December 29 in Christmas

(If this day occurs on the first Sunday after Christmas,

please refer to that devotion instead.)

Colossians 1:1-14

Having Been Transferred

Throughout the twelve days of Christmas, when we are not taking up special days as we did yesterday, we shall take up Paul’s letter to the Church at Colossae.  Like most of Paul’s letters, Colossians begins with substantial doctrinal content and ends with practical advice.

Paul begins with his pedigree.  Educated at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), a Pharisee of Pharisees, Paul could boast an impressive resume.  But these things now meant nothing to him compared to knowing Christ (Philippians 3:4-11).  So when he recites his qualifications to the churches to whom he writes, he simply says, “an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God.”  Nothing more need be said.  These men are first in the Church order (Ephesians 4:11), eye-witnesses of our Lord’s resurrection, especially commissioned by him, and enabled by the Holy Spirit to pen what we know today as much of the New Testament, the inspired word of God.  And those who would drive a wedge between our Lord and his Apostles do so to their own peril.  They do so because they read something in Paul’s writings that conflicts with their own sinful nature and behaviors.  It is easier to dismiss the Apostle (and, thus, Holy Scripture) than to repent of sin.  But these men filled out what we call the gospel of Jesus Christ after our Lord’s ascension, and we may in no way add to or take away from their writings thinking that somehow we know better when, indeed, we know nothing as we ought.

I now have little space to take up our passage but I had to address what is a common tool of Satan in our day; that is, picking and choosing from God’s holy word so that I may live my life according to my own desires.  I will now focus on vv. 11-14, specifically, “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.”  This verse tells us two things: first, that we were in the realm of darkness; and, second, that we are now in the kingdom of His Son.  Moreover, this is God’s doing who has so qualified us to be in His kingdom.  Ephesians 5:8 tells us: “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light.”  The difference between receiving Christ as Savior and Lord is the difference between light and darkness, life and death, heaven and hell.  It is this present reality that is ours now and the future hope of our inheritance afterwards that swells our hearts with love for “all the saints.”  So the Father has literally picked us up from the kingdom of darkness and put us down in the kingdom of His beloved Son.  And He inspired Paul to write that!

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