What does Colossians 1:14 mean?
ESV: in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
NIV: in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
NASB: in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
CSB: In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
NLT: who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
KJV: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Verse Commentary:
This brief verse concludes Paul's prayer for the Colossians Christians. Verse 13 explained that God has rescued believers in Christ from sin. This phrase used a Greek word meaning "delivered," or even "translated." God radically changes our status, completely removing the eternal penalty of sin from those who have faith in Christ. This verse concludes that thought, with a reminder of what Jesus has done: He has provided redemption. Redemption is a theme of both the Old and New Testament, from the redemption of the Passover Lamb to the redemption of Christ on the cross. Through His sacrifice, Jesus provided a means for us to be forgiven for our sin.

This forgiveness of sin is at the heart of the gospel message (Matthew 26:28; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; 24:47). The earliest gospel preaching emphasized Jesus offering forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18). Hebrews 9:22 reminds us that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." Christ's shed blood offers forgiveness to all who believe in Him (John 3:16).
Verse Context:
Colossians 1:9–14 is a prayer on behalf of the Colossian Christians. Paul prays for their continued spiritual growth, including knowledge of God, knowledge of His will, and wisdom. Paul also prays for their strength and endurance. In so praying, Paul reminds the believers of Colossae that salvation is entirely the work of God, who drastically changed their fate by rescuing them from sin.
Chapter Summary:
In chapter 1, Paul introduces himself, along with his co-author Timothy. As he often does, Paul gives thanks for what he hears about the faith of the believers in Colossae. Paul includes a prayer for their growth and spiritual strength. The letter then transitions to praise of Jesus, describing Him as absolutely supreme. All created things were made through, by, and for Him. And, since it was His sacrifice which saved us from sin, we can have confidence in our eternal destiny.
Chapter Context:
Colossians chapter 1 is mostly focused on describing Christ as supreme. Jesus is not only the God of creation, He is the ultimate authority over all created things. The penalty for sin has been completely removed because of His perfect sacrifice. These are foundational ideas which Paul will use to set up his later points. In chapters 2, 3, and 4, Paul will explain why contrary claims are untrue, and show the right way for Christians to live out what we believe about Jesus.
Book Summary:
The book of Colossians describes Christ as superior to all other teachers, faiths, and philosophies. In this letter, written from prison, Paul once again tackles false teachings. Among these errors are claims that Christians need to give up all physical enjoyments, that they should worship angels, and that they need to rely on the wisdom of an elite few. These problems are consistent with an ancient heresy known as Gnosticism. In response, Paul explains that Christ is supreme, and sufficient for our salvation.
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