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Colossians 1:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Delivered us from the power of darkness - Darkness is here personified, and is represented as having εξουσια, power, authority, and sway; all Jews and Gentiles, which had not embraced the Gospel, being under this authority and power. And the apostle intimates here that nothing less than the power of God can redeem a man from this darkness, or prince of darkness, who, by means of sin and unbelief, keeps men in ignorance, vice, and misery.

Translated us into the kingdom, etc - He has thoroughly changed our state, brought us out of the dark region of vice and impiety, and placed us in the kingdom under the government of his dear Son, Υἱου της αγαπης αὑτου, the Son of his love; the person whom, in his infinite love, he has given to make an atonement for the sin of the world.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness - The power exerted over us in that dark kingdom to which we formerly belonged - the kingdom of Satan. The characteristic of this empire is darkness - the emblem of:

(1)sin;

(2)error;

(3)misery and death.

Over us, by nature, these things had uncontrollable power; but now we are delivered from them, and brought to the enjoyment of the privileges of those who are connected with the kingdom of light. Darkness is often used to represent the state in which men are by nature; compare Luke 1:79; Acts 26:18; Romans 13:12; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 2:8.

And hath translated us - The word rendered here “translated” is often used in the sense of removing a people from one country to another; see Josephus, Ant. ix. 11. 1. It means, here, that they who are Christians have been transferred from one kingdom to another, as if a people were thus removed. They become subjects of a new kingdom, are under different laws, and belong to a different community. This change is made in regeneration, by which we pass from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light; from the empire of sin, ignorance, and misery, to one of holiness, knowledge, and happiness. No change, therefore, in a man‘s life is so important as this; and no words can suitably express the gratitude which they should feel who are thus transferred from the empire of darkness to that of light.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle was constant in prayer, that the believers might be filled with the knowledge of God's will, in all wisdom. Good words will not do without good works. He who undertakes to give strength to his people, is a God of power, and of glorious power. The blessed Spirit is the author of this. In praying for spiritual strength, we are not straitened, or confined in the promises, and should not be so in our hopes and desires. The grace of God in the hearts of believers is the power of God; and there is glory in this power. The special use of this strength was for sufferings. There is work to be done, even when we are suffering. Amidst all their trials they gave thanks to the Father of our Lord Jesus, whose special grace fitted them to partake of the inheritance provided for the saints. To bring about this change, those were made willing subjects of Christ, who were slaves of Satan. All who are designed for heaven hereafter, are prepared for heaven now. Those who have the inheritance of sons, have the education of sons, and the disposition of sons. By faith in Christ they enjoyed this redemption, as the purchase of his atoning blood, whereby forgiveness of sins, and all other spiritual blessings were bestowed. Surely then we shall deem it a favour to be delivered from Satan's kingdom and brought into that of Christ, knowing that all trials will soon end, and that every believer will be found among those who come out of great tribulation.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 478

The power of a higher, purer, nobler life is our great need. The world has too much of our thought, and the kingdom of heaven too little. AA 478.1

In his efforts to reach God's ideal for him, the Christian is to despair of nothing. Moral and spiritual perfection, through the grace and power of Christ, is promised to all. Jesus is the source of power, the fountain of life. He brings us to His word, and from the tree of life presents to us leaves for the healing of sin-sick souls. He leads us to the throne of God, and puts into our mouth a prayer through which we are brought into close contact with Himself. In our behalf He sets in operation the all-powerful agencies of heaven. At every step we touch His living power. AA 478.2

God fixes no limit to the advancement of those who desire to be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Through prayer, through watchfulness, through growth in knowledge and understanding, they are to be “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power.” Thus they are prepared to work for others. It is the Saviour's purpose that human beings, purified and sanctified, shall be His helping hand. For this great privilege let us give thanks to Him who “hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” AA 478.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 521

The life of a true Christian is ever onward. There is no standing still nor going back. It is your privilege to be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” 2T 521.1

I entreat all, especially those who minister in word and doctrine, to make an unreserved surrender to God. Consecrate your lives to Him, and be indeed ensamples to the flock. Be no longer content to remain dwarfs in spiritual things. Let your aim be nothing short of perfection of Christian character. Let your lives be unselfish and blameless, that they may ever be a living rebuke to those who are selfish and whose affections seem to be upon their earthly treasure. God grant that you may be strengthened according to the riches of His glory, “with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” 2T 521.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 54.4

The first chapter of Colossians shows us the heights to which it is our privilege to attain. We may be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” walking “worthy of the Lord,” “being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:9-14). TMK 54.4

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 284

Your words are an index of your character.... Here we see the importance of carefulness in the employment of speech. This talent is a great power for good when it is used aright.... LHU 284.2

It is the privilege of all to fill the chambers of the soul with pure and holy treasures by making themselves thoroughly familiar with the precious words of Christ, spoken for our instruction.... LHU 284.3

By heeding the reproof and encouragement given in God's Word, we may “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” Those who are thus strengthened will not walk with head bowed down.... LHU 284.4

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Then shall we not all, old and young, learn to converse in the language that is spoken by those who are translated into God's kingdom? Shall not our words be such as will be heard with pleasure by our heavenly Father? LHU 284.5

As those who claim to be Christians, we are under solemn obligations to reveal the truth of our profession by our words. The tongue is a little member; but what an amount of good it can do if the heart is pure! If the heart is stored with good things, if it is stored with Christlike tenderness, sympathy, and politeness, this will be shown by the words spoken and the actions performed. The light shining from the Word of God is our guide. Nothing so weakens a church as a wrong use of the talent of speech.... LHU 284.6

The quality of our works is shown by our words. When our words and works harmonize in Christ, we show that we are consecrated to God, perfecting holiness in His fear. As we give ourselves, soul, body, and spirit, to Him, He works in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. LHU 284.7

The love of Christ in the heart is revealed by the expression of praise. Those who are consecrated to God will show this by their sanctified conversation. If their hearts are pure, their words will be pure, showing an elevated principle working in a sanctified direction. The mind will be absorbed in holy contemplation, and there will be a sense of the presence of God (The Review and Herald, January 18, 1898). LHU 284.8

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 247

How full is this language! If you attempted to measure it, you would find that in these words are measureless depths of meaning. We are now being fitted up to dwell in the mansions which Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. HP 247.2

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.” If this is true, what excuse then have we for talking discouragement and unbelief and doubt—drawing darkness around us as a mantle? ... HP 247.3

If I should look at the dark clouds—the troubles and perplexities that come to me in my work—I should have time to do nothing else. But I know that there is light and glory beyond the clouds. By faith I reach through the darkness to the glory. At times I am called to pass through financial perplexities. But I do not worry about money. God takes care of my affairs. I do all that I can, and when the Lord sees that it is best for me to have money, He sends it to me. HP 247.4

The more you talk faith, the more faith you will have. The more you dwell upon discouragement, talking to others about your trials and enlarging upon them, to enlist the sympathy which you crave, the more discouragements and trials you will have. Why mourn over that which you cannot avoid? ... HP 247.5

We are preparing for promotion from the school in this world, in which we are forming characters for the future, immortal life, to the higher grade, the school of heaven. But man is not to depend upon his own finite strength to wrestle with difficulty. In faith he is to look to God, believing that all the resources of heaven are at his command to help him overcome. Thousands upon thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand of heavenly angels are ministering unto those who shall be heirs of salvation. HP 247.6

God is inviting us to close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward, that He may flood our hearts with the glory which is shining across the threshold of heaven. HP 247.7

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 291.1

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Colossians 1:12, 13. TMK 291.1

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 320

Jesus changed the mother's grief to joy when He gave back her son; yet the youth was but called forth to this earthly life, to endure its sorrows, its toils, and its perils, and to pass again under the power of death. But Jesus comforts our sorrow for the dead with a message of infinite hope: “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, ... and have the keys of hell and of death.” “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Revelation 1:18; Hebrews 2:14, 15. DA 320.1

Satan cannot hold the dead in his grasp when the Son of God bids them live. He cannot hold in spiritual death one soul who in faith receives Christ's word of power. God is saying to all who are dead in sin, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.” Ephesians 5:14. That word is eternal life. As the word of God which bade the first man live, still gives us life; as Christ's word, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise,” gave life to the youth of Nain, so that word, “Arise from the dead,” is life to the soul that receives it. God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” Colossians 1:13. It is all offered us in His word. If we receive the word, we have the deliverance. DA 320.2

And “if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Romans 8:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. This is the word of comfort wherewith He bids us comfort one another. DA 320.3

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 42

The light of prophecy still burns for the guidance of souls, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” It shines on the pathway of the just to commend, and on the way of the unjust to lead to repentance and conversion. Through its agency sin will be rebuked and iniquity unmasked. It is progressive in the performance of its duty to reflect light on the past, the present, and the future. ML 42.2

If those who have received the light will appreciate and respect the testimonies of the Lord, they will see the religious life in a new light. They will be convicted. They will see the key that unlocks the mysteries that they have never understood. They will lay hold of the precious things that God has given them to profit withal and will be translated from the kingdom of darkness into God's marvelous light. ML 42.3

Those who despise the warning will be left in blindness to become self-deceived. But those who heed it, and zealously go about the work of separating their sins from them in order to have the needed graces, will be opening the door of their hearts that the dear Saviour may come in and dwell with them. ML 42.4

He [God] has made provision that all may be holy and happy if they choose. Sufficient light has been given to this generation, that we may learn what our duties and privileges are and enjoy the precious and solemn truths in their simplicity and power. ML 42.5

We are accountable only for the light that shines upon us. The commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus are testing us. If we are faithful and obedient, God will delight in us, and bless us as His own chosen, peculiar people. When perfect faith and perfect love and obedience abound, working in the hearts of those who are Christ's followers, they will have a powerful influence. ML 42.6

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 311.3

Because of their human frailty, because of their sinfulness, they may fear and tremble as they view the vast hosts of the powers of darkness; but they may rejoice as they look upon the angels of God ready to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They may rejoice as they realize that the Captain of the Lord's host will lead them forward in every conflict against natural and supernatural foes.... Your Leader is a conqueror. Advance to victory.... OHC 311.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 342.3

Shall men whom God has chosen to carry out the reformation against the papacy and idolatry be presented in an objectionable light? The banner of the ruler of the synagogue of Satan was lifted high, and error apparently marched in triumph, and the reformers through the grace given them of God, waged a successful warfare against the host of darkness. Events in the history of the reformers have been presented before me. I know that the Lord Jesus and His angels have with intense interest watched the battle against the power of Satan, who combined his hosts with evil men for the purpose of extinguishing the divine light, the fire of God's kingdom. They suffered for Christ's sake scorn, derision, and the hatred of men who knew not God. They were maligned and persecuted even unto death, because they would not renounce their faith. If anyone presumes to take these men in hand, and to lay before the world their errors and mistakes, let him remember that he is dealing with Christ in the person of His saints.... 3SM 342.3

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Ellen G. White
Steps to Christ, 112

The apostle Paul says that God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” Colossians 1:13. And everyone who has passed from death unto life is able to “set to his seal that God is true.” John 3:33. He can testify, “I needed help, and I found it in Jesus. Every want was supplied, the hunger of my soul was satisfied; and now the Bible is to me the revelation of Jesus Christ. Do you ask why I believe in Jesus? Because He is to me a divine Saviour. Why do I believe the Bible? Because I have found it to be the voice of God to my soul.” We may have the witness in ourselves that the Bible is true, that Christ is the Son of God. We know that we are not following cunningly devised fables. SC 112.1

Peter exhorts his brethren to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18. When the people of God are growing in grace, they will be constantly obtaining a clearer understanding of His word. They will discern new light and beauty in its sacred truths. This has been true in the history of the church in all ages, and thus it will continue to the end. “The path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18, R.V., margin. SC 112.2

By faith we may look to the hereafter and grasp the pledge of God for a growth of intellect, the human faculties uniting with the divine, and every power of the soul being brought into direct contact with the Source of light. We may rejoice that all which has perplexed us in the providences of God will then be made plain, things hard to be understood will then find an explanation; and where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken purposes, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12. SC 112.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 284.3

O how gracious is our Lord! “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16).... “I will not leave you comfortless” (John 14:18). The Holy Spirit is to be given for the asking. Only think of it, He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than parents are to give good gifts unto their children. Then let us rejoice, let us be glad. Let us not look at the hellish work of the powers of darkness until hope and courage shall fail. Jesus lives, and we must let our faith pierce the blackness ... and rest in the light, rejoice in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. TMK 284.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 358.3

We are not doing the will of God if we wait in idleness. To every man He has given his work, and He expects each one to do his part with fidelity.... As never before, resistance must be made against sin—against the powers of darkness. The time demands energetic and determined activity on the part of those who believe present truth. They should teach the truth by both precept and example. TMK 358.3

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Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 83.1

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13, 14. AG 83.1

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 73.1

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood. Colossians 1:13, 14. Mar 73.1

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