Daily Archives: November 1, 2019

November 1 Testing Our Spiritual Growth

Scripture Reading: Psalm 143:8–12

Key Verse: Psalm 143:8

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,

For in You do I trust;

Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,

For I lift up my soul to You.

What is it you crave first thing in the morning? Does a steamy, fresh-brewed cup of coffee or tea catch your attention? Does your morning seem incomplete without your usual cereal or plate of eggs? Do you feel like you can’t make it out the front door without reading the morning paper or watching one of the cheerful morning shows?

In Psalm 143:8, David wrote, “Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul” (nasb). David saw the necessity of seeking God to direct his steps. He looked to God for guidance for the needs of each day.

A sign of spiritual growth is longing to be with the Lord in a time of Bible study and prayer each day. Whether it be in the morning or at night, is there a time in your day in which you spend time with the Savior? Is it a time that you guard jealously?

Henry Ward Beecher said, “The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.”

Nothing, not even coffee, will begin your day like time alone with God. Seek Him so that you may grow closer to Him. Go into His presence so that you may sing for joy and be glad all your days (Psalm 90:14). When you make plans to meet God, He will place an intimate joy within your heart. Then you will learn to hunger for His Word.

Father, give me a hunger for Your Word. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning. I lift up my soul to You.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 320). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 1 Are You Ready to Listen?

Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 19:1–18

Key Verse: 1 Kings 19:12

After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

The prophet Elijah was exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Is this what happens to a man who obeys God? Elijah must have wondered.

He was depressed to the point of desiring death, on the run, and desperately wanted to hear from God. Where should he go? What hope was there for a future? Through an angel, God fed him to restore his physical strength, but Elijah still wasn’t ready to hear what God had to say.

For forty days and nights, Elijah traveled to Mount Horeb (Sinai), moving slowly in his despair. He cried out to God once more: “I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10 nasb).

How did God answer his plea? Not in the way that Elijah expected. Elijah stood on the mountain waiting. The sudden, violent wind did not bring God’s answer. God was not in the rock-shattering earthquake either. The sudden inferno did not contain His answer. After the great commotion, Elijah heard a gentle blowing, and then God spoke to give him direction for his future.

God wanted Elijah to have the right heart attitude to receive His words. Elijah needed to be thoroughly emptied of himself, of self-reliance, of the need to control. When Elijah gained a proper perspective of God’s tender sustenance and sovereign power, he was ready to really hear what God had to say. Is your heart ready to listen?

Dear Lord, I want to hear Your voice. Empty my reservoir of self-reliance, and give me a proper perspective of Your sovereign power. Make me ready to listen.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 320). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 1 – Introduction to Rev. Jared Beairdis’ series on Romans 1-8 — Reformed Perspective

The Epistle to the Romans is a letter for the Christian mind. Luther said, “Every Christian should know it by heart.” It is a weighty book. It is the longest epistle and the most systematic. Paul wrote it to churches he wasn’t so sure he would meet. So, he wrote it to make sure their theology was sound – to make sure they understood the gospel. He wrote it for the understanding of our reasonable faith. While we are to have a Christian life, it’s not to the exclusion of the Christian mind; rather knowledge is key to the Christian life; “truth,” Christ said, “sanctifies.” Our life must be controlled by a mind saturated with truth. So God has given us books like Romans, a systematic study of the Christian faith.

We will need to put on our thinking caps as we make our way through this important letter, matter of fact, don’t ever take it off. Christianity is the precondition for the intelligibility of human experience. You need a Christian mind, for ideas have consequences and Christian ideas have the greatest end – “to be loved by God and called saints.” The consequence of the “gospel of God” is belonging. The good news of God is that we belong to God and there is no higher truth to know.

The gospel of God

”Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…” – Romans 1:1

Scripture reading: Romans 1

Paul’s entire ministry concerned “the gospel of God.” Romans is a theology of this gospel and its news gives us our purpose in life. By the gospel of God, Paul was not his own. He belonged body and soul, in life and in death to his faithful Savior Christ Jesus. By His faithfulness, we too are set apart for the gospel. Paul calls himself a servant, which in his day was very counter-cultural. Greeks found pride in freedom, that they were their own. Paul, however, affirmed his captivity to Christ. If you want to be counter-cultural, you don’t need tattoos and pink hair. We have something better – complete devotion to Christ. There is nothing more counter-cultural than serving Christ Jesus.

Complete devotion to God is our purpose in life. We are called to forsake the purposes of the world for God’s instead – complete devotion to God because in God we find the source of our salvation. We are righteous before God only by the gospel, that is, by the righteousness of Christ. We are free from the tyranny of the devil, only because Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead. In this gospel, we are free to live for the glory of God. This is the “goodness” of the gospel—that I am not my own but belong body and soul to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Knowing our deliverance we have become slaves of gratitude to our Deliverer.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for bringing us into the new life of grace. Pray that we avoid the temptation to purpose our life according to the world. May we live according to His Word alone.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Jared Beairdis the church planter and pastor of Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Missoula, Montana, USA.

via November 1 – Introduction to Rev. Jared Beairdis’ series on Romans 1-8 — Reformed Perspective

November 1 Marching into Battle

Scripture reading: 1 Samuel 17:1–11, 22–51

Key verse: 1 Samuel 17:45

David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

When David stepped onto the battlefield to face Goliath, he was immediately thrust into what appeared to be an impossible situation.

It was in the times David spent alone in the wilderness tending his father’s sheep that God built a tenacious spirit within him. During those years, he learned to trust God with his entire life. When danger approached, he cried out to the Lord and was saved.

David loved the Lord, and the bond between them grew. He could pour his heart out to Him in prayer and not feel silly or unaccepted. Over time, the relationship developed into a deep commitment and respect for God.

When David heard the taunts of the Philistines and saw the arrogance of Goliath, he was incensed. How could anyone oppose the armies of God and live? With five smooth stones and a slingshot David faced his adversary, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel.”

Here’s a formula that works when facing difficulties: make sure your life is right with God, ask forgiveness for any known sin, and pray for God’s wisdom and guidance. Then you can go into battle with the confidence of David, knowing that you are marching off not in your own strength but in the strength of almighty God.

Dear heavenly Father, give me Your wisdom and guidance so I can advance into the battles of life with full assurance of Your abiding presence.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 320). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

SBC Pastor Says Mohler ‘Might Be Good’ For SBC Pres. So Long as He Doesn’t Interfere With Progressive Shift — Christian Research Network

“While we can appreciate some of Mohler’s views on certain social issues as it pertains to culture, it’s going to be difficult to see Mohler as an effective leader of the denomination when — by any discernible standard — he refuses to deal with plaguing issues in his own denomination.”

(Jeff Maples – Reformation Charlotte)  Southern Baptist pastor and race-baiter, Dwight McKissic is a fully woke, charismatic egalitarian social justice warrior who has spent his entire career railing against non-existent “white supremacy” in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Reformation Charlotte reported earlier today that H.B. Charles, a prominent Southern Baptist pastor announced his intention to nominate Albert Mohler for SBC president next summer. In the report, we predicted that Mohler would likely not take a strong conservative stance on any of the prevailing issues facing the denomination right now, rather he would act as a mediator between the conservatives and the progressives. View article →


Albert Mohler

Southern Baptist Convention

Progressive Christianity

via SBC Pastor Says Mohler ‘Might Be Good’ For SBC Pres. So Long as He Doesn’t Interfere With Progressive Shift — Christian Research Network

Democrats’ Soviet-Style Impeachment Inquiry Focuses on 2 White House Lawyers — The Gateway Pundit

The Democrats’ sham impeachment inquiry is focusing on two White House lawyers who have knowledge of the discussions about moving the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a highly secure electronic system.

This is the Dems strategy to weasel their way into the West Wing as they seek to damage President Trump’s re-election efforts.

According to two ‘witnesses,’ two White House lawyers, John Eisenberg, the lead lawyer for the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a senior associate counsel to the president, took steps to ‘hide’ the Trump=Zelensky transcript for political reasons, reported the Associated Press.

According to testimony given by Alexander Vindman, the Trump-hating NatSec official who showed up to Schiff’s impeachment hearing in military dress, Eisenberg suggested moving the Trump-Zelensky call to the secure electronic system.

The secure system was put in place because Trump and his counsel knew they were surrounded by leakers and liars — it was reported by the New York Times that Vindman actually tried to alter the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, but the electronic system blocked his attempt.

The Dems are focusing on ‘witnesses’ with third and fourth-hand knowledge, but one witness who was actually on the July 25 Trump-Zelensky call completely destroyed Schiff on Thursday during a closed-door deposition.

On Thursday Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s Senior Director for European Affairs appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify before Adam Schiff’s sham secret chamber impeachment hearing.

During the hearing Morrison told the committee he was not concerned about anything illegal that was discussed during the Trump-Zelensky phone call. But that he did have concerns about his subordinate LTC Alex Vindman who he had issues with in the past.

The House of Representatives, with Schiff and Pelosi at the helm have been conducting secret impeachment hearings, but on Thursday the House passed a resolution along party lines in a 232-196 to make the process ‘more transparent.’

The resolution approved a Soviet-style proceeding which denies President Trump due process.

The text of the Democrat impeachment resolution was released Tuesday afternoon and it further confirmed the Democrats are attempting to remove Trump via a coup under the guise of impeachment.

According to the impeachment resolution, ranking member of the House Intel Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA) can only issue subpoenas, call in witnesses and introduce evidence with Democrat Chairman Adam Schiff’s permission.

Under normal impeachment proceedings, Minority members of the committees would have equal subpoena power and they would be able to call in witnesses.

These same Democrats did nothing about Hillary Clinton transmitting classified information over a private server while she was the head of the Department of State — now they want to impeach President Trump for placing a memo of a classified phone call on a secure system.

via Democrats’ Soviet-Style Impeachment Inquiry Focuses on 2 White House Lawyers — The Gateway Pundit

Tulsi Gabbard’s WSJ Op-Ed | Stephen Lendman

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The Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal surprisingly gave anti-war/pro-social justice presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard op-ed space on October 29 to express her views freely.

Since entering the race for the nation’s highest office, establishment media shunned or demeaned her — the only anti-war progressive running, her agenda polar opposite what both right wings of the US war party stand for.

Hillary smeared her by falsely suggesting she’s a Russian asset — “groom(ed) to be (a) third party candidate.”

Last week, Gabbard said at a time when “our world is moving ever closer to a nuclear holocaust…when we may be sucked into another even more disastrous war in the Middle East, and tensions with other nuclear powers are escalating, and with that, a new arms race and Cold War that can only end in nuclear catastrophe, I believe I can best serve the people of Hawaii and our country as your president and commander-in-chief,” adding:

“As president, I will immediately begin work to end the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, end our interventionist foreign policy of carrying out regime change wars, and redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people here at home.”

She passing up a congressional reelection bid to focus entirely on seeking the nation’s highest office — stressing she wants to put “people ahead of profits…people ahead of politics…the wellbeing of our people and our planet above all else.”

Her WSJ op-ed headlined: “I Can Defeat Trump and the Clinton Doctrine,” saying:

“The US (on her watch) will stop trying to overthrow governments and police the world,” adding:

“I’m running for president to undo Mrs. Clinton’s failed legacy. From Iraq to Libya to Syria, her record is replete with foreign-policy catastrophes. It’s a primary reason why I resigned as vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.”

Hillary notoriously was the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history. She remains unaccountable for major war crimes, racketeering and perjury.

If elevated to president and commander-in-chief, endless US wars of aggression would follow, possibly nuclear war, risking destruction of planet earth and all its life forms.

She and her media press agents never forgave Gabbard for not endorsing her. As for accusations about being backed by Russia or other foreign powers, it’s part of a propaganda smear campaign to demean and weaken her chances of gaining increased support she deserves.

Gabbard: “Those who are indebted to the war machine and the overreaching intelligence agencies, as well as their cheerleaders in the media, are determined to take me down because they know they can’t control me. I’m directly challenging their power.”

US dark forces want presidents, key congressional members, and the courts supporting their self-serving agenda — rigging things to assure anti-war/progressive candidates aren’t elected or appointed to high office, wanting dirty business as usual left unchanged.

Hillary is a hugely unpopular two-time loser. Gabbard asked why would Dems think a third run by her for the nation’s highest office “would result in anything different,” adding:

Whether she’s “on the ballot or not, her foreign policy will be, as many of the (Dem) candidates adhere to her doctrine of acting as the world’s police, using the tools of war to overthrow governments we don’t like, wasting taxpayer dollars, costing American lives, causing suffering and destruction abroad, and undermining America’s security.”

“A Gabbard presidency would mean the end of trying to police the world, no more overthrowing governments, an end to the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, and redirecting our resources to urgent needs at home.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m an isolationist. I will lead with a robust, positive foreign policy based on diplomacy and cooperation rather than confrontation and conflict.”

“Those who follow the Bush-Clinton doctrine believe the only way to interact with other nations is by bombing them or starving them with draconian sanctions.”

It’s also the Obama doctrine, the same agenda of most past US presidents and vast majority of congressional members.

It’s an imperial doctrine, demanding other nations bend to Washington’s will or be smashed by war and/or economic terrorism.

It’s a neoliberal harshness doctrine, serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of equity and justice for all.

It’s a police state doctrine, targeting truth-telling journalists like Julian Assange and whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing like Chelsea Manning.

It’s an anti-democratic, anti-human and civil rights doctrine, notions the US ruling class and its supportive media abhor.

Gabbard said if elected president, she’ll work to “revers(e) the damage the Bush-Clinton doctrine has done to America and the world.”

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Small numbers of committed people can motivate larger numbers to get involved, what’s badly needed.

Activism for positive change requires taking to the streets, putting bodies of committed people on the line, no longer tolerating the intolerable status quo — exploiting ordinary people so privileged ones can benefit.

Change always comes bottom up, never top down, why voting achieves nothing. Names and faces change. Dirty business as usual continues.

The only solution is nonviolent popular revolution — headed by responsible leadership for change to believe in. If achieved, it would be the real thing for the first time in US history.

Aspirants for high office on a peace, equity and justice agenda like Gabbard supports have scant chance of being elected because US dark forces won’t tolerate positive change.

That’s why taking to the streets with commitment to stay the course is the only way to achieve it.

What’s gone on or going on in Chile, Haiti, Lebanon, Gaza, Ecuador, France, and elsewhere is needed most of all in the US, other Western societies and Israel — the heart of global darkness.

Source: Tulsi Gabbard’s WSJ Op-Ed

More Bad Economic Numbers Put Huge Dent In Economic Optimists’ Case | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

For a long time, people have been trying to tell me that the U.S. economy is headed for a new golden era. They insist that the U.S. will be more powerful and more respected than ever before, and that we will see unprecedented prosperity in this nation.

But despite extremely wild spending by the U.S. government and exceedingly irresponsible intervention by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. economy has not even had a “good” year in ages. As I have pointed out numerous times, we have not had a year when U.S. GDP grew by at least 3 percent since the middle of the Bush administration, and that makes this the longest stretch of low growth in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin. Many believe that brighter days may still be ahead, but all of the economic numbers that we have been getting in recent months make it abundantly clear that a new economic slowdown has begun. I shared 14 of those numbers earlier this week, and I will share some brand new ones with you today.

Source: Bloomberg

Let’s start by taking a look at how U.S. consumers are faring. U.S. consumer confidence has now fallen for 3 months in a row, and this week we learned that the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index has just fallen at the fastest pace in more than 8 years

U.S. consumer comfort suffered its biggest weekly decline in more than eight years on a pullback in Americans’ assessments of the economy, personal finances and the buying climate, possibly signaling more moderate household spending approaching the holiday-shopping season.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 2.4 points, the most since March 2011, to 61 in the week ended Oct. 27.

How in the world can anyone possibly claim that we have a “booming economy” after reading that?

We also just got another depressingly bad manufacturing number. Experts were expecting a reading of 48.3 for the Chicago Purchasing Management Index, but instead it came in at just 43.2

The Chicago Purchasing Management Index sank to 43.2 in October from 47.1 in the prior month. This is the lowest level since December 2015. Economists has expected a reading of 48.3, according to Econoday.

Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions.

We were promised a “manufacturing renaissance”, but instead manufacturing is now the smallest share of the U.S. economy that it has been in 72 years.

That is terrible.

Manufacturing traditionally provides good paying jobs, and as I pointed out the other day, U.S. business hiring has now declined to the lowest level in 7 years.

But at least we have plenty of government jobs, eh?

In the private sector, things are getting really tough, and we are starting to see lots of big companies lay off workers.

For example, Molson Coors just announced that they will be laying off up to 500 workers as they desperately search for a way to survive in this difficult economic environment…

To further drive efficiency and enable growth, Molson Coors is consolidating and reorganizing office locations. The Denver office will be closed and Chicago will be designated as the North American operational headquarters. Functional support roles currently housed in several offices around the country will now be based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

As a result, we expect to reduce employment levels by approximately 400 to 500 employees as part of this restructuring, primarily in our existing United States, Canada and International reporting segments, as well as Corporate.

You know that things are getting tough when even beer companies start laying people off.

Of course the “retail apocalypse” continues to escalate, and we just learned that Forever 21 will be closing most of their stores and laying off most of their employees

More than 100 Forever 21 stores are slated to close as part of the fashion retailer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case, according to court documents filed this week.

The family-owned company, which has about 32,800 employees, said it would close “most” of its stores in Asia and Europe and up to 178 stores in the U.S. when it filed for protection Sept. 29.

A similar scenario is playing out for Dressbarn. According to USA Today, all of their 544 stores “will close no later than Dec. 26″…

Liquidation sales at the remaining Dressbarn stores will start Friday, the struggling retailer announced Wednesday.

While the 544 stores will close no later than Dec. 26, the women’s clothing website is expected to relaunch in 2020 with a new owner, the company said in a news release.

It has been hoped that a limited trade agreement with China might bolster the economy at least temporarily, but now we are learning that Chinese officials expect “phase one” of the deal to “soon fall apart”. According to CNN, the Chinese are pessimistic that our two countries will ever be able to “reach a full trade deal”…

Chinese officials have expressed doubts about whether the world’s two largest economies can reach a full trade deal, Bloomberg reported. That is casting a long shadow over the “phase one” agreement that the countries reached earlier in October.

This is consistent with my warnings from previous articles. The Chinese wanted the Trump administration to stop the implementation of any more tariffs, and they were able to achieve that with “phase one”. But in order to move forward with “phase two”, the Chinese are going to insist on the removal of all tariffs

According to BBG’s sources, this is the bare minimum that Beijing would accept to move ahead with Phase 1: a commitment from the Americans to removing tariffs in Phase 2, and agreeing to cancel the next round of tariffs, set to take effect in December.

This is something that the Trump administration will never agree to, and so that puts us back where we originally started.

The Chinese will continue to “negotiate”, but only for stalling purposes.

There is only about a year left until the 2020 elections, and the Chinese are hoping to run out the clock on the Trump administration with as little disruption to their own economy as possible.

Unfortunately for the Chinese, Trump could possibly win another term, and if either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders win they could potentially be even tougher on trade with China.

In any event, we should not expect a comprehensive trade deal with China any time soon, and that is really bad news for the economic optimists.

Of course the truth is that everything that I have just shared is bad news for all of us. The U.S. economy is seriously deteriorating, and things are only going to get worse in the months ahead.

Source: More Bad Economic Numbers Put Huge Dent In Economic Optimists’ Case

Trump-Ukraine Whistleblower Suddenly Won’t Testify; Lawyers Break Off Negotiations Amid New Revelations | ZeroHedge News

A CIA officer who filed a second-hand whistleblower complaint against President Trump has gotten cold feet about testifying after revelations emerged that he worked with Joe Biden, former CIA Director John Brennan, and a DNC operative who sought dirt on President Trump from officials in Ukraine’s former government.

According to the Washington Examiner, discussions with the whistleblower – revealed by RealClearInvestigations as 33-year-old Eric Ciaramella have been halted, “and there is no discussion of testimony from a second whistleblower, who supported the first’s claims.”

Ciaramella complained that President Trump abused his office when he asked Ukraine to investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as claims related to pro-Clinton election interference and DNC hacking in 2016.

On Thursday, a top National Security Council official who was present on a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky testified that he saw nothing illegal about the conversation.

I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” said Tim Morrison, former NSC Senior Director for European Affairs who was on the July 25 call between the two leaders.

Tim Morrison

And now, the partisan whistleblowers have cold feet;

“There is no indication that either of the original whistleblowers will be called to testify or appear before the Senate or House Intelligence committees. There is no further discussion ongoing between the legal team and the committees,” said the Examiner‘s source.

The whistleblower is a career CIA officer with expertise in Ukraine policy who served on the White House National Security Council during the Obama administration, when 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was “point man” for Ukraine, and during the early months of the Trump administration. –Washington Examiner

In other words, House Democrats are about to impeach President Trump over a second-hand whistleblower complaint by a partisan CIA officer, and neither he nor his source will actually testify about it (for now…).

On Thursday, the House passed a resolution establishing a framework for Trump impeachment proceedings, belatedly granting Republicans the ability to subpoena witnesses, but only if Schiff and fellow Democrats on the Intelligence Committee agree.

Mark Zaid, who along with Andrew Bakaj is an attorney for both the original whistleblower and the second whistleblower, told the Washington Examiner the legal team was willing to work with lawmakers so long as anonymity is ensured. “We remain committed to cooperating with any congressional oversight committee’s requests so long as it properly protects and ensures the anonymity of our clients,” Zaid said.

On Wednesday, Zaid and Bakaj declined to confirm or deny in a statement to the Washington Examiner that Eric Ciaramella, 33, a career CIA analyst and former Ukraine director on the NSC, was the whistleblower after a report by RealClearInvestigations. –Washington Examiner

In September, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, who lied about contacts with Ciaramella (and hired two Ciaramella associates as staffers) said that the whistleblower “would like to speak to our committee.”

Once Ciaramella’s status as a CIA officer and his links to Biden emerged, however, Schiff backtracked. On October 13 he changed his tune, saying “Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected.”

Meanwhile, once the House impeaches Trump – which it most certainly willthe tables will turn in the Senate, which will hold a mandatory trial. Not only will the GOP-Senators controlling the proceedings be able to subpoena documents and other evidence, they’ll be able to compel Ciaramella, the Bidens, Chalupa and any other witnesses they desire as we head into the 2020 US election.

Nancy Pelosi saw this coming and caved to her party anyway. There isn’t enough popcorn in the world for what’s coming.

Source: Trump-Ukraine Whistleblower Suddenly Won’t Testify; Lawyers Break Off Negotiations Amid New Revelations

November 1, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day


For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, (1:13a)

A second cause for thanksgiving is our spiritual liberation. Delivered is from ruomai, which means “to draw to oneself,” or “to rescue.” God drew us out of Satan’s kingdom to Himself. That event was the new birth. We are not gradually, progressively delivered from Satan’s power. When we placed our faith in Christ, we were instantly delivered. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). Believers do not need deliverance from the dominion of sin and Satan; they need to act as those who have been delivered (cf. Rom. 6:2, 7, 11).

Those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ have been rescued from the domain of darkness. Exousias (domain) could be translated “power,” “jurisdiction,” or “authority.” Our Lord used the phrase domain of darkness (exousias tou skotous) to refer to the supernatural forces of Satan marshalled against Him at His arrest (Luke 22:53). The triumph of the domain of darkness was short-lived, however. A few hours later, Jesus forever shattered Satan’s power by His death on the cross. You need not fear that power, for “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Through His death, Jesus crushed Satan and delivered us from his dark kingdom.


and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (1:13b, 14)

Paul continues the litany of blessings that draw out his gratitude by describing our new domain. Methistēmi (transferred) means to remove or change. It is used in Acts 13:22 to speak of God’s removing Saul from being king. It was used in the ancient world to speak of the displacement of a conquered people to another land. The verb speaks here of our total removal from the domain of satanic darkness to the glorious light of the kingdom of Christ.

Kingdom refers to more than the future millennial kingdom, when Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years. Nor does it speak merely of the general rule of God over His creation. The kingdom is a spiritual reality right now. Paul gives us a definition of it in Romans 14:17: “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” The kingdom is the special relationship men in this age have with God through Jesus Christ. A kingdom in its most basic sense is a group of people ruled by a king. Christians have acknowledged Christ as their King and are subjects in His kingdom. They have been transferred … to the kingdom of His beloved Son. The Greek text literally reads, “the Son of His love” (tou huiou tēs agapēs autou). The Father gives the kingdom to the Son He loves, then to everyone who loves the Son (Luke 12:32).

Although Christ does not yet rule on earth, He is no less a king. In response to Pilate’s question, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “It is as you say” (Matt. 27:11). He reigns in eternity, rules now over His church, and one day will return to rule the earth as King of kings.

There is a tremendous responsibility that accompanies being part of Christ’s kingdom. As subjects of that kingdom, we must properly represent the King. Paul admonished the Thessalonians to “walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:12). Even their persecution was a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so they might be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed they were suffering (2 Thess. 1:5). The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28).

Before we could be fit subjects for Christ’s kingdom we needed redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Apolutrōsis (redemption) is one of the magnificent New Testament words expressing a blessed aspect of the work of Christ on our behalf. Alongside such terms as sacrifice, offering, propitiation, ransom, justification, adoption, and reconciliation, it attempts to describe the riches of our salvation. It means “to deliver by payment of a ransom,” and was used to speak of freeing slaves from bondage. The meaning of apolutrōsis is expressed in our English word emancipation. The Septuagint uses a related word to speak of Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt. Apolutrōsis is used in several places in the New Testament to speak of Christ’s freeing us from slavery to sin. In Ephesians 1:7, Paul writes, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” To the Corinthians he wrote, “By His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). In the midst of perhaps the most thorough soteriological passage in the New Testament, Paul writes that we are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).

Redemption results in the forgiveness of sins. Aphesin (forgiveness) refers to pardon, or remission of penalty. It is a composite of two Greek words, apo, “from,” and hiēmi, “to send.” Because Christ redeemed us, God has sent away our sins; they will never be found again. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12). “He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19).

So Christ’s death on our behalf paid the price to redeem us. On that basis, God forgave our sins, granted us an inheritance, delivered us from the power of darkness, and made us subjects of Christ’s kingdom. Those wonderful truths should cause us to give thanks to God continually, as did Paul in his prayer. And when we contemplate all He has done for us, how can we do any less than pray to be filled with the knowledge of His will?[1]

13 Not only has God qualified the Colossians to share in the saints’ inheritance, he has also “rescued [them] from the dominion of darkness.” This light/night dichotomy is found elsewhere in Paul (cf. Ro 13:12; Eph 5:8; Php 2:15; 1 Th 5:5) and is not uncommon in the NT, especially in the Johannine literature (cf. Jn 1:5; 3:19; 8:12; 11:10; 12:35–36; 1 Jn 1:5–7; 2:8–11; see also 1 Pe 2:9). This contrast, of course, is present at creation (Ge 1:1–5) and is given insightful expression in Isaiah (e.g., 9:2; 60:1–2). Although Colossians contends that Christ is superior to and more powerful than any other and all else (see esp. 1:15–17; 2:10), it nevertheless acknowledges the sinister power of lesser authorities that Christ, and through him Christians, must overcome and conquer (see esp. 1:20–22; 2:13–15; cf. 2 Co 10:3–6; Eph 6:11–12).

God facilitates and effects deliverance for believers through his Son. Paul describes this divine rescue mission as a transference from one “dominion” to another. God has brought Christians out of the orb of darkness “into the kingdom of the Son of his love” (lit.), into the realm and rule of God’s beloved Son. (Basileia, “kingdom,” GK 993, appears one other time in Colossians [4:11] and only fourteen times in all the Pauline letters; the term occurs some 162 times in the Greek NT and with some frequency in the Synoptic Gospels, Acts, and Revelation.) This precise description of Jesus is unparalleled in Paul (cf., however, Eph 1:6) and occurs only occasionally elsewhere in the NT (cf. Mk 1:11; 9:7 [and Synoptic par.]; 2 Pe 1:17). The Father loves his Son and demonstrates his love to humanity through the sending and giving of him (Jn 3:16; Ro 5:8; 1 Jn 4:10). The Colossians (and all Christians) are called to clothe themselves in such love (3:14; cf. 1:4; 2:2; 3:19).[2]

13  This inheritance is established in the realm of light; it is irradiated by the brightness of the Sun of righteousness, shining in his people’s hearts. It is contrasted with the realm to which they formerly belonged, the “dominion of darkness.” There is no need to see here a reflection of Zoroastrian dualism. Nor should we think in terms of Qumran influence, although parallels to this kind of language abound in the Qumran texts.55 The statement of an ethical antithesis in terms of light and darkness (light being the correlate of goodness and truth, darkness of evil and falsehood) is too widespread for us to assume in such a reference as this the influence of any one system of thought in which these terms played a prominent part. It may indeed be that the teaching to which the Colossian Christians were being exposed made play with “light” and “darkness” as it apparently did with “wisdom” and “knowledge”; but there is good biblical precedent for their use, going back to the separation of light and darkness in the creation story of Gen. 1:4. Other Pauline instances are 2 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thess. 5:5; Eph. 5:8–14.

The phrase “the dominion of darkness,” which is used here, appears in Luke’s account of our Lord’s arrest in Gethsemane, where he says to the men who have come to apprehend him, “When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the dominion of darkness” (Luke 22:53). These words refer to the sinister forces marshalled against him for a decisive combat in the spiritual realm. The dark power did indeed have its brief hour of opportunity against the Son of Man, but it was only a brief hour, and it ended in the defeat of the dark power. By virtue of his conquest then, Christ vindicated his authority to raid the domain of darkness and rescue those who had hitherto been fast bound under the control of its guardians.58 Those guardians, “the world rulers of this darkness,” as they are called in Eph. 6:10, are probably the principalities and powers to which the Christians of Colossae were tempted to pay some meed of homage. But why should they do any such thing? They had already been rescued from the sphere dominated by those principalities, and translated into the domain of the victorious Son of God. No longer was there any need for them to live in fear of those forces which were believed to control the destinies of men and women: their transference to the realm of light had been accomplished once for all.

In the affirmation that believers have already been brought into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son we have an example of truly realized eschatology. That which in its fullness lies ahead of them has already become effective in them. “Those whom he justified he also glorified” (Rom. 8:30). The fact that God has begun a good work in them is the guarantee that it will be brought to fruition on the day of Jesus Christ (cf. Phil. 1:6). By an anticipation which is a genuine experience and not a legal fiction they have received here and now a foretaste of the glory that is yet to be revealed. The “inheritance of the saints in light” has not yet been received in its coming fullness, but the divine act by which believers have been fitted for it has already taken place. The divine kingdom has this twofold aspect throughout the NT. It has already broken into the world through the work of Christ (cf. Matt. 12:28 par. Luke 11:20); it will break in on a coming day in the plenitude of glory which invests Christ’s parousia. Those who look forward to an abundant entrance in resurrection into that heavenly order which the present mortal body of flesh and blood cannot inherit are assured at the same time that this order is already theirs. This assurance they derive (as Paul says elsewhere) from the indwelling Spirit or (as it is said in v. 27 below) from the indwelling Christ.

It appears that Paul tends to distinguish those two aspects of the heavenly kingdom by reserving the commoner expression “the kingdom of God” for its future consummation, while designating its present phase by some such term as “the kingdom of Christ.” Thus, in 1 Cor. 15:24 Christ, after reigning until all things are put under his feet, delivers up the kingdom to God the Father; his mediatorial sovereignty is then merged in the eternal dominion of God.[3]

13 As noted in our schematic in the note at verses 10–12 above, Paul keeps unpacking in a series of subordinating clauses their prayer, and in v. 13 he parallels the Father’s work of qualification (v. 12b) with the Father’s work of rescuing and relocating in the kingdom of the Son in a way that evokes the exodus. In fact, one might say the parallel is precisely that: an exodus typology parallels the previous qualifying work. That is, the Father qualifies by rescuing. YHWH is the Redeemer (Isa 63:16; cf. Rom 11:26) and rescues, delivers, or saves someone—in particular, Israel (cf. Exod 6:6; 14:30; Matt 6:13). It may well be that the idea of redemptive rescue itself derives from a standard Jewish petition, with the gravity of meaning always shifting to the peril from which someone is rescued. In Paul’s letters, one is rescued from God’s wrath, or the judgment of God against the wicked (1 Thess 1:10), from wicked and evil people (2 Thess 3:2), the deadly peril of persecution (2 Cor 1:10; 2 Tim 3:11; 4:17–18), unbelievers (Rom 15:31), and death (7:24). But Col 1:13 fashions the peril in cosmic terms—“from the dominion of darkness”—and this cosmic rescue work of God emphasizes what has already happened. When redemption comes up, so does atonement, and the theory of atonement at work in this clause emerges from an exodus-from-exile theology.224 The same verb (ruomai) is found in two classic exodus formulations as translated in the LXX:

Therefore, say to the Israelites: “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem [lutroō] you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. (Exod 6:6)

That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. (Exod 14:30)

Hence, the “theory” at work is the classic theory, namely, that God ransoms us by Christ’s entrance into enemy territory to recapture the captives and take them into freedom—transporting them from enemy territory back home. We will include a full discussion of the principalities and powers below at 2:15, so for now all that needs to be said is that the “dominion of darkness” is the deep, cosmic, demonic personal realities capturing structures and society and people in this world systemically to thwart the good plan of God. That plan is to rescue people from darkness in order to relocate the rescued into the realm of the kingdom of the Son.

They have been rescued out of the “dominion of darkness.” The ancient world of both Greco-Roman and Jewish authors, including the New Testament, knows of a moral dualism depicted in terms of light and darkness (1 Thess 5:4; 1 Cor 4:5; 2 Cor 6:14; Rom 2:19; Wis 17:20; 18:4), but the imagery of light vs. darkness can come just as easily from apocalyptic thinking that divides the cosmos into those in the light over against those in the darkness. For instance, 1 Enoch 92:4–5: “The Righteous One … they [or he] shall walk in eternal light. Sin and darkness shall perish forever, and shall no more be seen from that day forevermore.” The imagery of light and darkness reflects boilerplate thinking, so it should not be pinned to any specific group in the first century. God’s rescue operation entails liberation for all believers from the “dominion of darkness,” the qualifying act of God that “transferred us” (CEB) or transported us into “the kingdom of the Son he loves.”230

What does Paul mean by “kingdom”? To begin an answer we ask, When is the kingdom? Paul’s usual emphasis is on the futurity of the kingdom, though at times the kingdom is present.232 In v. 13 “kingdom” is the inaugurated/realized reality of the eschatological plan of God, now at work in the world but that will be completed at the eschaton in the new heavens and the new earth. Some contend that the expression “kingdom of the Son he loves” expresses a basic tension between the now and the not yet of the New Testament, where it will be the fuller kingdom of God. This discussion about the now vs. the future does not go far enough in asking the even more important question. We come to another question, How is the kingdom present? This question is answered by nearly all with certitude: the kingdom becomes present in God’s redemptive act in Christ. Hence, “kingdom” is all but synonymous with “salvation.” But this conclusion leads to a further question: Where is the kingdom today? It is my contention, about to be defended, that the presentness of the kingdom, or the inaugurated reality of the kingdom, must be located in the church. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries the Where question has sometimes been answered with “wherever good deeds are done.” Hence, kingdom becomes all but synonymous with ethics and social justice.

But the word “kingdom” in the Hebrew Old Testament through the Septuagint and into Josephus entailed more than the rescuing or redeeming act of God (salvation) and more than the justice of the kingdom (ethics). One can easily argue that the term never directly means either salvation or justice, though both are implicated in what kingdom means in the Jewish world. This term “kingdom” entailed five elements, without which we lose contact with what kingdom meant for Israel, for Jesus, and for the apostles:

  1. a king (here the “Son”),
  2. a rule (which includes governing, saving, rescuing, guiding, and protecting),
  3. a people (hence the term is often synonymous with “nation” and “Israel” or “Judah”),
  4. a land or place, and
  5. a law.

All five elements are present when Paul says they have been rescued from darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the Son. Robin M. Wilson says much the same in the following words: “It has been argued that the primary significance is that of sovereignty, the rule of God in the hearts and lives of men and women, rather than that of a realm or kingdom. This, however, may be to introduce a false contrast: sovereignty implies a territory within which that sovereignty is exercised, a community over which the sovereign rules, people who accept that rule.”

And Dale Allison has recently observed that “in both this age and the age to come, God’s kingship cannot be separated from the people of Israel, who in turn are inextricably bound up with the fate of their land and its capital, Jerusalem.” That is, this kingdom is more than a saving dynamic or the saving rule of God unleashed in the here and now in pursuits of justice, but the concrete reality of the redeemed people in fellowship under the King’s benevolent and protective rule. Witherington asks where Christ has “overruled” and poses two answers: through his death he now rules over the principalities and powers, and in the lives of believers he rules morally.240 I add a third: in the body of Christ, the church both universal and local. We speak here yet again however only of the inauguration of that rule, not the full realization of it.

The kingdom of the Son is the Son God “loves.” Undoubtedly we have echoes here of Ps 2:7 and Isa 42:1, both brought into view christologically in the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:11; Matt 3:17). Son refers to Jesus as King.[4]

1:13 / The second reason for thanksgiving is their deliverance from darkness and their transference to the kingdom of Christ. Darkness, in the nt, is a metaphor for evil, and those in darkness are without God and live under the rule of Satan, the evil one (Matt. 6:13). Paul, as a messenger of the gospel, was himself told: “I am sending you to them to open their [the Gentiles’] eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17–18). Christians are described as those who at one time lived in darkness but in Christ have become people of light (Eph. 5:8; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 John 1:5–7). In Colossians, Paul reminds his readers that they have been rescued from the dominion of darkness.

The positive side of God’s action is that he brought us (lit., “transferred”) into the kingdom of the Son he loves. The idea expressed by kingdom is that of a “rule” and is used as a counterpart to dominion. In other words, as the realm of darkness had a certain power, the transference is to the rule (power, authority) of the Son God loves (lit., “Beloved Son,” as used at the baptism and transfiguration, Mark 1:11; 9:7, and parallels; cf. also Eph. 1:6). The Colossians have been rescued from the sphere of darkness dominated by evil powers and transferred into the realm of the victorious Son of God.

The phrase kingdom of the Son he loves or the “kingdom of Christ,” is not common in the nt. Perhaps the apostle uses this expression to emphasize the present reality and sphere of their possession in Christ rather than the more common “kingdom of God,” which has a connotation of the future (1 Cor. 6:9; 15:50; Gal. 5:21; 2 Tim. 4:1, 18). Or, Paul simply may be preparing the way for the Christ hymn that follows. At any rate, it serves to remind the readers that they are no longer subject to evil forces; they have been delivered from these powers and are reminded to live victoriously in the power of Christ (3:1–4).[5]

13, 14. Verses 13 and 14 summarize the divine work of redemption. The details follow in verses 15–23. This reminds us of Romans, where 1:16, 17 summarizes what is described in greater detail in Rom. 1:18–8:39.

Paul’s heart was in his writing. He never wrote in the abstract when he discussed the great blessings which believers have in Christ. He was ever deeply conscious of the fact that upon him, too, though completely unworthy, the Father had bestowed these favors. Hence, it is not surprising that, deeply moved by what he is writing, he changes the wording, from “you” to “us”: verse 13, “who qualified you …”; verse 14, “and who rescued us.…” Besides, note how all the main ideas of verses 12–14—darkness, light, inheritance, remission of sins—occur also in Acts 26:18, 23, passages that record Paul’s own experience and predict the experience of the Gentiles to whom he was now sent. The apostle, accordingly, in describing the kindnesses which had been conferred upon the Colossians and upon himself and his associates, yes, even upon all rescued sinners, echoes the very words which the Savior had used in addressing him, even “Saul,” the great and dreadful persecutor:

“I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet since for this purpose I have appeared to you … delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power [or: jurisdiction] of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:15b–18, quoted in part).

So Paul writes: and who rescued us. He drew us to himself, delivering us from our condition of wretchedness. The verb rescued in the present context implies both the utterly hopeless darkness and misery in which, apart from God’s mercy, “we” (the Colossians, Paul, etc.) had been groping about, and the glorious but arduous redemptive work that was necessary to emancipate us from our wretched state. The Father rescued us by sending his Son into the flesh (Col. 1:22; 2:9; cf. Gal. 1:15, 16; 4:4, 5) in order:

  1. to die for our sins on the cross (Col. 1:22; 2:14; cf. Gal. 2:20; 6:14), and
  2. to rise and ascend to heaven, whence he poured the Spirit into our hearts (Col. 3:1; cf. 2 Thess. 2:13; John 16:7), so that we, having been called (Col. 1:6, 7; cf. Gal. 1:15, 16; Phil. 3:14), were “made alive” (Col. 2:13; cf. Eph. 2:1–5; John 3:3; Acts 16:14), and by an act of genuine conversion accepted Christ Jesus as Lord and were baptized (Col. 2:6, 12; cf. Acts 9:1–19).

This entire process is covered by the words, “He rescued us,” and this, out of the domain of darkness, the sphere in which Satan exercises his usurped jurisdiction (Matt. 4:8–11; Luke 22:52, 53; cf. Acts 26:18) over human hearts, lives, activities, and over all “the powers of the air,” “the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 2:2; 6:12). (For the meaning of light and darkness see above on verse 12.) Helpless, hopeless slaves were we, chained by our sins in Satan’s prison … until the Conqueror came to our rescue (cf. 2 Cor. 2:14). It was God in Christ who rescued us and transplanted us into the kingdom of the Son of his love. He brought us out of the dark and dismal realm of false ideas and chimerical ideals into the sun-bathed land of clear knowledge and realistic expectation; out of the bewildering sphere of perverted cravings and selfish hankerings into the blissful realm of holy yearnings and glorious self-denials; out of the miserable dungeon of intolerable bonds and heart-rending cries into the magnificent palace of glorious liberty and joyful songs.

“Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,

Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;

Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,

Jesus, I come to Thee;

Out of my sickness into Thy health,

Out of my want and into Thy wealth,

Out of my sin and into Thyself,

Jesus, I come to Thee.

“Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,

Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;

Into the joy and light of Thy home,

Jesus, I come to Thee;

Out of the depths of ruin untold,

Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,

Ever Thy glorious face to behold,

Jesus, I come to Thee.”

(W. T. Sleeper)

It is probable that the underlying figure is one which those addressed—both Gentile and Jew—readily understood. These people knew that earthly rulers would at times transplant a conquered people from one country to another (2 Kings 15:29; 17:3–6; 18:13; 24:14–16; 25:11; 2 Chron. 36:20; Jer. 52:30; Dan. 1:1–4; Ezek. 1:1; see also above: Introduction, II. The City of Colosse, C). So also “we” have been transplanted, and this not from liberty into slavery but from slavery into liberty. Let us then stand in that liberty. Let us not think that our deliverance is only of a partial character, or that by means of mystic rites, painful ceremonies, worship of angels, or any other means (then or now) we must slowly work our way up from sin to holiness. Once for all we have been delivered. We have been transplanted not out of darkness into semi-darkness, but out of dismal darkness into “marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). We have even now arrived in “the kingdom of the Son of his (the Father’s) love.” Here is what may truly be called “realized eschatology.” In principle we already in this present life partake of the promised glory. God has already begun a good work in us, and as to the future each one of us is able to testify:

“The work thou hast in me begun

Shall by thy grace be fully done” (cf. Ps. 138:8; Phil. 1:6).

“We” have received the Holy Spirit. And his indwelling presence is the “earnest” (first instalment and pledge) of our inheritance (Eph. 1:4; cf. 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5). It is the guarantee of still greater glory to come. This follows also from the fact that the Christ who merited this glory for us is “the Son of the Father’s love.” He is both the Object of this love (Isa. 42:1; Ps. 2:7; Prov. 8:30; Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Luke 3:22) and its personal manifestation (John 1:18; 14:9; 17:26). How then shall not the Father “together with him” freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:32). We have been transplanted into the Kingdom of the Son of God’s love, in whom we have our redemption, that is, our deliverance as the result of the payment of a ransom. Just as according to Israel’s ancient law the forfeited life could be ransomed (Ex. 21:30), so our life, forfeited through sin, was ransomed by the shedding of Christ’s blood (Eph. 1:7). Besides, as A. Deissmann remarks, “When anybody heard the Greek word λύτρον, ransom [on which the word ἀπολύτρωσις, redemption is based] … it was natural for him to think of the purchase-money for manumitting slaves.” Hence, “in him,” that is, through spiritual union with him (Col. 3:1–3), redemption full and free is ours. This redemption is, accordingly, emancipation from the curse (Gal. 3:13), particularly from enslavement to sin (John 8:34; Rom. 7:14; 1 Cor. 7:23), and release to true liberty (John 8:36; Gal. 5:1). Through Christ’s payment of a ransom and our faith in him we have obtained from the Father the forgiveness or remission (cf. Ps. 103:12) of our sins. The chain that held us fast has been broken. Though the apostle uses this expression “forgiveness of sins” (which is of such frequent occurrence elsewhere in the New Testament), only here and in Eph. 1:7 (forgiveness of … trespasses), and though he generally conveys a similar idea by words and phrases that belong to the “justification by faith” family, he was, nevertheless, well acquainted with the idea of forgiveness of sins, as is shown by Rom. 4:7; 2 Cor. 5:19; and in Colossians by 2:13 and 3:13. In fact, in Colossians the idea of forgiveness is even emphasized. See footnote .

Justification and remission are inseparable. So are also redemption and remission, though this was at times denied. Thus Irenaeus in his work Against Heresies I.xxi.2, written about a.d. 182–188, tells us about certain heretics in his day who taught that here in this life salvation occurs in the following two stages:

  1. Remission of sins at baptism, instituted by the visible, human Jesus;
  2. Redemption at a later stage, through the divine Christ who descended on Jesus. In this second stage the person whose sins have already been forgiven attains to perfection or fulness.

It is possible, in view of such passages as Col. 2:9, 10; 4:12, that the errorists at Colosse were already spreading this or a similar notion. In any event, it was through the Holy Spirit, who knows all things even before they happen and is therefore able to issue warnings that apply to the future as well as to the present, that the apostle wrote these words. They clearly indicate that when a sinner is transplanted out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of light, he is to be regarded as having been redeemed, and that this redemption implies the remission of sins.[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1992). Colossians (pp. 40–42). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Still, T. D. (2006). Colossians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 285–286). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 50–52). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] McKnight, S. (2018). The Letter to the Colossians. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (pp. 124–129). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (p. 25). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Colossians and Philemon (Vol. 6, pp. 61–65). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.