PART ONE – BECAUSE OF GOD’S MERCY
HE RESCUED US
“He rescued us.” What does that mean?
When we were trapped in a situation which we got ourselves into but could not get ourselves out of, God stepped in. He could have left us in our predicament but, BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY, He rescued us.
From what did He rescue us?
“He rescued us from the dominion of darkness…” Colossians 1:13a.
What is the “dominion of darkness”?
In the Bible, darkness has much more than a literal meaning, i.e. the absence of physical light. Darkness has to do with the absence of moral and spiritual light, the absence of “enlightenment”, i.e. understanding of the truth which can only come from God.
“God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5b.
God is pure – unmixed with anything that corrupts; God is holy – separate from anything imperfect, which is called sin; God is righteous – everything He does is right; God is just – He treats everyone with absolute fairness; God is love – everything He does is for the best.
Whatever God is and does works towards fulfilling His goal of having the entire universe, including all the people on earth, working together in perfect harmony and oneness.
Since darkness is the absence of light, wherever God is excluded; wherever people choose to live without Him and do as they please, things go wrong. Life everywhere falls apart – in the environment and in society. Wherever darkness is in control, everything gets worse and worse.
Why did He rescue us?
Not because He felt sorry for us. We deserve what we get. He owes us nothing.
God recued us BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY. He rescued us because of who He is. He intervened to put His plan back on track, and that involved rescuing us from the control (dominion) of darkness so that we can be part of His plan.
What does darkness do?
When we leave God out of our lives; when we try to live as though He does not exist and we think that we have the right to make our own rules, we lose our ability to think outside of ourselves. We are selfish, self-centred and self-absorbed; everything we do is about us and for us.
We have what Jesus called “the evil eye” or the “eye of darkness”. We cannot see beyond the end of our own noses. We don’t care about anyone else and we will do what it takes to get our own way and to get to the top, not matter who we tramp on in the process. We are greedy and wicked.
When everyone lives like that, the situation becomes chaotic. People fight, steal and kill to get what they want. It is impossible to change the situation because the problem lies in the hearts and nature of everyone. We are trapped in a lifestyle we cannot change.
Unfortunately, we were born into this way of life. We came into the world with sinful hearts. From small children we already showed that we were under the dominion of darkness. Children do not need to be taught to be selfish or to want their own way. They do it because they are it.
This is where God steps in. BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY, He sent His Son to rescue us from the terrible plight we were in.
- Jesus showed us by His life what God is really like. He is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness, forgiving sin…” Exodus 34:6.
- Jesus showed us how to behave like a true son. He was submissive and obedient to the Father, doing His will and serving Him by loving and serving people.
- Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice to pay the debt of our sin; to remove sin and to change our hearts so that we no longer need to live in the darkness of greed and selfishness.
- Jesus sent the Holy Spirit from the Father to live in us, to be our Helper, Teacher and Guide so that we can learn how to live as obedient children of God and have the power to do it.
God owes us nothing, but, BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY, He did what we could not do. He rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His Son. Through Jesus, He showed us and taught us how to live in the light so that we can become like His Son Jesus and be part of His plan to bring everything together again in harmony and unity.
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus broke the power of the devil over us. He is no longer our master and he cannot force us to obey him. Jesus is now our Lord, and we are free to follow and obey Him.
“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves…” Colossians 1:13.