Joyous Thanksgiving for a Dramatic Rescue
Opening illustration – a dramatic rescue and “joyous thanksgiving” for it
· v.10 “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects” is followed by four phrases that give specific ways that we can walk worthy of the Lord and please Him.
1. Bear fruit in every good work
2. Increase in the knowledge of God (or possibly grow by the knowledge of God)
3. Be strengthened with his power – fascinating that he doesn’t say “to work miracles” – but be strengthened with mighty power to have steadfastness and patience (longsuffering, the word for patience with annoying and frustrating people).
4. Joyously giving thanks to the Father
I. The need for the rescue
Why should we joyously give thanks to the Father? Because there has been a dramatic rescue. Look with me at these phrases, and look at our condition before this rescue.
1. “who has qualified us to share in the inheritance” – we were not qualified for any heavenly inheritance; no man in himself is ever qualified to receive anything from God
2. “to share in the inheritance of the saints” – we were not saints, we were not “holy ones;” we were unholy
3. “He delivered us from the domain of darkness” – this word “domain” does not mean kingdom in the sense of a territory (like, we were in one kingdom and he moved us to another); it means “authority” or “power”; we were under the power of darkness. Light represents truth. Darkness represents sin and falsehood. In Romans he said sin was your master. You were under the authority of sin. And that is exactly what “authority of darkness” means here. Because we are all born sinners and cannot forgive that sin or pay for that sin ourselves, sin has the victory over all of us.
4. “in whom we have redemption” – we will talk about this in a few minutes, but the reason we had to be redeemed was that we were slaves to sin; in bondage
5. “the forgiveness of sins” – our sins were not forgiven, we faced the full penalty for them (2:14 the certificate of debt because of our sins was hostile to us; it was our enemy; and we could not get away from it)
II. The method of rescue
What method was used to rescue us from our condition? Christ was the method. It says that in Christ we have redemption:
redemption = freedom from something because a price has been paid
· when you buy a candy bar from the store, you redeem it – it was under the authority of that store, but because you paid the appropriate price it goes from the store’s authority to your authority. It was redeemed.
· If you park your car where you are not supposed to, it might get towed to a police department holding area. To redeem your car you have to go pay a price. Once you have paid the price your car is free from the authority of the police department and it is once again under your authority. It goes from the domain of the police to the domain of you, because you the paid the appropriate price.
· The Colossians would have seen this word and thought of slavery. If a slave was redeemed, he was freed from the authority of his master because someone paid a price to free him.
· We have been redeemed. Remember that because all humans are sinners, we are all under the “authority of darkness.” Sin is our authority. We are slaves to sin.
· But you were redeemed: freed from slavery to sin by the payment of a price
I Pet. 1:18-19
· Redemption became possible when the price was paid to take care of your sins. That is what had to happen. Your sins had to be taken care of. When Jesus paid the price that forgave your sin, the authority of darkness was gone. Satan’s power was immediately broken. You were transferred from sin’s authority to the authority of Christ in a moment.
(side note: can you see why Paul says in Romans 6 “why do you keep letting sin tell you what to do? It doesn’t have any authority over you any more! Stop letting it run your life!”)
· You could not pay the price. Your blood wasn’t good enough to set you free. You could have died and it would not have been a sufficient price to save you from the authority of sin. If Christ had not paid the price with his death, we would all be hopeless. So it was a dramatic rescue because we couldn’t do anything about the sin problem. But God’s method worked perfectly – His method was Jesus Christ.
Transition: Now the text will tell us the result of this dramatic rescue. But I want to make sure we understand that while Christ’s death made this result possible for all people, it is not actual for all people until they repent of their sin and put their only trust in Christ for forgiveness. In other words,
I am a sinner, like all humans. I have done things that were not the things God wanted me to do. I have chosen to run my life way may instead of His way many times. And that is sin.
The penalty for my sins is separation from God forever in Hell. That is what I deserve for my sin.
I cannot save myself from my sins. Now good works, no religion, nothing I can do will save myself.
Only Jesus’ death on the cross can forgive my sins. But I must do two things. I must repent of my sin – realize that is an offense to God and purpose to turn away from it. I must trust in Christ alone. Tell Jesus that He is my only hope for forgiveness and salvation.
Only then do the results of this rescue, which are possible for all men, become actual for me.
III. The result of the rescue
1. We are now qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints
God makes us qualified for a heavenly inheritance. What are we inheriting? Rom. 8:16-17 We are children of God. We are in Christ, brought into union with Him. And so we are heirs with Christ of whatever Christ inherits. Christ gets everything! God exalts Christ over all things, and you are a joint heir with Christ. What does that mean? I don’t know, but it’s going to be good!
2. He made us saints – holy ones. Today our sins are legally forgiven, and when we get to heaven sin will be completely removed us. We will truly be holy ones.
3. He transferred us into the kingdom of his Son. Paul uses a different word here but both words mean the same basic thing: power, rule, or authority. We use the word “jurisdiction” today. You are now under the authority, the jurisdiction of Christ. Romans 6:19 you used to submit yourself as a slave to sin; now “present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.” Christ is now master; He is now king. Bow your knee to Christ and His reign in your life. Submit your desires to righteousness and sanctification and Christlikeness. He is in charge of your life now.
4. Redemption: the price has been paid, you are free from sins authority and free to submit to Christ now.
5. Forgiveness of sins. Our biggest problem – forgiveness of our sins – has been dealt with. The certificate of debt has been nailed to the cross. Your sins have been legally dealt with and you are innocent because of Christ.
For the final result, we need to go back up to the last word of verse 11 and the first part of verse 12 “joyously giving thanks to the Father.” All of those other results God did. Here is what you can do. We saw one thing already - you submit yourself to the authority of Christ in your life. And you joyously give thanks to God for your rescue.
Now let’s can do it together. Take your worship guide, and as we sing songs of praise for our redemption, let your heart joyously praise God for all that He has done for you in Christ.