Colossians 1:14

Saturday, 25 March 2017

in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:14

This verse corresponds closely to Ephesians 1:7. “In whom” is speaking of Christ who is “the Son of His love” of the previous verse. It is through God’s Beloved Son that “we have redemption through His blood.” In the Greek, there is an article before “redemption.” It states “the redemption” and thus it sets the thought apart as the great act of redemption to which any other act (such as the redemption of Israel from Egypt) was a lesser redemption, or merely a type and shadow.

In other words, the promised Redeemer of Genesis 3:15 is realized in Christ Jesus. From that proclamation, every idea of redemption which is found in Scripture pointed to what Christ would do for us. This true redemption was realized “through His blood.” We now stand justified and free from sin’s penalty through the redemption that came by His work, and which culminated in the shedding of His blood (meaning His death) on the cross.

The term “redemption” comes from a root word which indicates the price paid to redeem a person, such as a prisoner of war. It signifies liberty from captivity, bondage, or imprisonment. We are born into sin and we are prisoners of sin, held in bondage by its power and are kept by the master of sin, the devil. This is confirmed by the devil’s words to Jesus in Luke 4 where he stated that “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” Sin is a firm bond and the devil is a cruel taskmaster. However, Jesus’ mission was to destroy this power. John notes this as the principle reason for His coming –

“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8

Jesus prevailed where Adam failed. What the devil gained through Adam’s disobedience, Jesus regained through His obedience. What God asks is that we simply believe this message, receive His gift, and place our trust in what Jesus has done for us. This is the “redemption through His blood.” This is the marvel of what God has done for us. In Him there is absolute victory and complete reconciliation with God the Father.

As a means of highlighting this thought, Paul next says that in Him we also have “forgiveness of sins.” This is a complementary thought to the previous clause. The word for “forgiveness” signifies the complete release of someone from an obligation or debt. Sin’s penalty is ended through the work of Christ for all who believe.

The “redemption through His blood” looks at the work of atonement from God’s perspective. “The forgiveness of sins” looks at it from our side. One can see the work of the God/Man in this; He completed both. There is the heavenly side, and there is the earthly side. Together they unite in Him for reconciliation between the two.

Charles Ellicott notes that in order from the previous verse we see the First Cause of our salvation, which is the Father’s love. Here in verse 14, we see the Efficient Cause which is “the redemption and propitiation of the Son.”

Life application: Think soberly on what you have received from God in the giving of His Son. His blood was shed so that we could be redeemed. When one puts Jesus’ cross at the front of their thoughts, it puts all things into their proper perspective. There is an eternity of fellowship with God that lies ahead of us because of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, because of Your love, You sent Christ on a mission to redeem us from the world of sin, and the power of the devil. In the cross and shed blood of Christ Jesus, we have that redemption, and we have peace with You once again. What more can we add to that? Help us to be faithfully obedient to You, living lives of honor for what You have done for us. Thank You for Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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