Commentary on Colossians, 1:13-14 (Unlimited Atonement)

Colossians 1:13-14

13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love;
14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.”

“Son of His love”

I don’t think we normally think of God having love for Himself, but rather love for us. However, here we see that the Son is loved by the Father. This reveals that God is not a singular Person. God is a Trinity, and here two Persons of the Trinity is named. We will discuss the Trinity in verses 15-19.

“redemption” (Gr. apolutrosis – 629)

Deliverance; to set one free by the payment of a ransom.

Jesus set us free from the penalty and power of sin through the blood that He shed for us. As slaves of sin, and under the eternal condemnation of death (Ro 6:15-23), His blood was the ransom price that He paid to purchase us for Himself (1 Pet 1:18-19; 1 Cor 6:20). This redemption includes freedom from the curse of the law (Please read my commentary on Gal 3:13).

To be in slavery means to be owned by another. As slaves, we have no rights of our own and we have no wealth of our own, but are in total submission to the one who owns us. Thus there was no way for us to pay for our own freedom; it had to be paid for by another. The ransom for our freedom was the shed blood of the unblemished and perfect Lamb of God. Jesus was the only one that could provide the ransom that was required for our freedom. This helps to explain why we can’t work our way to freedom, for anything less than the blood of Christ is an insufficient ransom. God set the price, and He Himself paid it through the sacrifice of His Son.

“forgiveness”  (Gr. aphesis – 859)

To release or pardon, to put away of an offense, to cancel indebtedness, to release from punishment or imprisonment.

What was once held against us as sinners, is no longer being held against us, but is forgotten (He 8:12). That’s God’s grace.

Many, if not most Calvinists, believe in limited atonement, that the blood of Christ was only shed for the elect. However, the Word of God simply doesn’t teach that. On the contrary, it teaches that Jesus shed His blood for every sinner that comes into this world:

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”  (John 12:32)


“and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)


“But we behold Him who has been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He should taste of death for everyone.”  (He 2:9)


“For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them who believe.”  (1 Tim 4:10)

“who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;”  (1 Tim 2:4-6)

“For God has shut up all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.”  (Ro 11:32)

All these scriptures are plainly stated. There’s simply no justification for coming to any other conclusion than that Jesus died for all, and that salvation is available for all. To read these verses and still claim that Christ only died for the elect, is doctrinal bias to the max. Calvinism has a certain theology that must be upheld, and so in order to do that, these verses must be forced to mean something other than what they obviously mean according to their natural reading.

It’s completely unreasonable to suggest that these scriptures have a hidden meaning, that they don’t really mean what they’re saying. When you have this many verses that are all saying the same thing, it’s a dangerous practice to attach a contrary meaning to them.

Furthermore, these scriptures have strong support, which you may read about in the links below: