Summary: Message 3 in our exposition of Colossians focusing on our great redemption in Jesus.
Chico Alliance Church
“Redeemed How I Love to Proclaim It”
Not many of us have experienced actual imprisonment. We can only imagine what it might be like. There are Christians all over the world experiencing such punishment even as we meet this morning. There are more Christians being tortured and imprisoned for their faith in our time than were persecuted before our time.
Imprisonment comes in all many different categories.
Prisoners of war Prisoners of faith Slavery Prisoners of politics Prisoners of drugs and alcohol Prisoners of sex and pornography Prisoners of demonic authority Prisoners of sin
Wherever you have authorities, you have the possibility of imprisonment and captivity. Everyone born since Adam was born in slavery. We were all born under the authority of darkness. Scripture describes this woeful condition in many places and many ways.
Dead in trespasses and sins
Slaves of sin
Having no hope and without God in the world
Slaves to those who were not gods
Children of the devil
The defining term given to the authority holding us captive is darkness. No light, no truth, no freedom, and no ability to see the things of God. All of us were born under this kind of authority. We were subject to an evil kingdom, the kingdom of darkness. It is a kingdom that has a king, and army, a purpose, a culture. Eph 6 outlines the authority structure.
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Under the authority of the prince of darkness, there is no freedom.
We cannot exercise free choice.
He blinds our eyes and binds our life.
He enslaves us to things that destroy our soul.
He encourages destructive thinking and behavior.
He continues to energize us to engage in activities that further his evil kingdom.
He keeps us enslaved to self-centered living.
He continually opposes the purpose and person on God.
The result of citizenship in this kingdom and consequences of allegiance to the prince of darkness is eternal separation from the God who made us. Although in the real world there is always a possibility for escape.
Prisoners have done it for centuries. Without outside help there is no escape from the authority of darkness. We were slaves of a kingdom far more powerful than any earthly kingdom. Without a special rescue from someone more powerful than us, there is no hope.
What did God do to rescue us from this hopeless bondage? What we study today is a truth that should continually be in the forefront of our thoughts. If we do not fully appreciate the gravity of our condition from which the Father lovingly rescued us, we will not be able to fully appreciate the glory of our current citizenship. It is my hope that today will help to bring a greater appreciation.
I. Paul exhibits effective prayer
A. Paul offers thanksgiving to the Father
1. Focus of thanksgiving – the Father
2. Frequency – continual
3. Factor (occasion) of thanksgiving – Belief of the Colossians
B. Paul offers petition for the Colossians
1. The Petition – may they be filled with a knowledge of God’s will
2. The Product – a worthy walk
3. The Power – His glorious might
4. The Purpose – attain steadfastness and patience
5. The motivation
II. The Father’s glorious transfer program
A. The Rescue
Every person born was borne in Adam’s family subject to the prince of the power of the air. Ephesians 2 makes the situation abundantly clear.
Life in the kingdom of Satan is a hopeless life. It is filled with bondage. It is filled with ambition, anger.
James 3:13-16 describes the nature of life in this kingdom.
Galatians 5:19-22 talks about the characteristics of a system driven by Satan.
Apart from God’s supernatural intervention, this is the kingdom we would continue to serve. The world for rescue used here in this passage is conveys the idea of to guard, ward off, deliver, draw near. It is used in a past sense, a present sense and a future sense. Here Paul refers to a past settled event accomplished by the Father. He not only qualified us to share in the inheritance, but he organized a dynamic rescue operation. We are intrigued by military operations that organize daring rescues in hostile territory.
God rescued us. God drew us out of the kingdom of darkness. In fact, we would not have come to Him were it not for the active drawing work of the Father.
"No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:44
Please do not take for granted your rescue from Satan’s kingdom ever become something you take for granted. The prince of this world has already been judged and those who follow him and belong to his kingdom (no matter how good they live or act) will come under God’s judgement. Citizen’s die in war because the leaders are under attack. Those citizens of hell are enemies of God. James makes it clear there is no middle ground in God’s economy.