Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
C1.1 God’s sufficiency
After his prayer Paul proceeds to give some explanation of our salvation and what God has done for us.
Firstly, He has made us meet to be partakers. The word here means ‘to make sufficient’. The Amp, NIV & NASB have ‘qualified ‘. The emphasis being that God has done the work of salvation in us and has provided all things necessary for that salvation. God has so poured His grace upon us that we have become qualified to be partakers of this inheritance.
We were enemies and totally disqualified from His Covenant promises, there was absolutely nothing we could have ever done to gain God’s favour. But God has reached out, taking the initiative. As a result of Christ’s atoning death, we have become fit to be partakers indeed.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
We note that God has made us sufficient to be partakers, not talented or specially gifted, but sufficient. As Paul wrote: all our sufficiency is of God. In whatever circumstance we are in or whatever we do in the kingdom of God, it is all of Him. We have made no contribution to our salvation or to those things necessary for our daily walk.
The purpose of God’s sufficiency is so that we are able to abound in every good work. He works in us so that we can work it out in everyday life.
In relation to the message to the readers, we note that the dangers the Colossians faced (philosophy, legalism and mysticism) all had self- effort as the basis of their finding acceptance with God. The vain philosophy, which Paul mentions, tried to find a system of beliefs that would be sufficient to free the soul from its prison. Legalism tried to obtain a standard of righteousness that would be sufficient. Mysticism tried to find sufficient ‘experiences’ that would save them.
All of these things are deceptions. God alone, by virtue of His son’s all-sufficient atoning death, can give the enabling power to save a man or woman, and to make him abound. there is no other way.
C1.2 The inheritance
When Israel entered the Promised Land, each tribe obtained an inheritance. Each tribe was allotted a portion of land, they were given strict instructions to maintain that inheritance, and not to lose it. The only tribe not to receive a portion of land as an inheritance was Levi, instead God was their inheritance.
As God’s children we are partakers of an inheritance, and essentially our inheritance is God Himself. Jesus identified Himself with our condition so that we may be identified with Him. II Cor.5:21.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
By virtue of the fact that God has made us His sons, adopting us into His family, we are co-heirs with Christ. Thus, we are partakers of His inheritance. This has been procured for us at great cost, and that was at the cost of God’s Son suffering for us in our place and stead.
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Throughout the New Testament we see this identification of Jesus and His people.
“Because I live, ye shall live also,”
“For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with him,
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
The reader is encouraged to search the scriptures in order to discover for themselves what an inheritance we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In relation to the message of Colossians: Philosophy, Legalism or Mysticism can never give us an inheritance from God. Whatever men and women may inherit from these things is from the enemy and needs to be repented of.
We shall return to this theme of inheritance in chapter 3.
C1.3 The saints in light
In scripture God’s kingdom is called light and that of Satan darkness.
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
It is said that in Christ is life and that life, God’s own life is the light of men. By implication Satan, who is darkness is death. In fact Jesus calls him a liar and murderer Jn.8:44. It follows, therefore, that since vain Philosophy, Legalism and Mysticism are not of God but of the world. And since the whole world lies in hands of the wicked one, then these things bring darkness and spiritual death.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
C1.4 You are light
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
All men are born sinners and, as Paul says here in Ephesians, darkness. Not in darkness mind you, but darkness itself. But since we were born anew from above by His Spirit, we are now light. Our life is in Christ Col.3:4, hence we are in light. We then are to walk as children of light. The apostle then explains what he means.
We are not to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. In context of the epistle to the Colossians, this means not to walk in the way of vain Philosophy, Legalism or Mysticism. But rather reprove them and bring them to the light. By so doing we may save one poor deluded sinner from the clutches of such things, so they may become children of light and know the sufficiency of God for themselves.