Colossians 1: 13 – 23

I’m continuing the series on Colossians. I invite you to grab your Bible and read along…

Verse13 –

Rescued (delivered)

Domain of Darkness (darkened eyesight, blindness)

Transferred (removed)

Kingdom (ROYAL rule and power) of His Beloved Son

We were in the grip and slaves of the dark domain, blinded by its wiles. He came and rescued us! He set us free, he broke the chains, opened the prison doors, overpowered the enemy and his minions and transferred us from a jail of bondage to a land of freedom!

Verse 14 –

Redemption (release because a ransom was paid)

Forgiveness (release from bondage or imprisonment) of Sins (missing the mark)

The ransom paid was the precious life of the Son of God.

Verse 15 –

**It is believed that verses 15 – 20 were words to an early Christian hymn. The hymn emphasizes the fact that Jesus is superior over all creation. The hymn may or may not have been written by Paul.**

Verses 15 & 16 celebrate the role of Christ in creation. Plus Christ is the one who created all things whether they are seen or unseen. This thought is in direct contradiction to the beliefs of the Gnostics that various angelic beings created the earth, and that Jesus was just one of those beings.

He – (and He alone!)

Image (likeness)

First born (Remember Jesus was not created, He was begotten. God the Father begat the Son. The Son created the world. When a man begets, he begets a man. When God begets, He begets God, and this is from all eternity.

I believe what this verse is saying is this: The word ‘First’ refers to the fact that Jesus is sovereign over all creation.

Verse 16 –

By (Also In and With) Him

All things (x2) were created

Through Him, for Him

Verse 17 –

**More on the hymn – verses 17 & 18 – Christ maintains everything.**

Before (Above) all things

Hold Together

Verse 18 –

Head (Chief, Supreme) of the body

First place (like the winner in a race) pre-eminence.

**More on the song – Verses 18 – 20 celebrate The Role of Christ in the new creation.**

Verse 19 –

Father’s good pleasure (same word used in Matt 3:17 – Jesus’ baptism and Matt 17:5 – Transfiguration) when the Father said he was well pleased with Jesus.

All the fullness (that which has been filled up)

Paul’s opponents and the Gnostics used this word ‘fullness’ to mean the space between heaven and earth where the angels lived. Paul used the word ‘fullness’ to mean that Jesus is the complete embodiment of God. Jesus fully embodies all of God’s nature.

Verse 20 –

Through (By reason of, because of) Him

Reconcile (bring back a state of harmony) all things (whosoever) – This does not mean that all people will be saved. What it does mean is that the work of Christ overrules and overthrows the damaging effect of sin and the fall through Adam. Jesus has now repositioned us so that we can have a wonderful relationship with the Lord!

Made peace

Through the Blood of His Cross

Verse 21 –


Alienated and Hostile (estranged and hateful) – In our sinful state we were not friends with God at all. We actually wanted to have little to do with Him.

Verse 22 –

Reconciled (brought you back) – Paid the price for us, redeemed us

In His fleshly body – the false teachers in Colossae taught that Jesus only came to the earth as a spiritual being and not in a body. Paul used two very clear words – ‘fleshly’ and ‘body’ to describe how Jesus became a man and experienced physical death.

To present you holy (pure & clean), blameless (without spot, faultless), beyond reproach (without accusation)

Verse 23 –

Continue (persevere, remain faithful) – Don’t give us, keep on trusting and keeping on!

Firmly established (good foundation like a house, stable from the storms, wind and rain)

Not moved away from the hope of the Gospel. Your hope is not in you. It is in Jesus!

All creation under heaven – Paul used an exaggeration to make the point that the gospel was spreading rapidly


  • We were decisively and forcefully Transferred from a domain to a kingdom
  • A great ransom was paid for our salvation.
  • There is no one like Him – the incomparable Christ.
  • The Father’s Pleasure was on His Son, for us!
  • Other Key Words: fullness, reconciled, firmly established.


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