He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
Renunciation is the voluntary act of giving up our citizenship. Naturalization is voluntarily acquiring a new citizenship. Jesus has made us a naturalized citizen in a new dominion, or kingdom. We voluntarily renounce our affiliation with the dominion of darkness, our old citizenship. We now serve a new king.
The NIV words it that we were ‘rescued’ from the dominion of darkness. This conjures up an image of Jesus making a daring Tom Cruise-like rescue from some foreign, dark, rat infested prison cell, like in “Locked up Abroad.” It’s a drama that was played out on that dark Friday 2000 years ago on Mt. Calvary.
In Colossians 2, Paul describes what happened when Jesus died on the cross. In verses 14-15, we find that Jesus “canceled the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the demonic rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them on the cross.” Jesus won the battle for our citizenship on the cross of Calvary. He made a public spectacle of Satan’s minions, announcing to the spiritual realm that He won the battle.
In doing so, Jesus took our rap sheet, the record of debt that stood against us because of our sin, and nailed it to the cross. We lay claim to this by giving our lives to God. It begins somehow by admitting that we are sinners that cannot save ourselves, trusting Jesus for what He did on the cross to pay for our sin, and consciously living a different life by the power of the Holy Spirit. And when we do so, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son Jesus.
Philippians 3:19-20 describes the contrast of those whose “destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in Heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The connotation is that our lives are to be dramatically different because of this great rescue and redemption. Our destiny is not destruction, but Heaven with eternal glory. Our god is no longer our stomach, with its fleshly desires, but Jesus is now Lord of our passions. Our glory now lies in making Jesus’ name great, because He is the king of our domain. Our mind is set on things above, where Christ is seated at the right of God. We eagerly wait for the return of our King, who has gone on a long journey and will some great day come back for us in the clouds.
I can’t wait.
*Photo from angeloakcreative.com