13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
14 in whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of sins.
How do you view yourself? What is at the basis of your identity as a follower of Jesus? Because of Jesus, grace gets to be the foundation of our self-understanding. It's because of grace that we are saved, and our relationship to God is restored. This grace is also the basis, upon which we move into relationships with others. Because we are recipients of grace, we seek to live out and extend that grace to others.
As the Bible seeks to help us understand our position of grace before God, it employs various metaphors to help us see what God has done for us, so that in specific ways, we can do this with others. Today, the Apostle Paul tells us that we are delivered, or rescued from the domain of darkness, and transferred into Jesus' kingdom. We are rescued. As a Christian, this is a way that you are to look at your life in relationship with God. He has rescued you. To be rescued starts with being in a terrifying position, a helpless position without the strength or resources to get out on your own. And then someone with strength and resources sacrifices and risks to get you out of the helplessness. This is what God has done for us. Because of our folly, our sin, our fears, we were in the domain of darkness. On our own, because sin is in us, we didn't have the resources or the strength to get out of the darkness on our own.
And God, being rich in mercy, has rescued us from the domain of darkness. He has rescued us from sin. In sending Jesus—to live the life we should have lived, die the death we deserved to die, and rise again—God rescued us from the darkness. Because Jesus did what we couldn't do, we are rescued. We belong to Jesus' kingdom now, and we have the forgiveness of sins.
In Christ, you are the rescued. You are the beloved object of a rescue mission. As you let that sink in and shape your identity as a follower of Jesus, consider, as well, how God has empowered you to be a rescuer for others in their need, trouble, and affliction. May God's grace shape our identities and our actions in love for our neighbors.