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“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

“Rescued!” (Gal. 1:3-4)

“Rescued!” (Gal. 1:3-4)

WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – For many of us, there is a tendency to underestimate the seriousness of our condition before we came to Christ. We think of ourselves as having always been basically good people – just not quite good enough for heaven. We were already well on our way to God; we just needed Jesus to help us across the finish line.

The Bible has a different view. The Bible sees us not as free agents who are trying to decide whether to side with God or with Satan. It sees each of us as having been captured by Satan at an early age and imprisoned behind enemy lines. And it sees us as having no prospects whatsoever of escape.

One of the reasons we can’t escape on our own is that we don’t want to. Satan has furnished and decorated the jail so nicely. And he has very effectively hidden the fact that it is in a burning building. Unless God, in His love and mercy, had opened our eyes to our plight, we would have been satisfied to remain there until it was too late.

Not a very flattering picture, I know. But God has never had a desire to inflate our egos. We do a good job of that on our own. There is a reason the Father sent us a Savior: we needed saving. And so, Paul opens his letter to the churches of Galatia with a greeting that reminds them of where we all start the Christian life:

“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:3-4).

We had been conquered by an enemy for whom we were no match: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

We needed rescue, and that’s what He did: “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14).

WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – And that, dear friends, is our current enviable state: rescued from the dictatorship of darkness and resettled in the kingdom of light, the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. And all the chains of sin that bound us to the first place fell off in our transfer to the second. What a rescue! What a Savior!

Now, let’s live in the fullness of that. We do not have to listen to our old jailer anymore. We can shed our prison clothes. And, while still living in this present evil age, we can already taste and enjoy the life of freedom in the next.

Then one day not that far off, we will step fully across the threshold of heaven. Rescued forever!

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