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Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (NKJ)
Many children are born from the physical expression of love between their parents, often planned, and perhaps as often, not planned. The Bible teaches in Colossians 1:13 that Jesus Christ is the Son of his Father’s love. God in his love planned his Son from all eternity past, since they both co-exist eternally, along with the Holy Spirit:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Colossians 1:15-17 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
God’s love for Christ his Son and for the humanity he created in the world surrounds and lives within the incarnation of Christ. Both the Father’s love for his Son, his beloved Son, and his love for people are the fountainhead, the source, the driving motivation of the incarnation, the divine humanity of Christ on earth. Christ is the full expression of his Father’s love. The love of the Father birthed the Son, and Christ is “the Son of his [the Father’s] love,” both in eternity past and in the incarnation.
First, Christ is the outspoken word which reveals the Father’s nature and character of love.
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave…
his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 8:39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hebrews 1:3a He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,
Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love
Second, Christ is the beloved Son, the one whom his Father loves.
Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Mark 9:7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
Where Does This Leave Us?
Believers are in Christ, in the Beloved.
1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
John 17:23 I in them and you in me– that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.
Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.
Everything concerning us is motivated and dominated by God’s love.
Romans 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 8:38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
What difference does this make?
The difference is that we once lived under the authority of the darkness, and God transferred us into a different kingdom, a different realm of reality, a kingdom of light in which Christ rules, that very Christ who is the Son of the Father’s love. Chains are broken, bondages are collapsed, the prisoners are free. We no longer owe allegiance to what causes our own destruction, and we have one fighting for us who is greater than death and darkness itself. God is love! And he is our God.
Love rules for us, within us, and through us. Love has become the new expression and protection of our being. We are safe at last. We no longer need to worry, nor to plan out our own futures. Jesus Christ reigns in our hearts and lives. Love rules our day. The one who is stronger than everything else in the universe claims us as his own. We are his. We can live our lives without fear. We can turn and face our enemies and in the name of Jesus Christ the King command them to leave. And at the end of the day, a great big no matter what, we are loved in Christ.
What is the Gospel? It’s the Good News of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
That is the Gospel in a nutshell.
Also: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.” from Luke 24:46-48
Here is the Gospel from Isaiah. Note how much the same it is! Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
The phrase from Isaiah, “…so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he,” is (mini-Colossians 1:5-6).
In 1 John 5:11 (see the 2nd verse Above) “testimony” is the same word as “witness” in Isaiah. A witness is one that gives testimony. John tells us that the testimony is that God has given us eternal life in Jesus the Son of God. Jesus Christ himself IS the basic Gospel message. Part and parcel of Christ is the fact that as Savior he died on the cross for our sins. When we receive the testimony of Christ, it is with the realization that we are sinners who need to be cleansed, and that cleansing Christ provides. No one else does this.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 is also the Gospel. God-giving-his-Son means that God gave him to incarnation and to death and resurrection on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.
MY POINT: So often when we hear evangelists we hear a focus on ourselves and our sins. This (according to my reading of Scripture) is NOT the focus of the Gospel. The focus is Jesus Christ and who HE is. Presenting Christ–a God who loves us and is for us is tremendously joyful Good News! It is easy to present Christ this way: “Hey, did you know that God loves you?”
As it turns out, the only people who will receive this news are the lowly in heart, those who need a Savior, those who are aware of their sins. Christ IS Savior. What he did as Savior is die on the cross for our sins.
The Good News is that I have eternal life in Christ. That’s what I want to share, because our world is ruled and dominated by death in all its many forms. That my sins are forgiven, is also great news, because my sins are Death. Christ’s defeat of death is the Good News! His love for me is Good News! In order to make those things happen, Christ died on the cross and rose again. Christ and the cross are inseparable. And I do believe that many if not most sinners need to hear about the LOVE of God in Christ before any focus or attention is given to their own sins. It’s about Christ–it’s not mainly about my sin.
May God bless us all richly on Good Friday and on Easter.
I ran into this verse the other day, “”No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
Yes, I have come to Christ, although many times and many days I do not feel as though I am a Christian. Other times, I feel that I am such a bad person that I don’t know how God could possibly love me, and…am I really a Christian after all? This verse tackles those kinds of doubts with complete assurance in Christ.
Starting Point: Have I come to Christ? Yes, I have; it is a fact of my personal history that at a certain time and place I received Christ into my heart. And, Christ is my witness, because he was there.
Next, the verse tells me that I could not have received Christ in my heart on that occasion unless the Father had drawn me. Therefore, knowing that at one time in my life I did go to Christ and I did receive him, I know that the Father himself has drawn me.
We think of drawing as the physical or spiritual action of pulling someone towards themself. That is what the dictionary tells us for this verse. But on this occasion, I want to think of “drawing” as the homonym definition of drawing with a pencil on paper.
God created me; therefore, he did have a plan or design. And he fashioned me according to his design. Genesis tells us that God created us in his own image. Therefore, God gave me a shape and form that functions a bit like predestination. For example, if I were a potter and I threw a clay pitcher, it would be highly unlikely that my pitcher would spend its life being used as a plate. A life of pouring water–yes, but a life of carrying people around on its back as a donkey would–no.
So God drew me–he designed me–in a certain way, so that at the right moment in my life, when he was ready to draw me in the sense of pulling me towards himself, I was ready to be pulled. The verse tells me that my coming to Christ is only because God drew me in.
Well, proceeding, if my salvation is utterly dependent upon God from start to finish, then I know that I am secure, because God is God. He takes good care of his “stuff.” I am “stuff” that belongs to God, and I know that he will neither lose me, nor break me, nor toss me on the junk heap, nor abandon or otherwise destroy me. I belong to God, and he takes the best of care of what belongs to himself. So, my salvation is safe and secure in his hands.
The rest of the verse bears this out, because Christ promises to raise me up on the last day. And we all know that Jesus doesn’t lie.
I spoke here from my own point of view, and what I said is true for all Christians. May this verse bless and encourage you on what can at times be a difficult path. Know that you are safe and secure in the most capable hands of Father and Son.
Blessings of reassurance, joy, and peace!