Read Colossians 1:3-23
Roman emperor Caesar Augustus understood the value of political propaganda. In addition to his military victories that ended a civil war and his extensive public works campaigns, he also commissioned poets to sing his praises. Virgil, who wrote the Aeneid in honor of Augustus, also penned these lines: “He shall have the gift of divine life, shall see heroes mingled with gods, and shall himself be seen by them, and shall rule the world to which his father’s prowess brought peace.”
Despite the lofty attributes ascribed to him by poets, Augustus did not in fact have divine life. But as we see in our passage today, there is One who is truly worthy of such lavish praise. The apostle Paul wrote a magnificent hymn of praise to Jesus, every word of which is true. This text also describes how our identity as blessed in Christ flows from His unique being and nature.
We’ll focus on two parts of our identity mentioned in this passage. First, we have been rescued and redeemed from the power of sin (vv. 13–14). We had no claim based on our own merit or qualifications to enter the kingdom of God, but we have been given this privilege based on the work of salvation that Jesus accomplished for us (v. 12).