Passage: Colossians 1:3–23
Thanksgiving and Prayer
 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,  since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,  because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,  which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,  just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf  and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;  being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Preeminence of Christ
 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,  he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. (ESV)
The activities of God in this passage:
- He has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light
- He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
- He has transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son
- We have redemption
- We have the forgiveness of sins
- He has now reconciled you (once alienated and hostile, doing evil deeds) in his body of flesh by his death
- He is presenting you holy and blameless and above reproach before him
Human activity in this passage:
- Paul prays for them
- Epaphras went to them and shared the gospel, teaching truths
- The Colossians heard and understood the gospel of truth
- The Colossians learned it from Epaphras
- The Colossians love in the Spirit was evident and known and reported to Paul
- If indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting form the hope of the gospel
Our past and present conditions described in this passage:
- Faith in Christ Jesus, love for all the saints, hope in heaven
- (The gospel is) Bearing fruit and increasing in and through the Colossian believers
- Delivered from the domain of darkness - transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son
- Redeemed, forgiven
- Once alienated, hostile, doing evil deeds - now reconciled and presented holy and blameless and above reproach before him
Prayers to pray from this passage:
(These are not yet fully realized realities for the Colossians - maybe not even for Paul and Timothy - they are hopes and ideals and goals expressed in prayers)
- That you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
- That you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him
- Bear fruit in every good work
- Increasing in the knowledge of God
- Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for endurance and patience with joy
- Giving thanks to the Father
Yet with all that depth and content, my goal today is to zoom in on two verses - 13-14
 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Exegetical Point of the Passage:
- Paul is rejoicing in the reality that the Colossian believers have been transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son Jesus.
Purpose statement for today's sermon:
- My objective for today’s sermon is magnify God’s continuing activity of seeking and saving the lost - transferring from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son Jesus.