest weapons the devil has ever used!
‣ Roman Catholic Church; sermonettes;
‣ The things that God has said and done are quite surprising to the natural man. Such things would NEVER pop into his mind naturally.
‣ Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared…
‣ Paul spoke of the powers of darkness when he mentioned the “rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places” in Eph. 6:12.
‣ Satan is able to control men to a certain degree through ignorance.
· Ex: in jungle tribes of Africa and South America, Satan keeps men ignorant of God’s Word… blinded!
· Ex: in the cities of America Satan uses materialism and pseudo intellectualism to keep men in the dark about His Word… blinded!
· He also uses false teachers in church pulpits feeding the flocks with useless chaff… to confuse truth…blinded!
· He keeps the churchgoers busy with soup kitchens and political rallies… rather than getting into the light of God’s Word. (social and political rather than spiritual)… Blinded!
· The power of darkness speaks of Satan’s authority over all within that realm—every unsaved man, woman, and child on earth.
· This realm also includes a hierarchy of fallen angels: thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers of darkness.

5. Delivered OUT OF the power of darkness…

a. EK = out of the sphere…

b. It is possible to receive deliverance in a couple of different ways.

c. It is possible to be delivered from a trial by means of special strength to endure.

d. It is also possible to be delivered from a trial by being taken OUT OF that trial.
» When it comes to the power of darkness, God delivers us OUT OF that sphere. We are no longer IN that sphere. We have been removed from Satan’s sphere.
» Eph. 5: 8 – we are now children of light… positionally, we have been taken OUT OF that sphere entirely and eternally.
» This means that Satan no longer has AUTHORITY over us.
• Col. 2:14-15 – Satan and all the powers of darkness have been defeated at the cross.
• Spoiled: taken away as booty
• Triumphed over them… complete, absolute, eternal victory!
» Heb. 2:14-15 – Christ died and delivered us from Satan—who has power of death…
• Satan has the power of death in the sense that he is the author of sin and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.
• One of Satan’s greatest weapons against us (fear of death) has also been overcome by the resurrection of Christ! The sting of death is removed for the believer.
• Christ “destroyed” the devil (does not mean annihilate); it means to render inoperative.
• This is the same word as used in Rom. 6:6 – that the body of sin might be destroyed… SIN is rendered inoperative… by faith.
• So too our other foe: Satan and his authority over us has been rendered inoperative by faith.
• We have been delivered from his authority. We have a new master now: Christ.
• Just as the old sin nature may try to convince us that we are powerless before him—we have VICTORY as we trust God and believe what God said: we have been set free!
• We are to believe what God said about Satan too—this foe, though still alive and well, has no more power over us. He cannot FORCE us to do, say, or think anything.
• We have been delivered from his authority over our lives.
• As we walk by faith, the shield of faith will quench ALL the fiery darts of the wicked One (Eph. 6:16).
» Acts 26:18 – Christ died and delivered us from… from his realm of darkness… and from his power over us.
• Those who trust in Christ have been FREED from the power of darkness! (exousia)
• And note that our inheritance is also mentioned here – the inheritance of the saints (those sanctified)
• This is the power of the gospel of God. It provides complete deliverance… from Satan… his authority over us… from his world system… and his kingdom of darkness… FREE!
• I John 2:8 – for the believer, the darkness is PAST. It’s over. We are now children of light and are to walk in the light.
» Gal. 6:14 – it is the CROSS that ends our relationship to the world and its prince, Satan.
• We DIED with Christ… we were crucified unto the world… and its prince.
• It has no more power over us… its former reign over us has ended at the cross…
• We have been set free from Satan and his system.
• We ALL once walked according to the prince of the power of the air and were “energized” by him. No more! Chains have been torn asunder!
• I was once a slave to Satan and his world system, but no more! Praise the Lord for that!

6. The Tense: Aorist –

a. This speaks of action as having already been completed…

b. Paul is not asking God to deliver them, but is thanking God because He DID deliver them.

c. Paul and the Colossian believers (and us!) have already been delivered!

d. We are not progressively being delivered. We ARE delivered! That is cause for thanksgiving!

7. The importance of this point: the Gnostics were teaching that the world was governed by an hierarchy of spirit beings, most of whom were considered evil…

a. They referred to them as thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers of darkness…

b. In this epistle Paul makes it crystal clear that believers in Christ need not fear such spirit beings.

c. 1:16-17 – Christ made them all! They are all under HIS authority.

d. 2:10 – Christ is the Head of all such powers. He is the ultimate Authority over all other lesser authorities… good and evil.

e. 2:15 – Christ utterly defeated all the powers of darkness on the cross.

f. Thus, we are IN Christ—the One who made those spirit beings (angels) and under whose authority they are.

g. The Gnostics were obsessed with these lesser authorities… angelic beings… (as are many today… esp. the charismatics – good and evil)

h. Paul presents Christ in this book as the answer to the gnostic objections.

8. The cause of thanksgiving:

a. Paul is thanking THE FATHER – the SOURCE of our deliverance… the Well of our salvation… the One who planned it all.

b. Paul is thanking the Source of our salvation because the work is FINISHED… the deliverance has been accomplished…

c. The great work of salvation that the Father planned before the foundation of the world has come to pass and Paul and the Colossian believers have appropriated it through faith…

d. The danger of a Christian being sent to hell is over forever!

e. There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…

f. It was the FATHER who planned our salvation; chose us; sent His Son; and assures us that our sin and guilt were taken away eternally by the cross, that He is fully satisfied with His Son’s work on our behalf, accepted us in His Son; that we are complete in His Son, and He assures us of our glorious position in His son… in the heavenlies in His Son and in the kingdom of His dear Son!

g. That is cause for rejoicing… cause for thanksgiving.

Translated Us into the Kingdom of His Dear Son


1. This is the third thing for which Paul thanks the Father: He translated us.

2. Translated: μεθίστημι – methist-aymi

a. To transpose, transfer, remove from one place to another. 1a of change of situation or place. 1b to remove from the office of a steward.

b. Used by Josephus of Tiglath-pileser’s removal of the Transjordan tribes into his own kingdom; a mighty king deporting a whole population of people into another kingdom. (II Kings 15:29)

3. Translated INTO the kingdom of His Dear Son

a. This states that God the Father (through the work of His Son on the cross) has completely CHANGED our status or position as believers.
» We were delivered OUT OF the kingdom of darkness and translated INTO the kingdom of God’s Dear Son.
» It was our DEATH with Christ that changed our position OUT OF the kingdom of darkness.
» It was our RESURRECTION with Christ that changes our position INTO heavenly places… and INTO the kingdom of His dear Son positionally.
» We were in Adam, but are now in Christ… who is in heaven.
» We were in Satan’s realm… in his kingdom of darkness… but are now translated out of that realm and into God’s realm of light.
» We were earthbound earth dwellers, but are now citizens of heaven.
» We were “children of the devil” but are now children of God.
» We were under the authority of the god of this world (Satan); now we are under the authority of Christ, the Lord of all!
» A REAL change took place when we were saved… because God now see us IN His Son.

b. There are two possible ways to understand this concept of being “translated” into the KINGDOM.
» If the term kingdom means the Messianic kingdom (as it normally does in the New Testament) then Paul is saying that we have been translated into that kingdom positionally… in the same sense that we have been seated in the heavenlies positionally; our citizenship is there.
» OR Paul may be using the concept of a kingdom in a slightly different sense here – meaning a “rule or authority.” That would mean that believers have been brought OUT from under the authority of Satan and placed under a NEW MASTER: Christ!
» OR, there may be some overlapping of the concepts in this sense: that because of our new position in Christ… we are also under new authority… and in that sense Christ REIGNS over us…
» What it does NOT mean is that this age IS the Kingdom and that the reign of Christ in our hearts is God’s replacement for the Messianic Kingdom. The Kingdom is future and certain.

c. As believers in Christ, we WILL share with Him in His coming Messianic reign on earth…
» Rev. 2:26-27 – Christ will share His rule over the nations with us!
» Rev. 1:6 – He has made us KINGS and priests… to rule with Him and minister in the coming Kingdom age.
» Rev. 3:21 – Christ will let us sit with Him in His throne to rule and reign with Him in the coming Kingdom!
» Rev. 20:4, 6 – we shall reign with Christ 1000 years!
» This is our future as believers in Christ. We WILL share in the reign of Christ in the coming Kingdom.

e. And we have been made meet for that kingdom ministry already!
» Col. 1:12 – we have been “made meet” to be partakers of the inheritance in the light.
» I Pet. 2:9 – we have been called OUT of darkness and INTO God’s marvelous light. A new position… suited for the kingdom of light.
» Note that part of this calling includes being a ROYAL priesthood.
» That implies that even NOW we are suited for the kingdom… royalty… awaiting our royal inheritance in the Kingdom.
» It is ours now… we have been made meet for it… because of the blood of Christ.
» In Christ, we are a ROYAL priesthood… called out of Satan’s realm of darkness… and translated into the kingdom of light.

4. This verb is a very natural adjunct to the one before it (delivered).

a. We were delivered FROM the power of darkness.
» But that was not an end in itself.
» God didn’t rescue us from Satan’s domain and release us from bondage to sin, self, and the world, just to let us run around in circles and do our own thing.
» Rather, God has a PLAN for our lives.
» He delivered us OUT of the authority of darkness SO THAT we might enter into a new realm: the kingdom or reign of His Son.

b. We have been translated INTO the kingdom of God’s Dear Son.
» We have been brought OUT of one domain so that we could enter into another… one far better!

c. We were under the power of darkness… under the tyranny of that evil realm of spiritual ignorance, unbelief, rebellion, and sin…
» But now we have been translated out of tyranny and into the sovereign and orderly reign of one characterized by His relationship to the Father’s love… the Beloved Son…

d. This transfer from one realm to another was illustrated with Israel’s redemption from bondage in Egypt.
» God brought them OUT of Egypt (slavery to Pharaoh) so that He might bring them INTO their inheritance in the Promised Land!
» They were brought out of the authority of Egypt and under the authority of God in the new theocracy which was to be established.

e. So it is with us. God has brought us OUT of our former bondage under the power or authority of darkness so that He might bring us INTO a new realm and under a new authority: the kingdom of His Dear Son… under the authority of Christ.

f. This concept is found elsewhere in Paul’s writings:
» Rom. 6:7 – freed from bondage to sin nature. The Sin nature was our previous master—an evil master or king.
» Rom. 6:12 – therefore sin shall not REIGN as king… Christ should have authority in our mortal body!
» Rom. 6:14 – sin nature is no longer to have dominion—Christ is to have dominion over us! A new Master!
» Rom. 7:4 – we have been released from all obligation to the law… not so that we can do our own thing. But rather, so that we can now submit willingly and lovingly to Christ—the Bridegroom!
» In each case, God releases us from an old relationship—not to do our own thing, but so that we might enter into something new and better…
» Just as Israel was redeemed from bondage in Egypt so that they might enter into their inheritance in the Promised Land… and just as the church has been released from the Law to enter into a new relationship to Christ… and as every believer has been set free from bondage to our sin nature—so too we have been set free from the power of darkness… SO THAT we might be translated into the kingdom or new REIGN of Christ over our lives.

5. We are citizens of heaven and royal priests for the coming Kingdom. And the blood of Christ has already equipped us for this exalted position.

a. Col. 1:12 – this is HOW God made us MEET to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints!

b. We have already been delivered out and translated into—made meet!

c. Yet we hear of believers longing for something more… longing for God to do something special to their soul—to better equip them for heaven. And that produces anxiety… and a lack of assurance.

d. God wants us to REST in His finished work and BELIEVE that we are already made meet for our inheritance!

e. The trials and afflictions and chastening in this life are designed to purify us along the way and enable us to be partakers of His holiness—but we are NOT being made meet for our eternal inheritance. We already have been made meet! Rest in that fact… We have already been translated into the kingdom of His dear Son… and raised into heavenly places in Christ. Trust God.

6. This exalted position carries with it some responsibilities!

a. Eph. 5:8 – we have been taken out of darkness and are now children of light. WALK as children of light!

b. We are not to seek to be delivered. We are to walk and behave and act as if we ARE delivered… because we are!

c. I Thess. 2:12 – That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

d. Our position and our calling should affect our walk! All this talk about positional truth isn’t just head knowledge… it isn’t merely an academic pursuit. It should be exceedingly practical too!


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