“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” (Colossians 1:13 ESV)
The central aspect of Jesus’s ministry on earth was his atoning death. Jesus had to die for the sins of those who would believe (John 3:16). Yes, his perfect life matters just as much, since it is that forensic righteousness that is credited to our accounts! But the central part—the epitome, if you will—is his bloody sacrifice.
That is how the Father was able to “deliver us from the domain of darkness … to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” We have been recipients of a glorious transfer—from darkness to the Son.
Domain of Darkness
The Bible paints a dark but realistic picture about where we stood before God saved us. We weren’t neutral; we weren’t “on the spiritual fence.” We were in darkness, under the authority of Satan, who is the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). Scripture says we were enemies of God (Col. 1:21).
Our hearts, minds, and wills were controlled by darkness. Darkness resided in the depths of our hearts. The Bible even says we hated God (Romans 1:30). Feeling good about yourself yet?
We certainly don’t enjoy talking about the reality of where we were before coming to Christ. Not only were we apart of the domain of darkness, but we were eating it up! It wasn’t as if we were there but didn’t want to be. No, we were active participants.
We were apart of the domain of darkness and loved every second of it.
His Beloved Son
God scooped us up out of the domain of darkness and placed us into the loving, sovereign arms of His Beloved Son. There is unequivocally nothing better than that!
This wasn’t God helping us turn over a new leaf. He didn’t need to just give us a little push or pump us up a bit. God, and God alone, had to transform our spiritual situation. We went from being lovers of darkness to lovers of His Son—and God alone did that.
It is all of grace (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). God acted monergistically (by Himself) in saving us out of the darkness we were so comfy in. And now, we are eternally comfy in Christ—all because God acted.
Friends, we serve a tremendous God. A good God, a loving God, a righteous God, a holy God. And the God we serve is also our Heavenly Father, since He was gracious and kind enough to save us from our sins.