Colossians 1:13
He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son,
Translation into Christ's KingdomT. Croskery Colossians 1:13
Sanctified KnowledgeS. Charnock.Colossians 1:9-14
Spiritual KnowledgeG. S. Bowes.Colossians 1:9-14
The Apostolic PrayerU. R. Thomas.Colossians 1:9-14
The Apostolic PrayerU.R. Thomas Colossians 1:9-14
The Best KnowledgeJ. Spencer.Colossians 1:9-14
The Kingdom of God's Dear SonR.M. Edgar Colossians 1:9-14
The Knowledge of the Divine WillW. B. Pope, D. D.Colossians 1:9-14
The Power of Unceasing PrayerColossians 1:9-14
Prayer Leading Up to the Person of ChristR. Finlayson Colossians 1:9-23
Meetness for HeavenO. Winslow, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
Meetness for HeavenW. Baxendale.Colossians 1:12-14
Meetness for the InheritanceC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 1:12-14
Meetness for the Inheritance of the Saints in LightW. A. Butler, M. A.Colossians 1:12-14
Meetness for the Saintly InheritanceG. Barlow.Colossians 1:12-14
The Father's Gift Through the SonA. Maclaren, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
The InheritanceT. Guthrie, D. D., W. Birch.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance not the Reward of MeritW. Birch.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance of LightPaxton Hood.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance of the FaithfulJ. Morison, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance of the SaintsW. Jay.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance of the SaintsR. Watson.Colossians 1:12-14
The Joy of LightH. J. W. Buxton, M. A.Colossians 1:12-14
The Love of the FatherE.S. Prout Colossians 1:12-14
The Saints in LightH. Melvill, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
Unmeetness for the InheritanceT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
What is InheritanceT. Guthrie.Colossians 1:12-14
God is the DelivererJ. L. Nye.Colossians 1:13-14
His Dear SonN. Byfield.Colossians 1:13-14
RedemptionBp. Davenant.Colossians 1:13-14
Religion a Great ChangeArvine.Colossians 1:13-14
The Duty of Thankfulness for the DeliveranceP. Bayne, B. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The Great Moral TranslationG. Barlow.Colossians 1:13-14
The Great Spiritual ChangeJ. Spence, D. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The Kingdom of ChristT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The Power of DarknessT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The TranslationT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The Unconsciousness of the Sinner Under the Mower of DarknessP. Bayne, B. D.Colossians 1:13-14
Translated UsN. Byfield.Colossians 1:13-14

The apostle now proceeds to show how the Father makes us meet for the inheritance of saints. "Who delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love."

I. THE ORIGINAL CONDITION OF ALL MEN. They are under "the power of darkness."

1. Consider the meaning of this darkness. There is a darkness that is seasonable; which, in the economy of nature, brings rest and recovery to man. This darkness is far different.

(1) It is the darkness of ignorance apart from "the light of life" (John 8:12; Ephesians 5:13).

(2) It is the darkness of sin (Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 3:14), blinding men against the truth.

(3) It is the darkness of misery (Isaiah 8:22).

(4) It is the darkness of death (Psalm 88:12).

(5) It is the darkness of hell - " utter darkness."

2.. It is darkness organized for the ruin of men. It is "the power of darkness" - an arbitrary, usurped power, and not "a true kingdom." The prince of darkness is at the head of this dreary realm and strives to keep all his slaves in darkness, lest "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus should shine into them" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

II. THE RESCUE FROM THIS POWER OF DARKNESS. "Who delivered us." None but God can do this work. The strong man will keep his own till the stronger come (Luke 11:22). He delivers us in our effectual calling.

1. He enlightens our minds in the knowledge of Christ, who is "the trite Light." (John 8:12.)

2. He persuades and enables us to embrace Christ as offered in the gospel. (John 6:44; Philippians 2:13.)

3. He renews our wills and causes as to "walk in the light as he is in the light." (1 John 1:7.)

4.. He clothes us "with the armour of light." (Romans 13:12.)

III. THE NEW KINGDOM OF THE RESCUED CAPTIVES AND ITS NEW RELATIONS, "And translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love." The word usually suggests the transplanting of races and the settlement of them in a new territory.

1. The significance of the translation.

(1) It implies separation

(a) from the world,

(b) from sin,

(c) from the devil. "Go out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Corinthians 6:17).

(2) It implies the assumption of entirely new relations. The believer is a member of a new society - " the kingdom of grace;" is "a fellow-citizen with the saints;" is heir of the kingdom of glory. He has a new name, new hopes, new friends, and works for a new heaven.

2. The new kingdom of the saints. "The kingdom of the Son of his love."

(1) It is not the kingdom of inferior angels, as errorists might fancy (Colossians 2:8), but that of God's own Son.

(2) It is a kingdom already in existence.

(3) It is a kingdom that cannot be shaken like the kingdoms of earth (Hebrews 12:28).

(4) It is a kingdom that will endure to the end (Luke 1:33).

(5) It is a kingdom in which the number of the possessors will not diminish the blessings enjoyed by each.

(6) It is a kingdom in which Christ now reigns by his Word and Spirit; the saints rejoicing to have him reigning over them.

(7) All the subjects of this kingdom are kings (Revelation 1:6). - T. C.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.

1. The unrenewed are in a realm of moral darkness.(1) Darkness denotes ignorance — moral blindness about the great mysteries of being, of sin and suffering, the deep significance of life. It is possible to know much about religion, to hold religious ideas at second hand; yet be totally in the dark as to the experience of these ideas.(2) Darkness denotes danger and misery.

2. In this realm the unrenewed are held in captivity.

3. From this realm God graciously liberates. "Who hath delivered us."(1) For the slaves of sin there is no help but in God. It is the nature of sin to incapacitate its victim for self-enfranchisement. He is unwilling to be free.(2) The word "deliver" means to snatch, or rescue from danger, even though the person seized may at first be unwilling to escape, as Lot from Sodom. God does not force the human will.(3) Our enfranchisement may be painful.


1. We are transferred to a kingdom. "Hath translated us into the kingdom." Power detains captives; a kingdom fosters willing citizens. Tyranny has no law but the will of a despot; a kingdom implies good government, based on law. The kingdom of God has an earthly and heavenly aspect, both of which are governed by one and the same sceptre. It resembles a city divided by a river, but both parts controlled by the same municipal authority, and having one common franchise. There is no middle state between the power of darkness and the kingdom of grace: all who breathe are either in the one or the other.

2. We are placed under the rule of a beneficent and glorious King. "The Son of His love." The manifestation of Christ is the manifestation of Divine love (1 John 4:9). The kingdom into which believers are translated is founded on love: its entire government is carried on by love. The acts of suffering and death, by which Christ won his kingly dignity, were revelations of love. Under such a monarch we are sure of protection, guidance, support, and final victory.


1. The means. "Through His blood."

2. The effects.

3. The Author.

(G. Barlow.)


1. Is from the power of darkness. Darkness is thus personified as a monarch, not a mere force. Under this the Colossians were living till they received the gospel. Neither the light of their Gentile philosophy nor the fitful course of their culture could rescue them. The very light that was in them was darkness. This is the condition of all men naturally. Darkness is —(1) Ignorance. Men are ignorant of God and themselves (1 Corinthians 2:14). They may learn lessons of God's power and wisdom in creation, admire the literature and poetry of revelation, and believe in a future state; but they have no true knowledge of their moral condition, of God as their Father, Christ as their Saviour, or of the blessedness of holiness.(2) It leads to error. In the absence of light the traveller mistakes his way. Men think they are in the road to heaven as they wander up and down the bye-paths of religious formality, of their own resolutions, or of some superstition. Deluded by this darkness they make no effort to live for God and work out their own salvation.(3) Such a condition must be one of danger. The belated traveller cannot distinguish friend from foe, land from water. Unconscious of peril, and perhaps thinking of home, he draws near a precipice, falls over and is killed.(4) Darkness promotes discomfort and fear. There is a gloomy uncertainty and dread of the future, a bondage of the soul through the fear of death. He cannot be happy who knows not God as his Friend, and has no meetness for the future.

2. The process of deliverance.(1) It may involve not a little that is painful. To a man soundly asleep the sudden cry of "fire" is not welcome. So this deliverance involves a distressing inward struggle and the abandonment of many a pleasure.(2) Whither is the delivered soul brought? He is not rescued and left to wander in search of a home, but has a title and guidance to the kingdom of God's Son.(a) This kingdom is so called because it belongs to Him by right, who founded, formed, and rules over it.(b) Something of its character may be learned from His: the Son of God's love (John 3:35). Who can tell the peace and blessedness of those subjects on whom God's boundless love rests.

3. This deliverance is the most important and wonderful event in a man's history. It is a present privilege and prepares for, and is a pledge of the future inheritance.

4. It is exclusively the work of God.


1. A putting forth of power on the part of the deliverer manifested by the mediation of Christ. Although the words, "through His blood," are not found in the earlier MSS., and may have been borrowed from Ephesians 1:7; yet the text involves their meaning. Men are sold under sin and condemned; from this state deliverance comes by redemption; redemption implies a price paid; the ransom is the precious blood of Christ. In His Cross there was a vindication of God's righteousness and power to rescue from sin (1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:14; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 5:2).

2. This redemption is "in Christ." His blood was the ransom, but He is the Redeemer, and it is only in living union with Him that we can receive its blessing. Just as we rest and walk in Him have we evidence that we are amongst the redeemed.

3. It is easy to see how this redemption must, in effect, be the raising of the soul to obedience and purity (2 Corinthians 5:17). The blessing character istic of redemption: forgiveness. This —

(1)is its first blessing (Romans 5:1).

(2)Its most urgent and momentous blessing.

(3)The most direct, flowing immediately from Christ and reaching us directly through His expiation.

(4)The blessing which opens the way for all others.

(J. Spence, D. D.)

I. WHO? The Father. And no one else ought to, or could, deliver man, but God.

1. None other ought, because (as observes) "by this act he would forcibly take away from the Creator His own servant." For so great is this benefit of deliverance, that it binds us more than the benefit of creation.

2. But neither could any other deliver. For he must necessarily be stronger than the devil who could wrest his prey from him (Matthew 12:29). But who could overcome and bind this prince of darkness except the mighty God alone? It was He, therefore, who plucked us from him.

II. WHOM, or what sort of persons God delivered? And this consideration may be twofold.

1. Of those who were to be delivered. Previous to our deliverance we were not only diseased and weak, but opposed to our own deliverance (Romans 5.).(1) Observe the immeasurable love of God, who would deliver such persons: for no one cares to redeem a thing of no value.(2) The infinite power of God who delivered man in spite of the devil.

2. As to those who have been delivered; after that they are faithful and holy, who before were rebels and unholy. "Us" refers to verses 4-6. Hence it is manifest —(1) The dreams of carnal men of deliverance are vain. The Israelites, while serving Pharaoh and lusting after the fleshpots, were not in the enjoyment of liberty; so Christians while obeying the devil and delighting in sin are not delivered.(2) Hence, also, we infer for the consolation of the godly that they alone are free; the ungodly, although they glitter in the eyes of men, are slaves.

III. FROM WHAT? The power of darkness.

1. From the power of the devil who is the prince of darkness. We all are born under his kingdom, so that he worketh in us according to his own will. But this prince of darkness is bruised under the feet of the faithful (Romans 16:20), to whom, by the Spirit of God, new strength is administered to trample upon this unclean spirit.

2. From the power of sin, which hath blinded the understanding, corrupted the will, and placed us in a condition of darkness both as to knowledge and to spiritual and saving practice (Ephesians 5:8; John 1:5; John 3:19). Now from this darkness God has rescued us. He pours in the light of faith and imparts the Spirit of holiness; which blessings being bestowed, this power and dominion of sin is dissolved (Romans 6:14).

3. From the power of hell, i.e., from the miseries and calamities which arise from the guilt of reigning sin. From the power of this they are delivered by the Divine mercy (Romans 8:1). Observe —(1) For instruction. The whole world is involved in darkness under the devil, neither is there a spark of saving light before deliver ance; for we are in "the power of darkness."(2) For caution. The redeemed ought to have no fellowship with the works of darkness; for they are rescued from the power of the devil and of sin, and, therefore, by serving these they show them selves to be deserters (Romans 13:12).(3) For consolation. Although the godly are often troubled yet they are delivered from a misery compared with which all external evils are trifling.


1. The nature of the translation.(1) The word is borrowed from those who plant colonies and compel persons to migrate to inhabit some new region. So God has translated us from the kingdom of darkness, which is the native soil of us all.(2) How hath He translated us? We may under stand that from the context. God translates us when He illuminates our hearts by pouring into them faith, when He changes our will by imparting grace; for, being enlightened and sanctified, a man is by that very act translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His Son; because He cannot possibly be at the same time a citizen of two cities which observe contrary laws. Here observe, To be delivered it is not enough that we be called to this kingdom, and admonished to desert that other.(3) Therefore He is to be regarded with the highest honour, for so colonies are accustomed to regard their founder.

2. What is intended by this word kingdom? The Kingdom of God, Christ, heaven.(1) Is put for the state of .glory (Matthew 6:33; 1 Corinthians 6:9). This the saints have by right, and hope, but not m possession.(2) For the promulgation and knowledge of the gospel (Matthew 13:11; Matthew 21:43). But this the saints have only in common with other professors.(3) For a state of grace, remission of sins, renovation, and Divine favour on account of Christ, the Mediator; and for the whole multitude of those who are in this state (Luke 18:21; Romans 14:17). I deem this to be the proper sense of this expression.

3. Why the apostle calls it the kingdom of the Son, and not of heaven, or of light. Because —(1) God admits no one to it except through His Son as Mediator. He is the channel of grace. Through Him its streams flow to us, and we are planted in the kingdom (Ephesians 1:3, 8).(2) Christ, the Mediator, received it from the Father to govern it to the end of time (Luke 22:29).(3) Paul wished to open the way and make an easy transition for discoursing on the person of the Son. For he immediately enters upon that doctrine, which he could not so aptly have proceeded to unless he had expressly named the Son.(4) Christ is rightly called the Son of the Father's love, because He hath the Father's whole and entire love communicated to Him, even as He had His essence. This is a great consolation to the godly man, when he calls to mind that he is not merely a subject, but a member of Christ so beloved of God. For hence he derives the hope of obtaining from God whatever is necessary to salvation.

(Bp. Davenant.)


1. Naturally. We are children of wrath by nature.

2. Judiciarily. We are under condemnation.

3. Universally. Soul death hath passed over all men.


1. We are sensible enough of bodily misery, but insensible to soul misery; yet the former is but to make us sensible of the latter. 'Tis God pulling the rope without to make the bell speak within.

2. Without our sense of the need of deliverance, that deliverance will never come.

3. What temporal and eternal horrors are there for the unsaved.

III. MAN MAY BE DELIVERED. Christ "snatched" souls out of darkness and danger.

1. He moves strongly to save. Snatching speaks an act of force; Christ overturns all that stands in His way when He puts forth to deliver a soul.

2. He moves swiftly to save. Snatching notes swift motion. There is but a step between hell and that soul that is under the power of darkness; what, therefore, is done must be done speedily or the soul is lost.

3. Christ moves thoroughly to save. Snatching, speaks a full assuming of that which was wholly another's. That which I snatch from my enemy in war is wholly mine own, and Christ, having plucked us out of the hands of Satan, claims us as his own.

4. Christ moves preventingly. Snatching speaks an act unthought of, force surprising, the surprised dreaming nothing. Christ catcheth sinners in a dead sleep. Soldiers are sometimes so caught; the devil's soldiers are all so.

5. Christ moves ravishingly. This is love smiling, and the soul is taken.


1. Love the Redeemer.

2. Obey Him.

(N. Lockyer, M. A.)

I. Look at THE STATE OF NATURE AND SIN AS ONE OF DARKNESS. Sin is as opposed to holiness as darkness is to light, and as different from holiness as midnight from noonday. Our state by nature is one of double darkness. We have neither light nor sight. That we may be saved we require two things — a medium to see by, and eyes to see with; the revelation of the gospel, and regeneration of the Holy Spirit; Christ as an object for faith to see, faith as an eye to see Christ. As inhabitants of a Christian land we already possess one of these. There is fulness of light, and yet multitudes are wrecked and perish, and unless He, who gave sight to the blind, touch your eyes their fate will be yours. There are animals that are born blind; but after a few days their eyelids are unsealed and they are delivered from the power of darkness. But not ten years will do for us such friendly office. Not that we shall be always blind. Eternity opens the darkest eyes, but when too late, "He lift up his eyes, being in torment."

1. Darkness is a state of indolence. Night is the proper period for rest. Yet in its hours of darkness and repose, this city presents no true picture of our state by nature. We see it where a city sleeps, while eager angels point Lot's eyes to the break of day, and urge his tardy steps through the doomed streets of Sodom. Rouse thee, then, and betake thee to the Saviour. The plague of Egyptian darkness is, perhaps, the best illustration. "They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days." Many a man has not risen from his place for ten times three years and more. He is no nearer heaven than he was long, long ago. "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure."

2. Darkness is a state of ignorance. Ugliness and beauty, friend and foe, are all one in the dark, and so are the solid ground and the yawning precipice. Many a gallant ship has perished in a fog, and many a sinner in guilty ignorance. The greatest of mistakes is to miss the path of heaven, and yet how many, turning from Christ, are missing it? Some think that their charities and duties will save them; others a routine of outward services; others that they may go on a little longer in sin and then turn.

3. Darkness is a state of danger.(1) As locks and bars prove neither life nor property is safe at night. The prowling thief, the hiding assassin, the gaudy tempter, are but types of the great enemy who takes advantage of spiritual darkness to ruin sinners.(2) Such danger is there in darkness that people have perished almost at their own doors: and many die at the gate of salvation, and by the very door of heaven (2 Corinthians 4:4).(3) In respect of its power over men what can be compared to mental, moral, and spiritual darkness?(a) Look at Popery! She immures her votaries in a gloomier dungeon than ever held her victims. God sends them His blessed Word, but they dare not open it; and, greatest triumph of darkness, they refuse instruction. "If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?"(b) But how many among ourselves lie under the delusion that though the happiness they seek in the world has eluded their grasp, they will yet embrace the mocking phantom! How many are putting away the claims of Christ and their souls to a more convenient season? Many fancy themselves safe who are ready to perish.


1. They may be in darkness through ignorance.(1) Having abandoned the works of darkness, and "become children of light," yet all do not enjoy the same measure of light, nor possess equal powers of sight; hence those conflicting views which have separated brother from brother.(2) While some saints enjoy a clear assurance of their salvation, others pass their days in despondency. By the help of God's Word, their compass, they succeed in steering their way to heaven, but it is over a troubled sea, and under a cloudy sky.

2. They may be in darkness through sin. So long as you walk in the path of God's commandments you walk in the light; but in turning aside from that we have withdrawn from it. He that descends into a pit leaves the light, not the light him. And the deeper the saint sinks in sin, the darker it grows. God will not smile on His child sinning; and that which would befall our world were the sun withdrawn, befalls his soul; a chilling cold follows on the darkness, and but for restoring grace death would ensue.

3. They may be in more or less darkness as to their spiritual state. It is easy to account for such a case as David's; but there are cases of religious desertion that do not admit of being thus explained. Hear that "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me." In such cases, however, God does not leave you comfortless. You may retain your hold when you lose your sight of Him; and the sun, which has struggled through clouds all day long, often breaks forth into golden splendour at his setting. Not seldom have hopes that never brighten life broken forth to gild the departing hour.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

If we lay in some darksome prison leaden with irons, as many as we could bear, committed to the custody of some Cerberus-like keeper; how would we lament our hard fortune? but to lie in such a condition wherein is no light of knowledge of God, leaden with chains of darkness, hellish lusts of wrath, covetousness, pride, filthiness, in the custody of the devil himself, this none bewaileth.

(P. Bayne, B. D.)


1. There are crowns worn by living monarchs of which it would be difficult to estimate the value. The price paid for their jewels is the least part of it. They cost thousands of lives. And yet in His esteem, and in ours, Christ's crown outweighs them all. He gave his life for it.

2. The connection between our Lord's sufferings and these claims marks some of the most touching scenes in His history. The people rejected Him in His kingly character. "We will not have this King to reign over us." The soldiers reviled Him as a King; and His claim to be such was the crime for which He was crucified. It was a kingly inscription that stood above His dying head.

3. Our Lord had the strongest temptation to abandon these claims; and if He refused to give them up in the desert when tempted by the devil, when He had not a morsel to eat, and at the bar, when to have parted with them would have saved His life, He is not likely to yield them now. He has now no inducement to do so. A friendless prisoner no more, He stands at the right hand of God, and claims to reign over all whom He has conquered by love and redeemed by blood.

4. Would God we could live up to that truth. How often is it forgotten! each of us doing what is right in his own eyes, as though there were no King in Israel. Oh, that we were all as anxious to be delivered from the power as we are to escape the punishment of sin.


1. Not from the Jews. "His own received Him not." Once they tried to thrust royal honours on Him: afterwards they bore Him in royal state to the capital, and then they crucified Him. The only crown our Lord gets from man is woven with thorns. Had Christ consented to rule on their terms the Jews would have made Him king. Now to-day how many would accept Jesus if He would allow them to retain their sins. But He accepts not the crown if sin is to wield the sceptre.

2. Not from His own people. The sceptre which a female hand sways so gracefully over the greatest, freest empire in the world was wrenched two hundred years ago from the grasp of a poor popish bigot; and his successor was borne to the vacant throne on the arms of a people who considered crowned heads less sacred than their liberties and religion. Is it by any such act that Christ is crowned? Is He a popular monarch in this sense? No. Here the king elects His subjects, not the subjects their king; and in that and other senses His kingdom is not of this world. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and enemies to God, it is necessary that Christ should first choose you as His subjects, before you can choose Him as your King. Christ reigns by conquest, but His reign is not one of terror. He reigns as He conquered, by love. Enthroned in the heart He rules through the affections.

3. From God. When we look at the two great occasions on which our Lord was crowned, what a contrast do they present. The scene of the first is laid on earth. Behold Him stripped of His garments, tied to a post, scourged, clothed with an old purple robe, a wreath of thorns upon His head. Some in bitter mockery bend the knee as to a Caesar and shout, "Hail, King of the Jews." Turn now to the other. The cross is vacant, the court empty, and from the vine-covered sides of Olivet a band of men are joyfully descending. While the disciples come down to the world, Jesus goes up to heaven escorted by a host of angels. His battle over, and the great victory won, the Conqueror is now to be crowned. Behold the scene as revealed by anticipation to the rapt eyes of Daniel (Daniel 7:13).

III. IN WHAT CHARACTER JESUS HOLDS THIS KINGDOM. Not as God or as man, but as God-man. Our Lord appeared in both these characters at the grave of Lazarus. "Jesus wept," and yet Death cowers before His eye. So on the Sea of Galilee, the Son of Mary sleeps, but raising His hand He said to the rude storm, "Peace, be still." Those two natures He still retains. As both God and man He occupies the thrones of grace and providence — holding under His dominion all worlds; for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and He has been made Head over all things to His Church. Simply as God there could be no addition to His possessions, nor could He receive them simply as man.

IV. SEEK AN INTEREST IN THIS KINGDOM. Your eternal welfare turns on that. You must be crowned in heaven or cursed in hell.

1. Are you poor? That is no bar. "Blessed are the poor in spirit."

2. Are you degraded? That does not exclude you from the mercy and grace of God.

3. Have you done nothing to merit this kingdom? Who has?

4. Though you are not saved by obedience, remember that submission to Christ's commandment is required of all who belong to His kingdom.

5. In a general sense we are all His subjects; but in a saving sense Christ's kingdom is not without, but within. Unless the heart be right with Christ, all is wrong.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

Or more correctly, the Son of His love. Christ is so because —

I. HE IS MOST WORTHY OF ALL OTHERS TO BE LOVED. As Judas is the "Son of Perdition," i.e., most worthy to be condemned.


III. HE IS INFINITELY FILLED WITH A SENSE OF HIS LOVE. "I always do the things that please Him."

IV. IT IS HE BY WHOM LOVE IS DERIVED INTO OTHERS. He makes all other sons beloved. They are all loved because of Him and through Him. He imparts the lowest graces. This is all very comfortable.

1. He is like to speed anything He requests the Father for us, and will be sure to preserve us.

2. He is a King's Son, and infinitely beloved of His Father. How excellent a thing, then, to be Christ's member.

(N. Byfield.)

In an early period of the ministry of the Rev. John Wesley, he visited Epworth, in Lincolnshire, where his father had formerly been minister, but found the people greatly opposed to what they considered his new notions. He tells us, in his journal, that many persons were convinced of the importance of the truths he delivered from the tombstone of his father, some of whom were conveyed in a waggon to a neighbouring justice of the peace, to answer for the heresy with which they were charged. Mr. Wesley rode over also. When the magistrate asked what these persons had done, there was a deep silence; for that was a point their conductors had forgotten. At length, one of them said, "Why, they pretend to be better than other people; and, besides, they pray from morning to night." He asked, "But have they done anything besides?" "Yes, sir," said an old man, "An't please your worship, they have convarted my wife. Till she went among them, she had such a tongue, and now she is as quiet as a lamb." "Carry them back, carry them back," replied the justice, "and let them convert all the scolds in the town."


The word is a metaphor, and the comparison is taken from plants in nature, and there are divers things signified unto us in the similitude. As trees are translated in winter, not in the spring, so commonly our redemption is applied in the days of special affliction and sorrow: and as the plant is not first fruitful and then translated, but therefore translated that it may bear fruit, so we are not therefore redeemed because God was in love with our fruits; but therefore translated out of the kingdom of darkness, that we might bring forth fruit unto God. And as a tree may be truly removed, and new planted, and yet not presently bear fruit, so may a Christian be truly translated, and yet in the first instant of his conversion he may not show forth all the fruit he doth desire. In particular, translating hath two things in it.

I. PULLING UP. The pulling up of a tree shadows out three things in the conversion of a sinner.

1. Separation from the world: he cannot be in Christ tahat hath his heart rooted in the earth, and keeps his old standing amongst these trees, the wicked of the world.

2. Deliverance both from original sin in the reign of it (which is the moisture of the old earth), and also from hardness of heart (for translating hath removing of the mould and stones that were about the root).

3. Godly sorrow raised by the sense of the strokes of the axe of God's threatenings, and by the loss of many sprouts and branches that were hidden in the earth. A Christian cannot escape without sorrow; for he hath many an unprofitable sprout of vanity, and sinful profit and pleasure he must part with.


1. Our engrafting into Christ by the Spirit of God through faith.

2. Our communion with the saints (the fruitful trees in God's orchard), as also it notes our preservation by the infusion of the sap of holy graces. Conclusion: And it is worthy to be noted that He saith "translated us," to teach us that there remains in man the same nature after calling that was before; for our natures are not destroyed in conversion, but translated: there remains the same faculties in the soul, and the same powers in the body; yea, the constitution and complexion of man is not destroyed, as the melancholy man doth not cease to be so after conversion, only the humour is sanctified unto a fitness for godly sorrow, and holy meditation, and the easy renouncing of the world, etc., and the like may be said of other humours in man's nature.

(N. Byfield.)

I. IN DELIVERING HIS PEOPLE FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, CHRIST SAVES THEM FROM ETERNAL PERDITION. People talk about the mercy of God in a way for which they have no warrant in His Word: and ignoring His holiness, justice, and truth, they lay this and the other vain hope as a flattering unction to their souls.


1. By translation.(1) There is a difference between being transformed and translated. The first describes a change of character, the second of state. These changes are coincident; but the transformation is not complete until the time for the second translation. Then those who were translated at conversion into a state of grace, are translated at death into a state of glory.(2) It is a great mistake to suppose that God is only active and man passive in this work. You may translate a man from one earthly kingdom into another while he is asleep, and at death a man may be translated to glory in a state of unconsciousness; but it is not in this placid way that sinners pass out of darkness into Christ's kingdom.

2. This translation is attended by suffering and self-denial. Killed by a blow, or deprived of existence and consciousness by an opiate, a man may die to natural life unconsciously, but never to sin. Hence those striking figures of crucifixion. But the crown is worthy of the cross. True there is much more pain in going to hell than to heaven, and although this were not, one hour of glory will recompense all the sufferings of earth. But be assured that as it is among pangs and birth struggles that a man is born the first time, so when he is born again, Christ baptizes with fire. How often has water fallen on the calm brow of a sleeping infant who has been translated thus into the visible Church. But a fiery baptism! Can a man take fire into his bosom and not be burned? God is a consuming fire to His people's sins, and He cannot be so without them knowing it.

3. In this translation God and man are active. Our Lord ascended from earth to heaven without effort; not so His people from nature unto grace. We receive salvation, still we must put forth our hand to take it, as a drowning man clutches the saving rope. God works in grace as in nature; helps the man who helps himself. The reason why men are not saved is not that God hath forgotten to be gracious, or that the blood of Christ has lost its efficacy; but because men will take no pains to be saved.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

If we had some grievous tyrant ruling over us, and God should take him away and set a prince of singular clemency over us, should not the blessing of all the kingdom come upon Him for so singular a change? But when He taketh the devil's iron yokes off our necks and bringeth us under the kingdom of that most meek King who will not bruise a broken reed, nor quench the smoking flax, here none in comparison is thankful.

(P. Bayne, B. D.)

King Theodore kept two or three British subjects in prison, and no entreaty, expostulation, threat, could induce him to release them. At last the British nation arose and said, "At all costs the prisoners must be released;" and so General Napier led his army along the defiles over the mountains. At length he came to Magdala, the capital of Abyssinia. King Theodore was conquered and slain, and so General Napier ascended to the capital. But perhaps some of you do not know that as General Napier rode into the city, those captives, bowed down with their long imprisonment, came near to him, and laid their hands upon his horse's saddle and thanked him as their deliverer. He said to them, "Do not thank me; God is the deliverer. The Christians in England have been praying for you."

(J. L. Nye.)

Colossians, Epaphras, Paul, Thessalonians, Timotheus, Timothy
Colossae, Philippi
Authority, Beloved, Darkness, Dear, Dearly-loved, Delivered, Domain, Dominion, Evil, Free, Kingdom, Love, Loves, Power, Reign, Rescue, Rescued, Transferred, Translate, Translated
1. After salutation Paul thanks God for the Colossians' faith;
7. confirms the doctrine of Epaphras;
9. prays further for their increase in grace;
14. describes the supremacy of Christ;
21. encourages them to receive Jesus Christ, and commends his own ministry.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Colossians 1:13

     1085   God, love of
     2324   Christ, as Saviour
     4124   Satan, kingdom of
     4127   Satan, defeat of
     4811   darkness, symbol of sin
     4957   night
     5267   control
     6738   rescue
     8483   spiritual warfare, causes

Colossians 1:9-13

     8611   prayer, for others

Colossians 1:12-13

     2345   Christ, kingdom of

Colossians 1:12-14

     7032   unity, God's people

Colossians 1:13-14

     1315   God, as redeemer
     2321   Christ, as redeemer
     4963   past, the
     6617   atonement, in NT
     6660   freedom, through Christ
     6669   grace, and salvation
     6710   privileges
     6723   redemption, NT

February 11. "Strengthened with all Might unto all Patience" (Col. I. 11).
"Strengthened with all might unto all patience" (Col. i. 11). The apostle prays for the Colossians, that they may be "strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness." It is one thing to endure and show the strain on every muscle of your face, and seem to say with every wrinkle, "Why does not somebody sympathize with me?" It is another to endure the cross, "despising the shame" for the joy set before us. There are some trees in the
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

February 18. "Christ in You" (Col. I. 27).
"Christ in you" (Col. i. 27). How great the difference between the old and the new way of deliverance! One touch of Christ is worth a lifetime of struggling. A sufferer in one of our hospitals was in danger of losing his sight from a small piece of broken needle that had entered his eye. Operation after operation had only irritated it, and driven the foreign substance farther still into the delicate nerves of the sensitive organ. At length a skilful young physician thought of a new expedient. He
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Twenty Fourth Sunday after Trinity Prayer and Spiritual Knowledge.
Text: Colossians 1, 3-14. 3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have toward all the saints, 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

'All Power'
'Strengthened with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy.'--COL. i. 11 (R.V.). There is a wonderful rush and fervour in the prayers of Paul. No parts of his letters are so lofty, so impassioned, so full of his soul, as when he rises from speaking of God to men to speaking to God for men. We have him here setting forth his loving desires for the Colossian Christians in a prayer of remarkable fulness and sweep. Broadly taken, it is for their perfecting
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Thankful for Inheritance
'Giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.'--COL. i. 12 (R.V.) It is interesting to notice how much the thought of inheritance seems to have been filling the Apostle's mind during his writing of Ephesians and Colossians. Its recurrence is one of the points of contact between them. For example, in Ephesians, we read, 'In whom also were made a heritage' (i. 11); 'An earnest of our inheritance' (i. 14); 'His inheritance in the saints'
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Saints, Believers, Brethren
' . . . The saints and faithful brethren in Christ.'--COL. i. 2. 'The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch,' says the Acts of the Apostles. It was a name given by outsiders, and like most of the instances where a sect, or school, or party is labelled with the name of its founder, it was given in scorn. It hit and yet missed its mark. The early believers were Christians, that is, Christ's men, but they were not merely a group of followers of a man, like many other groups of whom the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christian Endeavour
'I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.'--COL. i. 29. I have chosen this text principally because it brings together the two subjects which are naturally before us to-day. All 'Western Christendom,' as it is called, is to-day commemorating the Pentecostal gift. My text speaks about that power that 'worketh in us mightily.' True, the Apostle is speaking in reference to the fiery energy and persistent toil which characterised him in proclaiming Christ, that
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Gospel-Hope
'The hope of the Gospel.'--COL. i. 5. 'God never sends mouths but He sends meat to feed them,' says the old proverb. And yet it seems as if that were scarcely true in regard to that strange faculty called Hope. It may well be a question whether on the whole it has given us more pleasure than pain. How seldom it has been a true prophet! How perpetually its pictures have been too highly coloured! It has cast illusions over the future, colouring the far-off hills with glorious purple which, reached,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Next Performance is Mainly Directed against Faith in the Church...
The next performance is mainly directed against faith in the Church, as a society of Divine origin. "The Rev. Henry Bristow Wilson, B.D., Vicar of Great Staughton, Hunts," claims that a National Church shall be regarded as a purely secular Institution,--the spontaneous development of the State. "If all priests and ministers of religion could at one moment be swept from the face of the Earth, they would soon be reproduced [76] ." The Church is concerned with Ethics, not with Divinity. It should therefore
John William Burgon—Inspiration and Interpretation

All Fulness in Christ
The text is a great deep, we cannot explore it, but we will voyage over its surface joyously, the Holy Spirit giving us a favorable wind. Here are plenteous provisions far exceeding, those of Solomon, though at the sight of that royal profusion, Sheba's queen felt that there was no more spirit in her, and declared that the half had not been told to her. It may give some sort of order to our thoughts if they fall under four heads. What is here spoken of--"all fullness." Where is it placed--"in him,"
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Thankful Service.
(Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity.) COL. i. 12. "Giving thanks." In one of our northern coal-pits there was a little boy employed in a lonely and dangerous part of the mine. One day a visitor to the coal-pit asked the boy about his work, and the child answered, "Yes, it is very lonely here, but I pick up the little bits of candle thrown away by the colliers, and join them together, and when I get a light I sing." My brothers, every day of our lives we are picking up blessings which the loving
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

Twenty-Third Day for the Holy Spirit in Your Own Work
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Holy Spirit in your own Work "I labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily."--COL. i. 29. You have your own special work; make it a work of intercession. Paul laboured, striving according to the working of God in him. Remember, God is not only the Creator, but the Great Workman, who worketh all in all. You can only do your work in His strength, by Him working in you through the Spirit. Intercede much for those among whom you work, till God gives
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Knowledge and Obedience.
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father."--COL. i. 9-12. The Epistles
W. H. Griffith Thomas—The Prayers of St. Paul

The Inheritance.
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.--Ep. to the Colossians i. 12. To have a share in any earthly inheritance, is to diminish the share of the other inheritors. In the inheritance of the saints, that which each has, goes to increase the possession of the rest. Hear what Dante puts in the mouth of his guide, as they pass through Purgatory:-- Perche s'appuntano i vostri desiri Dove per compagnia parte si scema, Invidia muove
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

The Disciple, -- Master, if Thou Wouldst Make a Special Manifestation of Thyself to The...
The Disciple,--Master, if Thou wouldst make a special manifestation of Thyself to the world, men would no longer doubt the existence of God and Thy own divinity, but all would believe and enter on the path of righteousness. The Master,--1. My son, the inner state of every man I know well, and to each heart in accordance with its needs I make Myself known; and for bringing men into the way of righteousness there is no better means than the manifestation of Myself. For man I became man that he might
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet

Victory Found
AT THE close of this little volume it seems fitting to recount again a wonderful personal experience, narrated in The Sunday School Times of December 7, 1918. I do not remember the time when I did not have in some degree a love for the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. When not quite twelve years of age, at a revival meeting, I publicly accepted and confessed Christ as my Lord and Master. From that time there grew up in my heart a deep yearning to know Christ in a more real way, for he seemed so unreal,
Rosalind Goforth—How I Know God Answers Prayer

section 3
But we will go back from this glimpse of God's ultimate purpose for us, to watch the process by which it is reached, so far as we can trace it in the ripening of the little annuals. The figure will not give us all the steps by which God gets His way in the intricacies of a human soul: we shall see no hint in it of the cleansing and filling that is needed in sinful man before he can follow the path of the plant. It shows us some of the Divine principles of the new life rather than a set sequence of
I. Lilias Trotter—Parables of the Christ-life

Christ and Man in the Atonement
OUR conception of the relations subsisting between God and man, of the manner in which these relations are affected by sin, and particularly of the Scripture doctrine of the connection between sin and death, must determine, to a great extent, our attitude to the Atonement. The Atonement, as the New Testament presents it, assumes the connection of sin and death. Apart from some sense and recognition of such connection, the mediation of forgiveness through the death of Christ can only appear an arbitrary,
James Denney—The Death of Christ

The Mystical Union with Immanuel.
"Christ in you the hope of glory." --Col. i. 27. The union of believers with Christ their Head is not effected by instilling a divine-human life-tincture into the soul. There is no divine-human life. There is a most holy Person, who unites in Himself the divine and the human life; but both natures continue unmixed, unblended, each retaining its own properties. And since there is no divine-human life in Jesus, He can not instil it into us. We do heartily acknowledge that there is a certain conformity
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

A Preliminary Discourse to Catechising
'If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' - Col 1:23. Intending next Lord's day to enter upon the work of catechising, it will not be amiss to give you a preliminary discourse, to show you how needful it is for Christians to be well instructed in the grounds of religion. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' I. It is the duty of Christians to be settled in the doctrine of faith. II. The best way for Christians to be settled is to be well grounded. I. It is the duty of Christians
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Fourthly; all the [Credenda, Or] Doctrines, which the True, Simple, and Uncorrupted Christian Religion Teaches,
(that is, not only those plain doctrines which it requires to be believed as fundamental and of necessity to eternal salvation, but even all the doctrines which it teaches as matters of truth,) are, though indeed many of them not discoverable by bare reason unassisted with revelation; yet, when discovered by revelation, apparently most agreeable to sound unprejudiced reason, have every one of them a natural tendency, and a direct and powerful influence to reform men's minds, and correct their manners,
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God

The Best Things Work for Good to the Godly
WE shall consider, first, what things work for good to the godly; and here we shall show that both the best things and the worst things work for their good. We begin with the best things. 1. God's attributes work for good to the godly. (1). God's power works for good. It is a glorious power (Col. i. 11), and it is engaged for the good of the elect. God's power works for good, in supporting us in trouble. "Underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut. xxxiii. 27). What upheld Daniel in the lion's den?
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

Of Love to God
I proceed to the second general branch of the text. The persons interested in this privilege. They are lovers of God. "All things work together for good, to them that love God." Despisers and haters of God have no lot or part in this privilege. It is children's bread, it belongs only to them that love God. Because love is the very heart and spirit of religion, I shall the more fully treat upon this; and for the further discussion of it, let us notice these five things concerning love to God. 1. The
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

The Rise of the Assyrian Empire
PHOENICIA AND THE NORTHERN NATIONS AFTER THE DEATH OP RAMSES III.--THE FIRST ASSYRIAN EMPIRE: TIGLATH-PILESUR I.--THE ARAMAEANS AND THE KHATI. The continuance of Egyptian influence over Syrian civilization after the death of Ramses III.--Egyptian myths in Phoenicia: Osiris and Isis at Byblos--Horus, Thot, and the origin of the Egyptian alphabet--The tombs at Arvad and the Kabr-Hiram; Egyptian designs in Phoenician glass and goldsmiths'work--Commerce with Egypt, the withdrawal of Phoenician colonies
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 6

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