Read Colossians 1:13 (ESV)
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son...
What is the “domain of darkness” and who rules over it? Where are believers transferred and who rules there?
In Genesis 15:13-14, God told Abraham that his descendants would travel to a land that was not their own and that they would be oppressed by those people for 400 years. But God promised deliverance. He promised not only to secure their freedom by His mighty hand but He promised to judge their oppressors. He also promised that Abraham’s descendants would leave that country with great wealth.
In the book of Exodus, we see this play out just as God had said. The Israelites had fallen into captivity by the Egyptians. They were forced to work as slaves for the Egyptians making bricks, building cities, and working in the fields. Exodus 1:13 records that the Egyptians made the Israelites' lives bitter and worked them ruthlessly. But just as God promised, He sent a deliverer—Moses. Through Moses, God judged the Egyptians with plagues for what they had done to His people and Moses led them out of the land of Egypt. God rescued them from a dark domain—an evil regime—and transported them to a land where He would be their king and they would be His people.
The Exodus narrative is a beautiful illustration of today's verse in which Moses is a type of Christ. His role as the deliverer of the Israelites points ahead to Jesus, our ultimate Deliverer. Just as Moses delivered the Israelites from the oppression of Egypt, Jesus has delivered us from the oppression of Satan and the bondage of sin and death.
In today’s verse, Paul says that we have been transferred out of the “domain of darkness.” A domain is an area of territory that is controlled by a ruler. We know that this world is enemy territory ruled by Satan. Notice that there is no neutral ground. It is either the domain of darkness or the kingdom of Jesus.
In 1 John 5:19, John says “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul refers to Satan as “the god of this world” who has “blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Satan rules over a domain of darkness. He tries to keep us from the light of the truth. He wants us “in the dark”.
But in John 14:30, we read this encouragement from Jesus: “...the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me…”. The ruler of this world came for Jesus but Satan had no power over Him. Jesus willingly submitted to the suffering inflicted by the prince of this world in order to deliver us. Jesus’s death on the cross redeemed us. He paid the price that we owed. He delivered us from slavery to Satan. We do not serve him anymore. Darkness no longer has any power over us. We belong to the kingdom of Christ—a kingdom of light and truth.
Friends, we need to understand this. If we aren’t walking in the light of Christ, Satan has us right where he wants us—in the dark. But if we have received Christ, then He is our Savior, our Deliverer! He took us out of the darkness. Brothers and sisters, you are free to walk in His glorious light.
Lord, thank You for delivering me from the oppression and deception of Satan. Keep me walking in the light of Your truth. Amen.