We have been going through a list of Bible verses called: Who am I in Christ?
My favorite translation for Colossians 2:13-14 comes from the Amplified Bible: “[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.”
Photo: by Jinx McCombs – Rescue Training
When I first read this verse, it was a challenge for me. As an abuse survivor, I found it easier to forgive others than to accept forgiveness from God. Perhaps it was because my abusers waged a psychological campaign to wear down my resistance to them. When my father first came into my room to sexually abuse me, I was seven. He told me, “You are so stupid, dumb, and ugly, no man will ever want to marry you so I’m going to teach you to put out so you can at least attract a man.”
I was under no illusion that my father loved me or thought I was special. He underscored this message with beatings and frequent verbal abuse. I learned that, if he said, “I love you,” it meant he wanted something from me and it would hurt. By the time his abuse turned to rape, I was fully enmeshed in his world of darkness. I was certain I was wrong, unloveable, and had tremendous guilt. I used to look at other kids and wonder what made me different from them that my own father couldn’t love me.
It wasn’t until I became older that I learned about the incredible statistics of abuse: one in four have been sexually abused – women and men. And I suspect that the numbers are even higher. Psychological abuse kept me isolated, shamed, and afraid to tell. My father threatened to kill me if I told and I believed him – he had already tried a few times.
This Bible verse was difficult for me to comprehend in many areas.
Father – I wasn’t certain I wanted another Father. As I said in previous posts, it took a long time to learn that God was a loving Father, nothing at all like my earthly father.
Being pulled out of the dominion of darkness was a challenge – I was used to being a victim, felt comfortable in that role, and didn’t know any other way to be. It took a long time to realize that I didn’t have to live in emergency mode, ready for the next attack. I also didn’t have to react in negative ways to my past abuse. I didn’t have to give my body to any man that wanted it so the person would love me.
The father’s love – the Son of His love – that was a tough one. Before I knew that Jesus willingly made the Sacrifice of His life for my sins and began to know more about Him, I thought it peculiar that God, the Father, would let His Son go through such horrific abuse. I really believed that God was another abusive father, just look what he let happen to His Son. It took time to realize just how much love that act encompassed. The sacrifice is mind boggling.
We spoke about redeemed a few posts ago and realized that it meant, according to Strong’s Concordance – (a book that gives us meanings of words in the context used at the the of the Bible), means to redeem according to the Oriental law of kinship, where the next of kin (Jesus) buys back a relative’s property, marries his widow, redeems from slavery. It means avenger, ransom, deliver, kinsman’s part, purchase. The basic use of this term has to do with deliverance of persons or property that has been sold for debt. In Biblical times, a poor person could sell himself into slavery to pay off a debt. His kinsman could buy back the slave, pay off the debt, and restore the property to the poor person.
Forgiveness of our sins – Oh, that was the tough part. Forgiving others easy – forgiving myself almost impossible. I knew the sinful things I did in rebellion to my past and I was certain God couldn’t forgive me. Why would He want to? I counseled with my pastor on a weekly basis and brought in the sin of the week. God can’t forgive me because I did (fill in the blank).
The truth is, we are forgiven. That our sins are fully washed away. We may still face repercussions from our actions, but God does not look at us with disgust. When He sees us, He sees us washed as white as snow by the blood of his Beloved Son. The sacrifice of Jesus covers all sins.
I want to discuss this more in the next post. But right now, realize that we are forgiven. That God loves us. What we did or didn’t do, God knew in advance. He sent His Son two thousand years ago to settle the issue of our sins once for all. But what does forgiveness mean for us?
Questions for you – are there areas in your life where you are still not believing God can forgive you? If you have accepted God’s forgiveness, how did you deal with those tough areas?
Please feel free to share how you finally came to terms with God’s forgiveness? How were you able to put those tough areas of sin in His hands and move forward as one who is forgiven? Your ways of doing this will be a blessing for us.
Have a wonderful and blessed day.