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September 20, 2021

Delivered Us Out of the Authority of Darkness (1)

Col 1:13 Who [God, the Father] delivered us out of the authority of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.

[Part 1 of 2][In the verses above] , Paul speaks of darkness, light, authority, those who are sanctified, and the portion or the inheritance. No doubt, Paul's word to the Colossians reflects the Lord's word to him at the time of his conversion. Years ago, I thought that the authority of darkness referred only to evil things such as gambling, stealing, and fornication. Later I realized that the authority of darkness here includes a great deal more than this. In the book of Colossians the authority of darkness refers not to evil things, but to religious observances, Gentile ordinances, and Gnostic philosophy. In chapter two Paul linked idolatry, the worship of angels, to philosophy, mysticism, Gnosticism, and asceticism. Asceticism denotes the practice of treating the body severely in order to bridle the indulgence of the flesh. This kind of practice is found in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Catholicism. As we shall see later, ascetism is of no value against the indulgence of the flesh (2:23). Religious observances, asceticism, and philosophies are not evil. Some observances are even based on God's commandments in the Old Testament; for example, the regulations concerning eating. Nevertheless, when Paul says that the Father has delivered us out of the authority of darkness, he means the darkness of these very observances, ordinances, philosophies, and ascetic practices. All of us regard gambling casinos as under the authority of darkness. But not many think that philosophies or ethical teachings are also part of this authority. Therefore, it is crucial that we understand Paul's use of this term in the book of Colossians. The authority of darkness denotes the authority of Satan. God is light, and Satan is darkness. Darkness is related to death. Where darkness is, there death is also. This darkness is opposed to light, which is related to life. Satan, darkness, and death stand in opposition to God, light, and life. According to 1 Peter 2:9, we have been called out of darkness into God's marvelous light. Darkness is Satan as death, but light is God Himself as life. (c) 2007 Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Colossians, pp. 27-28. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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Life-study of Colossians