Colossians 1:12

Thursday, 23 March 2017

giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Colossians 1:12

This verse continues on the same train of thought that has been going on since verse 9. The words, “giving thanks to the Father” explain another way in which the saints may walk worthy of the Lord, as Paul previously noted. The reason for this is that He “has qualified us to be partakers of the saints in the light.”

Paul’s choice of the word “Father” here is referring to His relationship to the Son, through whom has come the execution of His plan of redemption. He determined the plan, and it was set in motion through the giving of His Son. In turn, for those who have received Christ Jesus, we have been qualified “to be partakers of the inheritance.” The kingdom which lies yet ahead belongs to the Son. It is His inheritance, just as any son inherits from a father. In this case, Christ is the inheritor of all things. This is seen, for example, in Hebrews 1 –

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4

From this, those who call on Christ likewise become “partakers of the inheritance of the saints.” What this is saying, is that the promises to the Old Testament saints continues on in the new dispensation. That which was promised to the saints of old now applies to the saints of the church. The New Covenant issued from the Old Covenant when Christ fulfilled the Old in His death.

In this establishment of the New Covenant, the promises which were given to those under the Old are now realized in the new. This does not mean that the church replaces Israel, but that which is offered pertains to those who are established through the work of Christ. To understand this, we can look at the words to Daniel concerning the inheritance of the saints as was promised to him –

“Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

An inheritance was promised then, and the same inheritance is promised now. Those who are contained within the active covenant are those who are partakers; from Old to New Covenant. Completing the thought, he says this covenant of the saints is “in the light.”

The idea of light here is the kingdom over which God presides. There is no darkness, as there is in the current world. This is the kingdom which God offers through Christ who is the true Light. The concepts of light and kingdom permeate the Bible, but John deals with them in great measure in his gospel and epistles. What lies ahead will be marvelous. The powers of darkness will be utterly removed, and only holiness, happiness, and the glory of God will remain.

Life application: Our hope is in a world which is so wonderfully greater than anything we can actually imagine. The world around us is hemmed in with evil, and the powers of darkness are everywhere. But for those who are in Christ, a glory lies ahead which will literally radiate out in majestic splendor for all eternity. Hold fast to your faith, and be of good cheer, even when the world seems to overwhelm you. Great things lie ahead.

Heavenly Father, it is wonderful to know that something more glorious than we can imagine lies ahead. This world, even at its best, is one of death and corruption. But You have promised one which is light, life, and glory. Thank You for having sent Christ Jesus to make all things new. Through Him, we become partakers of the promised restoration which You have purposed for the saints in the light. We await that glorious day! Amen.

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