Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The In Between

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:14

"To draw to one's self, to rescue, to deliver" ( on Col. 1:14). The word "rescued" in this verse tells us much more than that the Christian is delivered from the dominion and power of sin in her life. It tells us that she is delivered for nearness to the Lord. God's rescue plan for us in Jesus is all about drawing us to Himself. Verse 14 goes on to make this abundantly clear in that it next says that we have not only been rescued from the dominion of darkness but God also brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. The word "brought" has among its meanings "to remove from one place to another, to depart from life, to die." This is a very interesting word choice because the Christian's transfer from the life of sin to the kingdom of God is a final one. It involves us taking up our crosses and dying to ourselves daily (Luke 9:23). There is no in between when it comes to the Christian life. You are either still in the dominion of darkness or you are a member of the kingdom of the Son.

Yet, as I look around I see so many Christians who appear to be in between. Their lives reflect the glory of the Lord...a little. They obey God's commands...when they want to. They bear fruit and are growing in the Lord... well, they're better than most people anyway. This is not the full measure of the Christian life! Either these men and women have not entered the kingdom of God at all and they simply play at being a Christian, or (shame upon shame!) though delivered from the dominion of darkness they have not yet been delivered from their love for it and they play at being an unbeliever. Whichever explanation fits their situation, they should reconsider the gospel. 

In verse six of this chapter the Bible says, "In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace." The gospel bears fruit and grows us up in the Lord. Paul says the gospel has done this all over the world. It's what the gospel is doing in the Colossians' lives. It is what the gospel continues to do today. If you are merely playing at being a Christian the gospel of Jesus' death is what you need to hear! If you are a Christian who is playing at being an unbeliever then you also need to hear the gospel. You need to be reminded of the greatness of the gift you have been given to be allowed into the kingdom of the Son, so that you will not despise the gift any longer. So ask yourself today...have I left the dominion of darkness behind? Is the gospel bearing fruit in me? Am I growing nearer to the Lord? Do I need to be reminded of how amazing the gift I have been given in Jesus is so that I will walk in a manner worthy of it?

For further reading....
The Gospel in a nutshellIf you are unfamiliar with what the gospel is, here it is in a shortened form. We are all sinners. Every one of us has sinned against God. We have rejected His way and gone our own way. We have all rebelled against the one true King. Our sin deserves punishment. In fact, so great a sin against so great a God deserves Hell. But God, because of His great love for us, wanted to offer us forgiving grace. For God to be just, our sin had to be punished though. So God in His wisdom took the punishment for our sin on Himself in Jesus. Jesus died to pay the price for your sins and mine and then He rose from the dead beating the power of sin over us. He ascended into heaven to prepare a place for those who believe in Him. So that now those who place their faith in Him can be forgiven and spend eternity in Heaven with their Savior. If you would like to do that today, here is what you need to do.

  • A- Admit that you are a sinner and in need of God's grace (Romans 3:10 and 3:23).
  • B- Believe that Jesus is God's Son, that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin, and that He was raised from the dead (Romans 6:23 and 5:8).
  • C- Confess Jesus as Lord of your life. Turn from sin (from living life your way) and commit to live your life for God (Romans 10:9).

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