“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:13-14 (ESV)
Delivered from Darkness
People in the domain of darkness are dead in trespasses and sin, living in the passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind, children of wrath, and following the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible clearly states in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that these unrighteous people “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” They will remain in the domain of darkness mentioned in Colossians 1:13.
But Almighty God delivers people for His own possession out of the domain of darkness, not based on any merit or good deed those people can do. What unrighteous person dead in sin and living for himself can merit any favor from a Holy God? Deliverance from the domain of darkness is not earned; notice how the verse begins by saying “He has delivered us from…” Deliverance from the domain of darkness is God’s initiative and work given to undeserving people.
After listing specific examples of unrighteous people and stating that such people will not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Corinthians 6 states “And such were some of you.” If you are a child of God, you were once an unrighteous person living in the domain of darkness – dead in your sins – but now you are an undeserving recipient of God’s gracious deliverance out of such a place.
Into the Kingdom
Not only has God delivered you from the domain of darkness, but He has “transferred [you] to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son, is the sovereign ruler over this kingdom and His sacrifice on the cross is the means by which you were brought into the kingdom. He satisfied the wrath of God so that you could be redeemed and forgiven of your sins. A child of God belongs in the kingdom through the merit of Jesus Christ and through Him only.
What is the Kingdom?
In the Old Testament the Jews were promised a literal kingdom, a kingdom the coming Messiah would rule over. But when Jesus entered the scene, He brought a new dimension to the idea of the kingdom. The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom would come; Jesus answered that it was already in their midst (Luke 17:21). He never negated the promise of a coming, literal kingdom; instead, He taught that the kingdom would first be in the hearts of all those who believed in Him.
There is a literal kingdom coming when Jesus will physically rule on this earth, but as the verse in Colossians says, Christians have already been transferred to His kingdom. Even though the earthly kingdom is still to come, Jesus is already Lord over His kingdom and you are counted as one of His own. You have been redeemed and forgiven of your sins. He has snatched you out for Himself, for a purpose.
A Kingdom Citizen on Mission
If you have been redeemed from the domain of darkness, forgiven of your sins, and transferred into His kingdom, what does this mean?
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself… Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us…” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (ESV)
To be transferred into God’s kingdom means you become an ambassador for God. You have the amazing privilege of joining God in reconciling the world to Him. It is an incredible thing that God delivered you from the domain of darkness and brought you into His kingdom. Now you get to go to others who are still living in the domain of darkness and tell them about God’s kingdom, about redemption and forgiveness of sins, of being reconciled with the One who created them.
This month we’ve looked at how you have been given a new birth, hope, worldview/outlook, way to approach God, ministry, calling, worship, and love. You are equipped for this new life and task set before you. God did not snatch you out of darkness for your sake. You have been given all these gifts not because you deserve them, but so you can go and share with other people what God has done for you.
Being transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of God’s Son changes everything; everything is new and different and comes with great responsibility. If you have been redeemed and are in God’s kingdom, you are to be an ambassador for Christ and invite other people into the kingdom. Who are you going to tell?
~Guest Author Rachel Williams~