God Rescued Us


* This teaching is an Advanced study from The Bible Tells Me So published by The American Christian Press in 1973.



In order to understand that God rescued us, we first should know how we got in a position to need rescuing.  The roots of mankind's dilemma stem back to the time of Genesis 1: 28 when God originally gave man rulership, dominion and authority over this world.  Man was placed in this world as the ruler and caretaker.  But when sin entered the earthly realm, due to man's disobedience to God, man lost his authority, dominion, and rulership.  The devil, who was handed the rulership in man's fall, offered to give it to Jesus Christ in the temptation as recorded in Luke 4.


The devil said to Jesus Christ in Luke 4: 6, " ... for that [power and glory of the kingdoms of this world] is delivered unto me.”  Therefore, unto this very day the world in which you and I live is Satan's realm.  We live in the realm which is under Satan's rulership. According to Ephesians 2: 1 all people are born in this world" ... dead in trespasses and sins" and (verse 12) " ... having no hope, and without God .... " Being in such a dire state, we definitely needed rescuing.


Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom [scratch ‘into the kingdom’]  [by the work] of his dear Son. -- Colossians 1: 13


There is no king on the earth because Jesus Christ has no kingdom of his own.  The kingdom is the kingdom of God.  This point will be repeated again near the end of this teaching.


The word "delivered" is more emphatically translated "rescued."  God in Christ "rescued us."  Notice that this verb is in the past tense.  Therefore, God no longer needs to rescue us; He has already done so.  The word "from" is the Greek word ek meaning "out of" or "out from the center" (as of a circle).  What did He rescue us out of or out from among? "The power of darkness."


This world, which is darkness and is under the dominion of the devil, is that which God has rescued us out from among.  He rescued us out of this world even while we are still dwelling here.  That God could do this is one of the greatest of miracles.


The word "power" in the above verse ("from the power of darkness") is the Greek word exousia from which English derives the word "exercise."  He has delivered us from the exercised power of darkness, the exercising influence of this kingdom of darkness.


The word "translated" ("translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son") in Sanskrit is "citizenship."  He rescued us out from among the exercised power of darkness and gave us citizenship.  This is a tremendous truth.


What does this citizenship in His kingdom entail?  To begin, let us look at the Greek word for "city," polis.  The cities in Biblical times were surrounded by walls.  The wall policed the city.  The walled city was the polis.  The people within the walls were called the people of the polis.  The walls guarded them from being attacked.  Walls were never built to keep people inside the city but to keep the enemy out.  The walls formed a protection, not to keep the free people of a city or a state enclosed, but to keep the enemy away from the free people.  A free citizen in a city is called a polites, from which we get the word "politics."  Biblically speaking, we are citizens of a kingdom - we are politicians.


Abraham searched for a city, polis.


By faith he [Abraham] sojourned in the land of promise, as in  a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:


For he [Abraham] looked [already] for a city [polis] which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is  God.  -- Hebrews 11: 9, 10


Abraham in his day looked forward to a city, not here upon earth, but a polis " ... whose builder and maker is  God."  This city is protected with the hedge of God wherein the people would be free citizens.


An example of politeia, a derivative of polis, is found in Ephesians.


That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth [community, politeia] of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.  -- Ephesians 2: 12


At the time referred to in Ephesians 2, Israel had forsaken God and so God was not able to bless them.  Because they had walked away from Him, they no longer had freedom and protection where they dwelled.  They were in bondage.


Politeuma, from the root word polis, is used in Philippians where it is strangely translated "conversation."


For our conversation [politeuma, citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  -- Philippians 3: 20


Our citizenship, our free life, is in heaven.  Even while we are yet on this earth, we have the promise of being citizens in a free state. 


For here [on this earth] have we no continuing city [polis], but we seek one to come.  – Hebrews 13: 14


If we have no continuing city here, we cannot have complete freedom; therefore, “we seek one to come.”  That city which is to come must be uncorrupted inside and protected all around to insure the citizens of total freedom. This city could only be the city whose builder and maker is God.


Now we look for the continuing city; but what about our life before we were delivered from the power of darkness?  Ephesians tells us of our former citizenship.


Among whom also we all had our conversation [life of negative conduct] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. -- Ephesians 2: 3


By the very event of being born into this world, we were children of whose realm? Satan's.  This is the meaning of the word "wrath" in "children of wrath."  We were born children of Satan's realm - not spiritually, but physically.  Physically I was born a child under Satan's rulership, dead in trespasses and sins without God and without hope in this world.  But God changed all this, as recorded in Ephesians 2.


Ephesians 2: 4-6:


But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,


Even when we were dead in [full of] sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)


And hath raised [past tense] us  up together [with Christ], and made us  sit together in heavenly places [the text gives "in the heavenlies"] in Christ Jesus. -- Ephesians 2: 4-6


Who did the quickening; who raised us up; who made us sit in the heavenlies?  God.


Ephesians 2: 7-9:


That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his  kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.


For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is  the gift of God:


Not of works, lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2: 7-9


When we were born in this world, we were alive physically yet dead spiritually, "without God and without hope."  Something had to happen to us.  God, who is rich in mercy and grace, saved us.


For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  – Ephesians 2: 10


If God saved us, then we are not our own workmanship; we are sons, His  workmanship. God's workmanship came to bear when we were spiritually dead; at that time God made us alive.


And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [made alive] together with him [Christ], having forgiven you all trespasses.  -- Colossians 2: 13


God created us in Christ Jesus and graciously pardoned our sins.  But before God could make us alive, He had to have us as "raw material" to work on.  Thus, the question becomes:  How does He create us in Christ Jesus?


No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him .... -- John 6: 44a


We can be made alive, we can obtain this citizenship, only if the Father does the drawing.  We cannot raise ourselves by our own bootstraps; we cannot save
ourselves.  No man, not one person, can come to Christ and be saved except the Father draws him.  To receive eternal life a man must be drawn by God away from the clutches and rulership of Satan.  Jesus used the word "draw" again in John.           


And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men  unto me. -- John 12: 32


Jesus said in John 6: 44 that only the Father can do the drawing; yet here it says that Christ is going to do the drawing.  What is the answer?  Into the world ruled by Satan in which you and I live, there came a person who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary.  This person came into the devil's world having no darkness in Him for He was the light of the world.  He knew no sin.  He became sin so that you and I might become the righteousness of God in Him.  Furthermore, He was in this world, but He was not of - He did not belong to - this world.  When Christ was in the world the Scripture says that God was at work in Him.


To wit that God was in Christ, reconciling the world [the people in it] unto himself ....  -- II Corinthians 5: 19a


God actually draws  through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who, according to Isaiah 53: 6, carried "the iniquity of us all."  Because of Jesus Christ's death, God could then draw or rescue the believers from the rulership of Satan and give them citizenship in His kingdom.


Before God rescued us, we were dead in sins.  But God sent His only-begotten Son who was the means by which we could be rescued.  We are God's workmanship created through the accomplishments of Christ Jesus.  God rescued us.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son .... -- John 3: 16a


God sent His Son, who had no darkness and no sin, and drew His Son unto Himself. Because of Jesus' death and resurrection God draws us.  He made possible our great hope of glory: "... Christ in you, the hope of glory."  God rescued us out of this realm of Satan and gave us citizenship in His kingdom.


Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom [scratch ‘into the kingdom’]  [by the work] of his dear Son. -- Colossians 1: 13


This kingdom cannot be the "kingdom of his dear Son" for the Son has no kingdom of His own; the "kingdom" is the kingdom of God.  The word "of" should be "by." It is the genitive of origin.  God rescued us out of the exercised power of the kingdom of darkness, the rulership of Satan, and gave us citizenship in His kingdom by what His Son Jesus Christ did for us here upon earth.


Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us [rescue us] from [out from among] this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.  -- Galatians 1: 4


Until we are born again, we are children of wrath; we are in a physical world which belongs to the devil; it is his kingdom.  When we are born again, we become " ... blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke [from God], in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation [kingdom,]" according to Philippians 2: 15.  


God drew us and rescued us out from among the exercised influences of Satan.  There are people, however, in Satan's world who will never be saved for they refuse to believe. But, for those of us who want to believe, God by His foreknowledge has rescued us out from the power of Satan.  When God separated us and rescued us, He brought us as citizens into His kingdom by the efforts of His dear Son.


It was God who sent His only begotten Son into the world to seek and to save those who are lost, specifically those of us who desire to be saved.  God rescued us even while we are still living in this world.


Already we have citizenship in God's kingdom He has already "... made us  sit together in heavenly places  in Christ Jesus," as told in Ephesians 2: 6.  Legally speaking, in Christ we were circumcised with His circumcision.  When Christ died, we died with Him.  When He was buried, we were buried in the baptism of His burial.  When He arose, we arose with Him.  When He ascended, we ascended with Him.  When Christ conquered, we conquered with Him.  When He was seated, we were seated with Him.  When He lead "captivity captive" and "gave gifts unto men," we were given the power to live victoriously even in the realm of Satan, having the ability to manifest the power of God in the more abundant life.  What a revelation to the soul of man!  What glory, what joy, what peace, what bliss!  We are rescued now.