The word delivered means rescued. We have already been rescued. It is in the past tense. It is a present tense reality. We have deliverance NOW. I want to look at what God rescued us from and why we needed to be rescued.
This verse says we were rescued "from the power of
darkness." The Greek word translated "from"
in this phrase is the word "ek."
is a mathematical term that can be understood as a line drawn from the
center of a circle to a point outside the circle. It means "out
from the center of" or "out of."
The Greek word for "power" in this verse is the word "exousia." Exousia means "authority" or power as it is exercised. Our English word "exercise" comes from the Greek word "exousia."
We live in a world in which the authority or exercised power is the power or darkness. But God's Word declares that we have (past tense) already been rescued out of the center of this exercised power. We live in the world but we have been rescued by God out of the exercised power of darkness that rules in the world.
Colossians 1:13 goes on to say that we have been "translated into the kingdom of his dear son." The word "translated" means "transported." It is to be taken from one place and put in another. We have been rescued out of the exercised power of darkness and we have been transported to a place where God rules. In the Sanskrit the word "translated" is the word "citizenship." We have been rescued out of the exercised power of darkness and we have been made citizens in God's kingdom. We were under the authority of darkness but now we are under the exercised authority of God. We are citizens of His kingdom.
How did God accomplish this rescue? Colossians 1:13 explains that we have this citizenship in God's kingdom which is "of his dear son." The word "of" is the genitive of origin and can be understood as meaning "by" or "by the work of." We have been made citizens in God's kingdom by the work of His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ made citizenship in the kingdom of God available to us. That is why it is "of [by] his dear son."
So how did we get put in the center of the exercised power of darkness where we needed rescuing, and what exactly is the power of darkness?
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power [exousia] of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me [Jesus Christ].
The power of darkness is the authority or exercised power of Satan.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers [exousia], against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The power of darkness that exercises authority in this world is a wicked spiritual power. It is spiritual wickedness NOT flesh and blood.
And the devil, taking him [Jesus] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
And the devil said unto him, All this power [exousia] will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
The devil has all of the authority and exercised power over the kingdoms of this world. He has it because it was "delivered to him." When we are born in this world we are under this authority of the devil's exercised power of darkness.
In Genesis, Adam had dominion, authority and power over all the earth. But when he chose to listen to the devil rather than the commandment of God, he delivered his authority over the earth to the devil. Since that day Satan has exercised power in the world. Jesus Christ obeyed God, even unto death, and made it available for us to be rescued from this exercised power of darkness (Romans 10:9-10). We have been transported into and made citizens of a kingdom where God rules. We have been rescued.
There were many examples of God's great ability and willingness to rescue His people from the exercised power of darkness throughout the Old Testament. Following are a just a couple:
Moses believed God who rescued Israel from Pharaoh and brought them out of Egypt with many mighty signs and wonders.
And Moses told his father in law all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the Lord delivered [rescued] them.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed God who rescued them from Nebuchandnezzar and the burning fiery furnace.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver [rescue] us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [rescue] us out of thy hand, O king.
These are mighty, but temporary, rescues from the power exercised in the world. God's rescue of us far exceeds the rescue of these examples. By the work of Jesus Christ, we have been rescued out of the exercised power of darkness and we have been transported into and have been made citizens of a kingdom in which God rules.
[Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver [rescue] us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
rescue was complete and our rescue was permanent. If we allow ourselves
to be ruled by the exercised power of darkness in the world today we are
not acting according to the will of God our Father. Jesus Christ
gave himself for us that we might be rescued from this present evil
world. We just have to believe that we are rescued and act like citizens
of God's kingdom. We are ambassadors of the kingdom of God.
We have "diplomatic immunity" from this evil world in which we live for
we are citizens of God's kingdom. We have most definitely been rescued!