The Gospel’s Goal

Colossians 1:24-2:3

 October 24, 2021                                                     

 

 

Read ch. 1:25-28; ch. 2:2-3

 

The mystery of God is the consummation of God’s plan in bringing His kingdom

in Christ to fulfillment. The kingdom had long been prophesied, but the how 

and the when and the by whom was not clear until the time of Christ. It is in

Christ that God has been manifested to all of mankind. (gotquestions.org)

 

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places

might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.  According to

the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Ephesians

4:10-11)

 

“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together

in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;

even in Him.”  (ibid. ch. 1:10)

 

μυστήριον - mustaerion - mystery - referring to that which is outside the range

of unassisted natural apprehension, and which can be made known  only by

Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed

by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit.  (Vine’s Expository

Dictionary of New Testament Words)

 

Now if you do not understand and feel left out, DO NOT PANIC!

 

We are taught that”the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared

to all men.”  (Titus 2:11)

 

THERE IS HOPE FOR ALL AND ROOM FOR ALL!

 

“Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be

opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh,

findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened unto you.”  (Matthew 7:7-8)

 

 

 

 

                                    The Kingdom of God’s Dear Son (vs. 9-14 + 15-17)

 

Paul next proceeds to intercede for the Colossians in their spiritual progress.

There is considerable similarity between the intercession he makes for the

Ephesians (Ephesians 3:14-19) and the intercession he here makes for

the Colossians. In both he appeals to the Father that the most intimate and

loving relations may be established between the persons prayed for and

“His dear Son.” Let us consider the truth embodied in the intercession in the

following order:

 

WE SHALL CONSIDER THE KING HERE REFERRED TO. (v. 13.)

Christ is presented as “God’s dear Son,” or “the Son of His love”

(τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ - tou huiou taes agapaes autou), in possession

of a kingdom. This kingdom is the antithesis of “the power of darkness;” it

is, in fact, a kingdom of light. (I want us to consider this truth in our time)

The sphere of the inheritance of the saintly subjects is said to be light (v. 12).

Hence Jesus is brought before us in this prayer much as He is brought before

us in the Apocalypse, as the light giving Lamb (Revelation 21:23). “I am

the Light of the world,” He said; and as the greater light rules the day,

so does Jesus rule in His kingdom (John 8:12; Genesis 1:16). (And in reality,

in our world in 2021) 

 

 

___________________________________________________--start Oct. 31

 

 

The sun is now known to be

the source of all the light and heat enjoyed on the earth; to his genial beams

we owe spring and summer and autumn, and all the precious fruits of the

earth; so is it to Jesus Christ we owe all the procession of seasonable

blessing which His kingdom affords. He is King, then, over such a realm as

Pilate could not fathom — over a kingdom of truth, whose rights

interfered not with the rights of Caesar (John 18:33-38 [especially v. 37];

Matthew 22:21). The light in which our spirits are bathed is TRUTH

the truth as it is in Jesus (Ephesians 4:21) and of which He has abundance -

Exodus 34:6). From His glorious Person there radiates the benign and

healing beams which enable the recipients to grow even as the calves of the

stall (Malachi 4:2).  The fatted calf of Luke 15:23,27)

 

 

                                    Translation into Christ’s Kingdom (v. 13)

 

A good parallel study comes from Philippians 3:20-21 - read.

I have attached below the notes to this study.  I hope to get there today but

that is more than likely wishful thinking.  Then the study will be for those

advanced enough in hunger and curiosity to pursue them at www.adultbibleclass.com.

where the notes can be found at # 1ba - 2021 October 24 - The Gospel’s Goal -

Colossians ch. 1:16-23 and ch. 2 vs. 1-3 - I had intended to cover them on 1

on October 3 lesson at # 1d but didn’t get around to it.

 

 

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.”

 

 

(ἱκανόω -  hikanoo -“To make meet; to render fit; to make sufficient” )

the verb found besides only in II Corinthians 3:5-6 in the New Testament,

“to make sufficient,” Revised Version) is “to make competent,” “to qualify”

for some position or work. This meetness, already conferred on the Colossians,

consists in their forgiveness (v. 14) and adoption (Ephesians 1:5-7), which qualify

and entitle them to receive the blessings of Christ’s kingdom (v. 13; Romans 5:1-2;

Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:5-6; Titus 3:7), and which anticipate and form the

basis of that worthiness of character and fitness of condition in which they are

finally to be presented “perfect in Christ” (vs. 10, 22, 28; I Thessalonians

5:23-24);  “Called and (made us meet)” is one of the few characteristic readings

of the great Vatican Manuscript.   “The lot of the saints” is that entire wealth of

blessedness laid up for the people of God (Ephesians 1:3; 2:12; 3:6; 4:4-7), in

which each has his due share or part -compare v. 28; Ephesians 4:7. Κλῆρος

klaeros - “lot, an inheritance” Acts 8:21; 26:18), scarcely distinguishable from

the more usual κληρονομίαkleronomia  - a lot, an inherited property;

an inheritance - ch. 3:24; Ephesians 1:14, etc.; Acts 20:32; Hebrews 9:15;

I Peter 1:4), is used in the Old Testament (Septuagint) of the sacred land as

“divided by lot,” and as “the lot” assigned to Israel (Numbers 34:13;

Deuteronomy 4:21, etc.), also of Jehovah Himself as “the lot” of the landless

Levites (Deuteronomy 10:9), and of Israel in turn as “the lot” of Jehovah

(Deuteronomy 4:20). (I recommend Deuteronomy ch 32 v 9 – God’s

Inheritance by Arthur Pink – this web site – CY – 2011) 

 

·         THE ORIGINAL CONDITION OF ALL MEN. They are under “the

power of darkness.”

 

Ø      Consider the meaning of this darkness. There is a darkness that is

seasonable; (I notice that it is getting darker earlier) which, in the

economy of nature, brings rest and  recovery to man. This darkness

is far different.

 

o       It is the darkness of ignorance apart from the light of life”

(John 8:12; Ephesians 5:13).

o       It is the darkness of sin (Romans 13:12; II Corinthians 3:14),

blinding men against the truth.

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

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

o       It is the darkness of hell“ UTTER DARKNESS!”

 

I would think that the worst darkness is that mentioned by Jude in

v. 13 of his only chapter.  There he speaks of men “......to whom the blackness

of darkness is reserved for ever.”  (see vs. 8-19 - I will only read the areas

which I have highlighted!

 

Ø      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”

(II Corinthians 4:4).

 

                                   

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath

shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory

of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  (II Corinthians 4:6)

 

 

 

Below is the Introduction to the Spurgeon sermon:

 

          DELIVERANCE FROM THE

            POWER OF DARKNESS.

                                               

 

                                                    DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,

 

            AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

 

            ON THURSDAY EVENING, NOV. 29, 1866.

 

          “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.”—Colossians 1:13.

 

DARKNESS is used in Scripture to express a great many things. Sometimes

it represents sorrow. “A night of weeping” is a common expression among

us. We speak, too, of “walking in darkness, and seeing no light.” We

commonly say to one another, that our minds are in a dark and gloomy

state when we are surrounded by the fogs and mists of sorrow. Taking it in

this sense, how often might we say of our heavenly Father, that He “hath

delivered us from the power of darkness”? He has helped us in our (even in 2021)

temporal difficulties and circumstances, or He has whispered, “As thy days

so shall thy strength be,” and He has turned our night of weeping into a

morning of gladness, put away the sackcloth and ashes, and given us the oil

of joy. Blessed be His name for all this! Let us not be ungrateful, nor forget

the many times when he has turned our mourning into dancing, and our

sackcloth into scarlet and fine linen.

 

But darkness frequently signifies, too, in Scripture ignorance. We were

once so in darkness that we were ourselves blinded. “The God of this

world hath blinded our eyes, lest the light of the glorious gospel should

shine in upon us.”  “We who were sometimes darkness, are now light in the

Lord.” Christ’s mission had for one of its many gracious purposes and ends

the taking away of the darkness of human ignorance, and the pouring of

light upon the intellect of man. I thank God that many of us, though we

know comparatively but little, do know that, whereas we were once blind,

now we see. We do know something of ourselves, so as to be humbled,

and we know, too, something of the gracious God, so as to rejoice that we

are saved by Him. God has, therefore, delivered us, in that sense, from the

power of darkness. Let us be thankful for that. Pant for more knowledge,

but oh! believer, be grateful for what you have. Remember that the little

you already know of saving truth is inestimably precious, for to know Jesus

Christ is ETERNAL LIFE  (John 17:3) and if, on this side of the grave, you never

learn  any more, yet you know that which should set your tongue eternally in holy

motion with a rapturous song of thankfulness to Him who has taught you

such priceless truth. Yes, “He hath delivered us from the power of

darkness.”

 

Darkness, too, frequently represents Satan, and the mysterious spiritual

influence which he exerts upon the human mind. He is called “the prince of

darkness.” Darkness seems to be his element. God is the “Father of

Lights,” but Satan seems to be the father of the gloom and the dark.

Two elements are now at war in this lower world: Christ, the Light, the

true light, and Satan—sin—thick darkness, A DARKNESS THAT MAY

BE FELT like the Egyptian darkness in which we are naturally born, and

out of which we are not delivered, except by the supernatural power of God,

exhibited through the plan of salvation by His grace. Beloved, we still are

tempted by Satan, but we are not under his power; we have to fight with him,

but we are not his slaves. (If we would get as mad about being slaves of

Satan as we do about historical slavery - then our lives would be much more

positive and, and trusting Jesus for the remedy, He assures us of our salvation

and, therefore ASSURANCE OF ETERNAL LIFE! Satan is not our king; he has

no rights over us; we do not obey him; we will not listen to his temptations. By the

grace of God, we mean, notwithstanding all his opposition, to fight in his very teeth,

and to win our way to heaven.  God “hath delivered us from the power of

darkness.” Oh! what a mercy this is—that man, such a poor creature as he

is, should be able to escape from the power of that master-spirit Diabolus,

Satan, the destroyer! That was a wonderful moment when, according to

Bunyan’s description, Hopeful and Christian found that the key was turned

in the lock and that they could get out of Giant Despair’s castle. That was

a wonderful moment, I say, when, according to Master Bunyan, the key

turned in the great lock which locked the iron gate. To use John Bunyan’s

own words, he says, “That lock went damnable hard.” In all the new

editions of “Pilgrim’s Progress,” it is put, “That lock went desperate hard.”

That is the more refined way of putting it, but John Bunyan meant just

what he said, and implied that there was a sense of the wrath of God upon

the soul of man on account of sin, so that he felt as if he were near even to

perdition itself. And yet, at such a time, the key did turn in the lock, and

the iron gate was opened. You recollect that just at the moment old Giant

Despair woke up, and was going to pursue the pilgrims, and lay hold upon

them, when he was seized with one of his fainting-fits. Oh! what an escape

from Giant Despair! And yet this is little compared with escaping from

Satan! Satan is the prince of the power of the air, and HUMAN DESPAIR

IS BUT ONE OF HIS SERVANTS, one of the black officers in his infernal

regiment. To escape from Satan himself!—oh! let it be sung in heaven! Let angels

who have never fallen help us to sing in triumph over those fallen spirits from

whom we have been rescued by divine grace. “He hath delivered us from

the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of God’s dear

Son.”

 

I prefer, however, tonight, as we cannot talk about all these things, and the

field is so very wide, to consider the word “darkness” here, in the restricted

meaning of sin. Sin is a tremendous moral and spiritual darkness, which has

overspread the human mind, but we are told in the text, and we have felt it

in our personal experience, that “he hath delivered us from the power of

darkness.”

 

                                   

 

Ø      The nature of salvation. (vs. 12-14, 21-22.) For that inheritance for

which the Christian praises God he was “made meet,” and he is grateful

for the means, as well as for the end, of his salvation. He holds the title

deeds of his heritage in certain acts and transactions on the part of God

which make him meet for it, and make it meet for the Divine Father to

invest him with it.

 

(ἱκανόω -  hikanoo -“To make meet; to render fit; to make sufficient”

 

o        His salvation is an act of rescue — a redemption by power. For men

were captives, under a dark and cruel tyranny (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12;

II Corinthians 4:4; II Timothy 2:26; Acts 26:18; Hebrews 2:14;

John 8:34; 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Luke 4:6, 18). When we

consider how inbred and inveterate is the power of evil over mankind,

how allied with the disordered course of nature, and how its working

in this world is a part of a vast, mysterious confederacy of spiritual

forces acting powerfully and insensibly upon and around us, we need

not wonder that our salvation is represented as a mighty and glorious

achievement of Divine power, one with that exhibited in Christ’s

victory over death (ch. 2:12; Ephesians 1:19-20;  ). Delivered, we

are at the same time translated carried over at once into the

opposite camp as subjects and soldiers of Christ Jesus; whose

kingdom is that where love rules, whose means and ends, counsels

and agencies, are all the ministers of love. Light and love are one,

as darkness and hate (1 John 2:9-11; 4:7-5:5).

 

      It is  equally an act of ransom — redemption by price. (Why is it so

hard for men to understand that when things are free, someone has

to pay a price? - CY - 2021) The propitiation of Christ as it frees

us from the power of Satan and of death, is OUR RANSOM.

Christ, through His expiatory death, is the Personal means by whom

God shows the mercy of His justifying grace to the sinner who

believes. The Son of God’s love, if He would redeem us, must pay

the price. What that priceshould be, Divine justice determines,

while Divine love provides it.  He bought us with “His own blood”

(Galatians 3:13; Acts 20:28;  1 Peter 1:18-19); “...by Himself

purged our sins” (Hebrews 1:3); “gave His life a ransom”

(Matthew 20:28; Titus 2:14).

 

o        And we may anticipate what follows in vs. 20-21, by adding that it

is, finally, an act of reconciliation. God lays aside His holy resentment

against us as sinners, accepting the sacrifice of Christ which He

Himself  has provided, offered on earth and by our Representative, as

a just and countervailing satisfaction “for the sins of the whole world”

(Romans 3:25; John 1:29; 1 John 2:2); while men thereupon, becoming

aware of  this (Luke 2:14; Ephesians 2:17), cease from their enmity

and strife  against Him (II Corinthians 5:19-20). So “peace is made

through the  blood of the cross” (Ephesians 2:16; Romans 5:1, 10-11).

And meeting God in this peace-making, men meet each

other; the broken unity of mankind is restored (ch. 3:11; Ephesians

2:13-16; John 11:51-52); and other worlds, it may be, share with our

                                    own in the “peace” established “on earth” (v. 20).

 

 

 

3:20-21

 

·         OUR CONVERSATION IS IN HEAVEN. The false brethren mind earthly

things; follow us.

 

Ø      Our commonwealth is in heaven; we are citizens of the heavenly

country. Here we are citizens of the United States. The heavenly

Jerusalem, the city of the living God, is our true home, our continuing

city. The almighty God,  King of kings and Lord of lords, is the center

of that vast communion. The blessed angels, our guardians, are His

ministers, standing before  Him, to do His will. The saints, living

and departed, are our fellow- citizens, the general assembly and

Church of the Firstborn who are written in heaven, and the

spirits just men made perfect.  (Hebrews

12:23) 

 

Ø      Our real home is there now (ὑπάρχει - huporchei - existence; is being

      inherent). We are citizens of the heavenly commonwealth first, then of

our earthly country. We are Christians first, then Americans. First

called Christians at Antioch, that is our highest title; it pledges us

to unity, to holiness; pledges us to the service of the great Master,

whose love passeth knowledge, whose life stands alone in its

gracious beauty, in its perfect purity. Our home is in heaven, where

He is! Ye are come to the city of the living God;” “Ye are fellow-

citizens of the saints.” Therefore “seek those things which are above.”

Let us try to  fill our thoughts and imaginations with it now, not with

the poor prizes  of earthly success. Thus let us seek to realize those

striking words, “Our commonwealth is in heaven.”

 

 

 

 

 

                                    The Renewal of the Body (v. 21)

 

·         OUR BODY IS A MARK OF OUR HUMILIATION. It is “the body of

our humiliation,” not “our vile body,” as the Authorized Version has it. St.

Paul did not share the Stoic contempt for the body; much less did he

anticipate the Manichcan hatred of it which is the true parent of asceticism.

But neither did he altogether admire the body in its present condition, as

the disciples of our modern school of carnal aestheticism glory in doing. He

regarded it as a great evidence of our humiliation. His words give little

warrant for Origen’s strange doctrine that pre-existing human souls, having

sinned and fallen in a purely spiritual sphere, were imprisoned in bodies for

their punishment and discipline, and that, if they profit by the purgatorial

earthly life, they will be liberated from these bodies and restored to the

spiritual world. Two simpler facts come nearer to the teaching of St. Paul.

 

Ø      We have outgrown our body. The body which is glorious in the

animal becomes in many respects a hindrance and a source of

shame to the man. The fact that the body, so fearfully and

wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) , is a mark of humiliation,

proves that we have a higher nature and belong to nobler

living.

 

Ø      We have degraded our body. By making that a master which

should be a servant we show our own humiliation. By lowering

the body itself to sinful ends we turn it into a visible proof of our

degradation.

 

·         WE NEED A SUITABLE BODY. The body will not simply be cast

aside as a worthless thing, like the old skin sloughed off by the serpent. It

is a work of God who made all things well. It has great purposes to serve,

for it is our medium of communication with the external world. A

disembodied spirit is an insulated spirit. By means of the body we receive

information from without, and we also execute our will on things outside

us. The scholar must have eyes and ears as well as an attentive mind; and

the workman must have muscular arms and deft fingers as well as good

plans and aims. Probably we shall always need some sort of body, some

sort of medium through which to receive knowledge and accomplish

actions.

 

·         CHRIST WILL FASHION OUR BODY ANEW. The gospel comes

to man as a whole, body and soul; and it offers salvation to both parts of

his nature. It begins the double process on earth. Christ healed the sick.

Christianity cares for the bodily condition of men. The hospital is a most

Christian institution. By ameliorating the sanitary condition of men we

indirectly help even their moral and spiritual life. Hereafter a bodily renewal

is to be accomplished. What it shall be we cannot tell. But the distinct

teaching of the New Testament is that the resurrection will not revive the

body as we now have it. We are to be “changed,” to have a spiritual body;

what is sown in corruption will be raised in incorruption. Christ’s risen

body is the type of this. We may be assured that all that is humiliating and

provocative of evil will vanish, while greater sensitiveness and flexibility in

ministering to the soul and responding to its ideas and volitions will be

enjoyed.