Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
C2.1 Delivered and translated
The first result to be mentioned is that we have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son. The thought continues from the previous verse where we are told that we are partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. We are now told that we have been delivered from the power of darkness that is from our previous state. But more than that. We are delivered from its power, which is the word for authority. We are no longer under the authority of the powers of darkness. The word for deliver means to rescue and is linked closely to the story and message of the Exodus. This will be considered in more detail in the next article. Once we were in the kingdom of darkness but now, we have been translated into the Kingdom of Christ. This word translated is an interesting one. It conveys what deliverance from the powers of darkness actually means.
C2.1a An illustration
We can illustrate this word as follows. Imagine a person, with outstretched arms, holding a tennis ball in their right hand. At present it is in the right hand but not in the left. Someone comes and takes the ball from the right hand and places it in the left hand. It has been translated. It is now in the left hand and not the right hand. If this person keeps their arms outstretched the ball cannot be both hands at the same time. It is either in one or the other.
Likewise on new birth God removes us from Satan’s dominion and places us into Christ’s kingdom. We are either in one or the other but can never be in both at the same time II Cor.6:14-18. Whilst in Satan’s kingdom he had authority over us but having been moved into Christ’s realm Satan has no authority over us! We were once darkness but now we are light Eph.5:8.
Since this is how we begun so we are to continue in it. To walk in Him and worthy of Him Col.1:10. Even though we are in Christ’s kingdom Satan will still try to get us to doubt God’s word. Let us learn the lesson that Eve doubted and that led to disobedience. Resist the devil believe God and walk by faith in the same way we started. Rom. 6:4; 8:4; II Cor. 5:7. I Pet.5:8-9. Jms.4:7.
C2.2 The kingdom
It is important for us to understand the nature of the kingdom we have been translated into. As we have already seen we are either in the Devil’s kingdom or in Christ’s kingdom. We cannot be in both at the same time. The importance of emphasising this is that the dangers Paul highlights in Colossians: enticing words, vain Philosophy, Legalism & Mysticism has no place in Christ’s kingdom.
Enticing words has no place because Jesus is the Truth, Jn.14:6. Vain Philosophy doesn’t because Christ is the Power and Wisdom of God I Cor.1:24. Legalism doesn’t belong because Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all who believe Rom.10:4. Mysticism certainly isn’t in His kingdom. This is because we receive by the word of faith, and we don’t do anything to bring Christ down or bring Him up. Rom.10:6-10. These themes are explored in detail in Chapter 2.
The point being that these things have no place in the Kingdom of God, and we should, therefore should shun them. They belong to the Devil’s kingdom, and if we are in Christ’s kingdom why would we want to delve into the kingdom from which we have been translated?
Jesus made it clear to Pilate, when asked directly if He was a king Jn.18:33-36. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world. Paul expands the truth when he said: the kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, and peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit Rom.14:17. We now belong to a kingdom that is not of this world, but of another world. The writer to the Hebrews expresses it as:
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest…But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel….Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.
C2.3 Heavenly citizens
We are no longer citizens of this world and its system but citizens of heaven. The point that the Hebrews writer was making is that the old Mosaic economy was earthly, and that Christ’s coming did away with that Covenant. Christ then established the New Covenant which a spiritual eternal one, one not of this world.
The old Mosaic covenant was made with hands, the tables of stones for the Ten Commandments, the tabernacle was made with hands. The New Covenant is not made with hands II Cor.5:1; Col.2:11.
For our conversation(=citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
We are no longer in the Devil’s kingdom. We have been translated from it to The Kingdom of His dear Son and are under Christ’s authority and not the Devil’s. We are then to behave like citizens of heaven and seek those things above.
Going after enticing words, vain Philosophy, Legalism or Mysticism are not of Christ’s kingdom and therefore we are not to seek after them but seek the kingdom of God first Mtt.6:33.