Lesson 5


Paul's Letter to the Colossians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; 1:14 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins;


Today's Lesson 

Paul had greeted the believers at Colossae and begun the thanksgiving portion of this letter with a prayer for their spiritual development. He prayed that they should increase in the knowledge of the will of God and that they should bear fruit through good works. He praised Epapharus for bringing them the gospel of truth and he told them that this gospel was spreading all over the world just as it has at Colossae. He asked them to walk worthily of the Lord and to use the strength that God would provide them. Finally, yesterday we read that they should give thanks because God has brought them out of darkness and into the kingdom of His Son.

 

Here in verse 13 Paul arrives at the subject he has been working towards. The result is a powerful hymn to the Son of God that is second to none in the rest of written scripture. Each phrase is filled with significance. Each idea is expressed elsewhere in scripture, but there is no more condensed passage expressing the importance of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

"In whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins…" The concept of redemption is one of the recurring themes of New Testament theology. The concept goes back to the idea of buying a slave with the expressed will of setting that person free. People that accrued significant debts that they could not pay were imprisoned and enslaved. They were forced to either work off their debts or have someone pay their debts for them, usually a family member. Redemption was the paying of someone's debts in order to free them.

 

Jesus redeemed us because we were enslaved to sin and death. We had sold ourselves as slaves to sin. We fool ourselves believing that we can master sin and use it to our own ends, but from the very beginning we are at its mercy. The penalty for sin is death. Jesus Christ willingly paid the debt that we owed. He offers redemption to all that will accept it. God is willing to set us free from sin and death on the basis of the sacrifice of the life of Jesus Christ.

 

The term of our redemption is the forgiveness of our sins. God does not forgive some of our sins. When a debtor was enslaved, payment of some of their debt did not free them. The entire debt must be paid. Scripture is clear. On the cross, Jesus of Nazareth paid the entire debt of sin for you and I: past, present and future. No sin will be forgiven on any basis other than the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. When God offers redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ, we can be assured that this offer is complete. Not only are we freed from sin and death, we are adopted into the family of God.

 

The forgiveness of sins does not mean that we will never experience the sense of sin in our lives again. After all, we are also promised that we have been set free from death and yet believers have been experiencing physical death for almost two thousand years. Our freedom from sin and death must be accepted on the basis of faith. God has revealed to you and I that we have forgiveness of sin just as He has revealed that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. It is on the basis of a decision of the will that we either accept the revelation of God or whether we will reject that revelation.

 

God declares that you are free from sin and death. Do you believe Him? Are you willing to walk by faith every day in that belief? Are you willing to no longer be a slave to sin ever again?

 

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