Under the pressures of the crisis in Colosse (see the introduction), Paul's description of God's rescue operation modifies his earlier teaching. For example, Paul's futurism is softened by his emphasis on the new life believers already attain by the working of God's redeeming grace in Christ Jesus. Thus, believers now experience the reality of God's redemption as the forgiveness of sins. Earlier in his ministry, Paul spoke of human "sin" (singular) as a world force, "a power which found entrance into the world through Adam's deed and since then has exercised its tyranny over men" (Lohse 1971:39; see Rom 5:12—8:2; 2 Cor 5:16-21). When Paul uses the plural sins, as he does here, he means specific acts of disobedience and their real and terrible consequences. Thus the idea of redemption, which pictures slaves set free from the Roman slave market, takes on a personal and practical meaning as well: God rescues us from the results of our sinful acts which we experience in our daily lives and read about in our daily newspapers.
As a feature of Paul's retelling of the exodus story, God's gracious work in Christ liberates a true Israel from the consequences of their former rebellion against God, which had prevented God from transforming them in accord with his original intentions at their creation. Grace not only rights our relationship with God; it also redeems us from those actions that deny God access into our lives, so that God can heal us and help us along the narrow way that leads into the promised land.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading to Bible Gateway Plus. Bible Gateway Plus equips you to have in-depth biblical discussions with your friends, your family, and your peers. Try it free for 30 days!