Colossians 1:13
He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son,
Sermons
Translation into Christ's KingdomT. Croskery Colossians 1:13
Sanctified KnowledgeS. Charnock.Colossians 1:9-14
Spiritual KnowledgeG. S. Bowes.Colossians 1:9-14
The Apostolic PrayerU. R. Thomas.Colossians 1:9-14
The Apostolic PrayerU.R. Thomas Colossians 1:9-14
The Best KnowledgeJ. Spencer.Colossians 1:9-14
The Kingdom of God's Dear SonR.M. Edgar Colossians 1:9-14
The Knowledge of the Divine WillW. B. Pope, D. D.Colossians 1:9-14
The Power of Unceasing PrayerColossians 1:9-14
Prayer Leading Up to the Person of ChristR. Finlayson Colossians 1:9-23
Meetness for HeavenO. Winslow, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
Meetness for HeavenW. Baxendale.Colossians 1:12-14
Meetness for the InheritanceC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 1:12-14
Meetness for the Inheritance of the Saints in LightW. A. Butler, M. A.Colossians 1:12-14
Meetness for the Saintly InheritanceG. Barlow.Colossians 1:12-14
The Father's Gift Through the SonA. Maclaren, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
The InheritanceT. Guthrie, D. D., W. Birch.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance not the Reward of MeritW. Birch.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance of LightPaxton Hood.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance of the FaithfulJ. Morison, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance of the SaintsW. Jay.Colossians 1:12-14
The Inheritance of the SaintsR. Watson.Colossians 1:12-14
The Joy of LightH. J. W. Buxton, M. A.Colossians 1:12-14
The Love of the FatherE.S. Prout Colossians 1:12-14
The Saints in LightH. Melvill, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
Unmeetness for the InheritanceT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:12-14
What is InheritanceT. Guthrie.Colossians 1:12-14
God is the DelivererJ. L. Nye.Colossians 1:13-14
His Dear SonN. Byfield.Colossians 1:13-14
RedemptionBp. Davenant.Colossians 1:13-14
Religion a Great ChangeArvine.Colossians 1:13-14
The Duty of Thankfulness for the DeliveranceP. Bayne, B. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The Great Moral TranslationG. Barlow.Colossians 1:13-14
The Great Spiritual ChangeJ. Spence, D. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The Kingdom of ChristT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The Power of DarknessT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The TranslationT. Guthrie, D. D.Colossians 1:13-14
The Unconsciousness of the Sinner Under the Mower of DarknessP. Bayne, B. D.Colossians 1:13-14
Translated UsN. Byfield.Colossians 1:13-14
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."

I. THE ORIGINAL CONDITION OF ALL MEN. They are under "the power of darkness."

1. Consider the meaning of this darkness. There is a darkness that is seasonable; which, in the economy of nature, brings rest and recovery to man. This darkness is far different.

(1) It is the darkness of ignorance apart from "the light of life" (John 8:12; Ephesians 5:13).

(2) It is the darkness of sin (Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 3:14), blinding men against the truth.

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

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

(5) It is the darkness of hell - " utter darkness."

2.. 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" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

II. THE RESCUE FROM THIS POWER OF DARKNESS. "Who delivered us." None but God can do this work. The strong man will keep his own till the stronger come (Luke 11:22). He delivers us in our effectual calling.

1. He enlightens our minds in the knowledge of Christ, who is "the trite Light." (John 8:12.)

2. He persuades and enables us to embrace Christ as offered in the gospel. (John 6:44; Philippians 2:13.)

3. He renews our wills and causes as to "walk in the light as he is in the light." (1 John 1:7.)

4.. He clothes us "with the armour of light." (Romans 13:12.)

III. THE NEW KINGDOM OF THE RESCUED CAPTIVES AND ITS NEW RELATIONS, "And translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love." The word usually suggests the transplanting of races and the settlement of them in a new territory.

1. The significance of the translation.

(1) It implies separation

(a) from the world,

(b) from sin,

(c) from the devil. "Go out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Corinthians 6:17).

(2) It implies the assumption of entirely new relations. The believer is a member of a new society - " the kingdom of grace;" is "a fellow-citizen with the saints;" is heir of the kingdom of glory. He has a new name, new hopes, new friends, and works for a new heaven.

2. The new kingdom of the saints. "The kingdom of the Son of his love."

(1) It is not the kingdom of inferior angels, as errorists might fancy (Colossians 2:8), but that of God's own Son.

(2) It is a kingdom already in existence.

(3) It is a kingdom that cannot be shaken like the kingdoms of earth (Hebrews 12:28).

(4) It is a kingdom that will endure to the end (Luke 1:33).

(5) It is a kingdom in which the number of the possessors will not diminish the blessings enjoyed by each.

(6) It is a kingdom in which Christ now reigns by his Word and Spirit; the saints rejoicing to have him reigning over them.

(7) All the subjects of this kingdom are kings (Revelation 1:6). - T. C.







Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.
I. INVOLVES OUR ENFRANCHISEMENT FROM A STATE OF DARK CAPTIVITY.

1. The unrenewed are in a realm of moral darkness.(1) Darkness denotes ignorance — moral blindness about the great mysteries of being, of sin and suffering, the deep significance of life. It is possible to know much about religion, to hold religious ideas at second hand; yet be totally in the dark as to the experience of these ideas.(2) Darkness denotes danger and misery.

2. In this realm the unrenewed are held in captivity.

3. From this realm God graciously liberates. "Who hath delivered us."(1) For the slaves of sin there is no help but in God. It is the nature of sin to incapacitate its victim for self-enfranchisement. He is unwilling to be free.(2) The word "deliver" means to snatch, or rescue from danger, even though the person seized may at first be unwilling to escape, as Lot from Sodom. God does not force the human will.(3) Our enfranchisement may be painful.

II. PLACES US IN A CONDITION OF HIGHEST MORAL FREEDOM AND PRIVILEGE.

1. We are transferred to a kingdom. "Hath translated us into the kingdom." Power detains captives; a kingdom fosters willing citizens. Tyranny has no law but the will of a despot; a kingdom implies good government, based on law. The kingdom of God has an earthly and heavenly aspect, both of which are governed by one and the same sceptre. It resembles a city divided by a river, but both parts controlled by the same municipal authority, and having one common franchise. There is no middle state between the power of darkness and the kingdom of grace: all who breathe are either in the one or the other.

2. We are placed under the rule of a beneficent and glorious King. "The Son of His love." The manifestation of Christ is the manifestation of Divine love (1 John 4:9). The kingdom into which believers are translated is founded on love: its entire government is carried on by love. The acts of suffering and death, by which Christ won his kingly dignity, were revelations of love. Under such a monarch we are sure of protection, guidance, support, and final victory.

III. IS EFFECTED BY "REDEMPTION."

1. The means. "Through His blood."

2. The effects.

3. The Author.

(G. Barlow.)

I. THE MOMENTOUS CHANGE.

1. Is from the power of darkness. Darkness is thus personified as a monarch, not a mere force. Under this the Colossians were living till they received the gospel. Neither the light of their Gentile philosophy nor the fitful course of their culture could rescue them. The very light that was in them was darkness. This is the condition of all men naturally. Darkness is —(1) Ignorance. Men are ignorant of God and themselves (1 Corinthians 2:14). They may learn lessons of God's power and wisdom in creation, admire the literature and poetry of revelation, and believe in a future state; but they have no true knowledge of their moral condition, of God as their Father, Christ as their Saviour, or of the blessedness of holiness.(2) It leads to error. In the absence of light the traveller mistakes his way. Men think they are in the road to heaven as they wander up and down the bye-paths of religious formality, of their own resolutions, or of some superstition. Deluded by this darkness they make no effort to live for God and work out their own salvation.(3) Such a condition must be one of danger. The belated traveller cannot distinguish friend from foe, land from water. Unconscious of peril, and perhaps thinking of home, he draws near a precipice, falls over and is killed.(4) Darkness promotes discomfort and fear. There is a gloomy uncertainty and dread of the future, a bondage of the soul through the fear of death. He cannot be happy who knows not God as his Friend, and has no meetness for the future.

2. The process of deliverance.(1) It may involve not a little that is painful. To a man soundly asleep the sudden cry of "fire" is not welcome. So this deliverance involves a distressing inward struggle and the abandonment of many a pleasure.(2) Whither is the delivered soul brought? He is not rescued and left to wander in search of a home, but has a title and guidance to the kingdom of God's Son.(a) This kingdom is so called because it belongs to Him by right, who founded, formed, and rules over it.(b) Something of its character may be learned from His: the Son of God's love (John 3:35). Who can tell the peace and blessedness of those subjects on whom God's boundless love rests.

3. This deliverance is the most important and wonderful event in a man's history. It is a present privilege and prepares for, and is a pledge of the future inheritance.

4. It is exclusively the work of God.

II. THE DIVINE MEANS FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THIS END.

1. A putting forth of power on the part of the deliverer manifested by the mediation of Christ. Although the words, "through His blood," are not found in the earlier MSS., and may have been borrowed from Ephesians 1:7; yet the text involves their meaning. Men are sold under sin and condemned; from this state deliverance comes by redemption; redemption implies a price paid; the ransom is the precious blood of Christ. In His Cross there was a vindication of God's righteousness and power to rescue from sin (1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:14; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 5:2).

2. This redemption is "in Christ." His blood was the ransom, but He is the Redeemer, and it is only in living union with Him that we can receive its blessing. Just as we rest and walk in Him have we evidence that we are amongst the redeemed.

3. It is easy to see how this redemption must, in effect, be the raising of the soul to obedience and purity (2 Corinthians 5:17). The blessing character istic of redemption: forgiveness. This —

(1)is its first blessing (Romans 5:1).

(2)Its most urgent and momentous blessing.

(3)The most direct, flowing immediately from Christ and reaching us directly through His expiation.

(4)The blessing which opens the way for all others.

(J. Spence, D. D.)

I. WHO? The Father. And no one else ought to, or could, deliver man, but God.

1. None other ought, because (as observes) "by this act he would forcibly take away from the Creator His own servant." For so great is this benefit of deliverance, that it binds us more than the benefit of creation.

2. But neither could any other deliver. For he must necessarily be stronger than the devil who could wrest his prey from him (Matthew 12:29). But who could overcome and bind this prince of darkness except the mighty God alone? It was He, therefore, who plucked us from him.

II. WHOM, or what sort of persons God delivered? And this consideration may be twofold.

1. Of those who were to be delivered. Previous to our deliverance we were not only diseased and weak, but opposed to our own deliverance (Romans 5.).(1) Observe the immeasurable love of God, who would deliver such persons: for no one cares to redeem a thing of no value.(2) The infinite power of God who delivered man in spite of the devil.

2. As to those who have been delivered; after that they are faithful and holy, who before were rebels and unholy. "Us" refers to verses 4-6. Hence it is manifest —(1) The dreams of carnal men of deliverance are vain. The Israelites, while serving Pharaoh and lusting after the fleshpots, were not in the enjoyment of liberty; so Christians while obeying the devil and delighting in sin are not delivered.(2) Hence, also, we infer for the consolation of the godly that they alone are free; the ungodly, although they glitter in the eyes of men, are slaves.

III. FROM WHAT? The power of darkness.

1. From the power of the devil who is the prince of darkness. We all are born under his kingdom, so that he worketh in us according to his own will. But this prince of darkness is bruised under the feet of the faithful (Romans 16:20), to whom, by the Spirit of God, new strength is administered to trample upon this unclean spirit.

2. From the power of sin, which hath blinded the understanding, corrupted the will, and placed us in a condition of darkness both as to knowledge and to spiritual and saving practice (Ephesians 5:8; John 1:5; John 3:19). Now from this darkness God has rescued us. He pours in the light of faith and imparts the Spirit of holiness; which blessings being bestowed, this power and dominion of sin is dissolved (Romans 6:14).

3. From the power of hell, i.e., from the miseries and calamities which arise from the guilt of reigning sin. From the power of this they are delivered by the Divine mercy (Romans 8:1). Observe —(1) For instruction. The whole world is involved in darkness under the devil, neither is there a spark of saving light before deliver ance; for we are in "the power of darkness."(2) For caution. The redeemed ought to have no fellowship with the works of darkness; for they are rescued from the power of the devil and of sin, and, therefore, by serving these they show them selves to be deserters (Romans 13:12).(3) For consolation. Although the godly are often troubled yet they are delivered from a misery compared with which all external evils are trifling.

IV. To WHAT?

1. The nature of the translation.(1) The word is borrowed from those who plant colonies and compel persons to migrate to inhabit some new region. So God has translated us from the kingdom of darkness, which is the native soil of us all.(2) How hath He translated us? We may under stand that from the context. God translates us when He illuminates our hearts by pouring into them faith, when He changes our will by imparting grace; for, being enlightened and sanctified, a man is by that very act translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His Son; because He cannot possibly be at the same time a citizen of two cities which observe contrary laws. Here observe, To be delivered it is not enough that we be called to this kingdom, and admonished to desert that other.(3) Therefore He is to be regarded with the highest honour, for so colonies are accustomed to regard their founder.

2. What is intended by this word kingdom? The Kingdom of God, Christ, heaven.(1) Is put for the state of .glory (Matthew 6:33; 1 Corinthians 6:9). This the saints have by right, and hope, but not m possession.(2) For the promulgation and knowledge of the gospel (Matthew 13:11; Matthew 21:43). But this the saints have only in common with other professors.(3) For a state of grace, remission of sins, renovation, and Divine favour on account of Christ, the Mediator; and for the whole multitude of those who are in this state (Luke 18:21; Romans 14:17). I deem this to be the proper sense of this expression.

3. Why the apostle calls it the kingdom of the Son, and not of heaven, or of light. Because —(1) God admits no one to it except through His Son as Mediator. He is the channel of grace. Through Him its streams flow to us, and we are planted in the kingdom (Ephesians 1:3, 8).(2) Christ, the Mediator, received it from the Father to govern it to the end of time (Luke 22:29).(3) Paul wished to open the way and make an easy transition for discoursing on the person of the Son. For he immediately enters upon that doctrine, which he could not so aptly have proceeded to unless he had expressly named the Son.(4) Christ is rightly called the Son of the Father's love, because He hath the Father's whole and entire love communicated to Him, even as He had His essence. This is a great consolation to the godly man, when he calls to mind that he is not merely a subject, but a member of Christ so beloved of God. For hence he derives the hope of obtaining from God whatever is necessary to salvation.

(Bp. Davenant.)

I. MAN IS NOW IN SOUL MISERY.

1. Naturally. We are children of wrath by nature.

2. Judiciarily. We are under condemnation.

3. Universally. Soul death hath passed over all men.

II. MAN NEEDS DELIVERANCE.

1. We are sensible enough of bodily misery, but insensible to soul misery; yet the former is but to make us sensible of the latter. 'Tis God pulling the rope without to make the bell speak within.

2. Without our sense of the need of deliverance, that deliverance will never come.

3. What temporal and eternal horrors are there for the unsaved.

III. MAN MAY BE DELIVERED. Christ "snatched" souls out of darkness and danger.

1. He moves strongly to save. Snatching speaks an act of force; Christ overturns all that stands in His way when He puts forth to deliver a soul.

2. He moves swiftly to save. Snatching notes swift motion. There is but a step between hell and that soul that is under the power of darkness; what, therefore, is done must be done speedily or the soul is lost.

3. Christ moves thoroughly to save. Snatching, speaks a full assuming of that which was wholly another's. That which I snatch from my enemy in war is wholly mine own, and Christ, having plucked us out of the hands of Satan, claims us as his own.

4. Christ moves preventingly. Snatching speaks an act unthought of, force surprising, the surprised dreaming nothing. Christ catcheth sinners in a dead sleep. Soldiers are sometimes so caught; the devil's soldiers are all so.

5. Christ moves ravishingly. This is love smiling, and the soul is taken.

IV. THE DELIVERED.

1. Love the Redeemer.

2. Obey Him.

(N. Lockyer, M. A.)

I. Look at THE STATE OF NATURE AND SIN AS ONE OF DARKNESS. Sin is as opposed to holiness as darkness is to light, and as different from holiness as midnight from noonday. Our state by nature is one of double darkness. We have neither light nor sight. That we may be saved we require two things — a medium to see by, and eyes to see with; the revelation of the gospel, and regeneration of the Holy Spirit; Christ as an object for faith to see, faith as an eye to see Christ. As inhabitants of a Christian land we already possess one of these. There is fulness of light, and yet multitudes are wrecked and perish, and unless He, who gave sight to the blind, touch your eyes their fate will be yours. There are animals that are born blind; but after a few days their eyelids are unsealed and they are delivered from the power of darkness. But not ten years will do for us such friendly office. Not that we shall be always blind. Eternity opens the darkest eyes, but when too late, "He lift up his eyes, being in torment."

1. Darkness is a state of indolence. Night is the proper period for rest. Yet in its hours of darkness and repose, this city presents no true picture of our state by nature. We see it where a city sleeps, while eager angels point Lot's eyes to the break of day, and urge his tardy steps through the doomed streets of Sodom. Rouse thee, then, and betake thee to the Saviour. The plague of Egyptian darkness is, perhaps, the best illustration. "They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days." Many a man has not risen from his place for ten times three years and more. He is no nearer heaven than he was long, long ago. "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure."

2. Darkness is a state of ignorance. Ugliness and beauty, friend and foe, are all one in the dark, and so are the solid ground and the yawning precipice. Many a gallant ship has perished in a fog, and many a sinner in guilty ignorance. The greatest of mistakes is to miss the path of heaven, and yet how many, turning from Christ, are missing it? Some think that their charities and duties will save them; others a routine of outward services; others that they may go on a little longer in sin and then turn.

3. Darkness is a state of danger.(1) As locks and bars prove neither life nor property is safe at night. The prowling thief, the hiding assassin, the gaudy tempter, are but types of the great enemy who takes advantage of spiritual darkness to ruin sinners.(2) Such danger is there in darkness that people have perished almost at their own doors: and many die at the gate of salvation, and by the very door of heaven (2 Corinthians 4:4).(3) In respect of its power over men what can be compared to mental, moral, and spiritual darkness?(a) Look at Popery! She immures her votaries in a gloomier dungeon than ever held her victims. God sends them His blessed Word, but they dare not open it; and, greatest triumph of darkness, they refuse instruction. "If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?"(b) But how many among ourselves lie under the delusion that though the happiness they seek in the world has eluded their grasp, they will yet embrace the mocking phantom! How many are putting away the claims of Christ and their souls to a more convenient season? Many fancy themselves safe who are ready to perish.

II. EVEN GOD'S PEOPLE REMAIN IN MORE OR LESS DARKNESS, SO LONG AS THEY ARE. HERE.

1. They may be in darkness through ignorance.(1) Having abandoned the works of darkness, and "become children of light," yet all do not enjoy the same measure of light, nor possess equal powers of sight; hence those conflicting views which have separated brother from brother.(2) While some saints enjoy a clear assurance of their salvation, others pass their days in despondency. By the help of God's Word, their compass, they succeed in steering their way to heaven, but it is over a troubled sea, and under a cloudy sky.

2. They may be in darkness through sin. So long as you walk in the path of God's commandments you walk in the light; but in turning aside from that we have withdrawn from it. He that descends into a pit leaves the light, not the light him. And the deeper the saint sinks in sin, the darker it grows. God will not smile on His child sinning; and that which would befall our world were the sun withdrawn, befalls his soul; a chilling cold follows on the darkness, and but for restoring grace death would ensue.

3. They may be in more or less darkness as to their spiritual state. It is easy to account for such a case as David's; but there are cases of religious desertion that do not admit of being thus explained. Hear that "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me." In such cases, however, God does not leave you comfortless. You may retain your hold when you lose your sight of Him; and the sun, which has struggled through clouds all day long, often breaks forth into golden splendour at his setting. Not seldom have hopes that never brighten life broken forth to gild the departing hour.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

If we lay in some darksome prison leaden with irons, as many as we could bear, committed to the custody of some Cerberus-like keeper; how would we lament our hard fortune? but to lie in such a condition wherein is no light of knowledge of God, leaden with chains of darkness, hellish lusts of wrath, covetousness, pride, filthiness, in the custody of the devil himself, this none bewaileth.

(P. Bayne, B. D.)

I. THE IMPORTANCE WHICH CHRIST HIMSELF ATTACHES TO HIS KINGLY CLAIMS.

1. There are crowns worn by living monarchs of which it would be difficult to estimate the value. The price paid for their jewels is the least part of it. They cost thousands of lives. And yet in His esteem, and in ours, Christ's crown outweighs them all. He gave his life for it.

2. The connection between our Lord's sufferings and these claims marks some of the most touching scenes in His history. The people rejected Him in His kingly character. "We will not have this King to reign over us." The soldiers reviled Him as a King; and His claim to be such was the crime for which He was crucified. It was a kingly inscription that stood above His dying head.

3. Our Lord had the strongest temptation to abandon these claims; and if He refused to give them up in the desert when tempted by the devil, when He had not a morsel to eat, and at the bar, when to have parted with them would have saved His life, He is not likely to yield them now. He has now no inducement to do so. A friendless prisoner no more, He stands at the right hand of God, and claims to reign over all whom He has conquered by love and redeemed by blood.

4. Would God we could live up to that truth. How often is it forgotten! each of us doing what is right in his own eyes, as though there were no King in Israel. Oh, that we were all as anxious to be delivered from the power as we are to escape the punishment of sin.

II. FROM WHOM CHRIST RECEIVED HIS KINGDOM.

1. Not from the Jews. "His own received Him not." Once they tried to thrust royal honours on Him: afterwards they bore Him in royal state to the capital, and then they crucified Him. The only crown our Lord gets from man is woven with thorns. Had Christ consented to rule on their terms the Jews would have made Him king. Now to-day how many would accept Jesus if He would allow them to retain their sins. But He accepts not the crown if sin is to wield the sceptre.

2. Not from His own people. The sceptre which a female hand sways so gracefully over the greatest, freest empire in the world was wrenched two hundred years ago from the grasp of a poor popish bigot; and his successor was borne to the vacant throne on the arms of a people who considered crowned heads less sacred than their liberties and religion. Is it by any such act that Christ is crowned? Is He a popular monarch in this sense? No. Here the king elects His subjects, not the subjects their king; and in that and other senses His kingdom is not of this world. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and enemies to God, it is necessary that Christ should first choose you as His subjects, before you can choose Him as your King. Christ reigns by conquest, but His reign is not one of terror. He reigns as He conquered, by love. Enthroned in the heart He rules through the affections.

3. From God. When we look at the two great occasions on which our Lord was crowned, what a contrast do they present. The scene of the first is laid on earth. Behold Him stripped of His garments, tied to a post, scourged, clothed with an old purple robe, a wreath of thorns upon His head. Some in bitter mockery bend the knee as to a Caesar and shout, "Hail, King of the Jews." Turn now to the other. The cross is vacant, the court empty, and from the vine-covered sides of Olivet a band of men are joyfully descending. While the disciples come down to the world, Jesus goes up to heaven escorted by a host of angels. His battle over, and the great victory won, the Conqueror is now to be crowned. Behold the scene as revealed by anticipation to the rapt eyes of Daniel (Daniel 7:13).

III. IN WHAT CHARACTER JESUS HOLDS THIS KINGDOM. Not as God or as man, but as God-man. Our Lord appeared in both these characters at the grave of Lazarus. "Jesus wept," and yet Death cowers before His eye. So on the Sea of Galilee, the Son of Mary sleeps, but raising His hand He said to the rude storm, "Peace, be still." Those two natures He still retains. As both God and man He occupies the thrones of grace and providence — holding under His dominion all worlds; for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and He has been made Head over all things to His Church. Simply as God there could be no addition to His possessions, nor could He receive them simply as man.

IV. SEEK AN INTEREST IN THIS KINGDOM. Your eternal welfare turns on that. You must be crowned in heaven or cursed in hell.

1. Are you poor? That is no bar. "Blessed are the poor in spirit."

2. Are you degraded? That does not exclude you from the mercy and grace of God.

3. Have you done nothing to merit this kingdom? Who has?

4. Though you are not saved by obedience, remember that submission to Christ's commandment is required of all who belong to His kingdom.

5. In a general sense we are all His subjects; but in a saving sense Christ's kingdom is not without, but within. Unless the heart be right with Christ, all is wrong.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

Or more correctly, the Son of His love. Christ is so because —

I. HE IS MOST WORTHY OF ALL OTHERS TO BE LOVED. As Judas is the "Son of Perdition," i.e., most worthy to be condemned.

II. HE WAS FROM EVERLASTING BEGOTTEN OF THE LOVE OF HIS FATHER. He is God's "own" Son.

III. HE IS INFINITELY FILLED WITH A SENSE OF HIS LOVE. "I always do the things that please Him."

IV. IT IS HE BY WHOM LOVE IS DERIVED INTO OTHERS. He makes all other sons beloved. They are all loved because of Him and through Him. He imparts the lowest graces. This is all very comfortable.

1. He is like to speed anything He requests the Father for us, and will be sure to preserve us.

2. He is a King's Son, and infinitely beloved of His Father. How excellent a thing, then, to be Christ's member.

(N. Byfield.)

In an early period of the ministry of the Rev. John Wesley, he visited Epworth, in Lincolnshire, where his father had formerly been minister, but found the people greatly opposed to what they considered his new notions. He tells us, in his journal, that many persons were convinced of the importance of the truths he delivered from the tombstone of his father, some of whom were conveyed in a waggon to a neighbouring justice of the peace, to answer for the heresy with which they were charged. Mr. Wesley rode over also. When the magistrate asked what these persons had done, there was a deep silence; for that was a point their conductors had forgotten. At length, one of them said, "Why, they pretend to be better than other people; and, besides, they pray from morning to night." He asked, "But have they done anything besides?" "Yes, sir," said an old man, "An't please your worship, they have convarted my wife. Till she went among them, she had such a tongue, and now she is as quiet as a lamb." "Carry them back, carry them back," replied the justice, "and let them convert all the scolds in the town."

(Arvine.)

The word is a metaphor, and the comparison is taken from plants in nature, and there are divers things signified unto us in the similitude. As trees are translated in winter, not in the spring, so commonly our redemption is applied in the days of special affliction and sorrow: and as the plant is not first fruitful and then translated, but therefore translated that it may bear fruit, so we are not therefore redeemed because God was in love with our fruits; but therefore translated out of the kingdom of darkness, that we might bring forth fruit unto God. And as a tree may be truly removed, and new planted, and yet not presently bear fruit, so may a Christian be truly translated, and yet in the first instant of his conversion he may not show forth all the fruit he doth desire. In particular, translating hath two things in it.

I. PULLING UP. The pulling up of a tree shadows out three things in the conversion of a sinner.

1. Separation from the world: he cannot be in Christ tahat hath his heart rooted in the earth, and keeps his old standing amongst these trees, the wicked of the world.

2. Deliverance both from original sin in the reign of it (which is the moisture of the old earth), and also from hardness of heart (for translating hath removing of the mould and stones that were about the root).

3. Godly sorrow raised by the sense of the strokes of the axe of God's threatenings, and by the loss of many sprouts and branches that were hidden in the earth. A Christian cannot escape without sorrow; for he hath many an unprofitable sprout of vanity, and sinful profit and pleasure he must part with.

II. THE SETTING OF THE TREE NOTES —

1. Our engrafting into Christ by the Spirit of God through faith.

2. Our communion with the saints (the fruitful trees in God's orchard), as also it notes our preservation by the infusion of the sap of holy graces. Conclusion: And it is worthy to be noted that He saith "translated us," to teach us that there remains in man the same nature after calling that was before; for our natures are not destroyed in conversion, but translated: there remains the same faculties in the soul, and the same powers in the body; yea, the constitution and complexion of man is not destroyed, as the melancholy man doth not cease to be so after conversion, only the humour is sanctified unto a fitness for godly sorrow, and holy meditation, and the easy renouncing of the world, etc., and the like may be said of other humours in man's nature.

(N. Byfield.)

I. IN DELIVERING HIS PEOPLE FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, CHRIST SAVES THEM FROM ETERNAL PERDITION. People talk about the mercy of God in a way for which they have no warrant in His Word: and ignoring His holiness, justice, and truth, they lay this and the other vain hope as a flattering unction to their souls.

II. HOW WE ARE BROUGHT INTO CHRIST'S KINGDOM.

1. By translation.(1) There is a difference between being transformed and translated. The first describes a change of character, the second of state. These changes are coincident; but the transformation is not complete until the time for the second translation. Then those who were translated at conversion into a state of grace, are translated at death into a state of glory.(2) It is a great mistake to suppose that God is only active and man passive in this work. You may translate a man from one earthly kingdom into another while he is asleep, and at death a man may be translated to glory in a state of unconsciousness; but it is not in this placid way that sinners pass out of darkness into Christ's kingdom.

2. This translation is attended by suffering and self-denial. Killed by a blow, or deprived of existence and consciousness by an opiate, a man may die to natural life unconsciously, but never to sin. Hence those striking figures of crucifixion. But the crown is worthy of the cross. True there is much more pain in going to hell than to heaven, and although this were not, one hour of glory will recompense all the sufferings of earth. But be assured that as it is among pangs and birth struggles that a man is born the first time, so when he is born again, Christ baptizes with fire. How often has water fallen on the calm brow of a sleeping infant who has been translated thus into the visible Church. But a fiery baptism! Can a man take fire into his bosom and not be burned? God is a consuming fire to His people's sins, and He cannot be so without them knowing it.

3. In this translation God and man are active. Our Lord ascended from earth to heaven without effort; not so His people from nature unto grace. We receive salvation, still we must put forth our hand to take it, as a drowning man clutches the saving rope. God works in grace as in nature; helps the man who helps himself. The reason why men are not saved is not that God hath forgotten to be gracious, or that the blood of Christ has lost its efficacy; but because men will take no pains to be saved.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

If we had some grievous tyrant ruling over us, and God should take him away and set a prince of singular clemency over us, should not the blessing of all the kingdom come upon Him for so singular a change? But when He taketh the devil's iron yokes off our necks and bringeth us under the kingdom of that most meek King who will not bruise a broken reed, nor quench the smoking flax, here none in comparison is thankful.

(P. Bayne, B. D.)

King Theodore kept two or three British subjects in prison, and no entreaty, expostulation, threat, could induce him to release them. At last the British nation arose and said, "At all costs the prisoners must be released;" and so General Napier led his army along the defiles over the mountains. At length he came to Magdala, the capital of Abyssinia. King Theodore was conquered and slain, and so General Napier ascended to the capital. But perhaps some of you do not know that as General Napier rode into the city, those captives, bowed down with their long imprisonment, came near to him, and laid their hands upon his horse's saddle and thanked him as their deliverer. He said to them, "Do not thank me; God is the deliverer. The Christians in England have been praying for you."

(J. L. Nye.)

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