Daily Update #324

Today’s reading:
 

Today’s reading:

…. who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:12b-14

Throughout the wide-ranging thanksgiving and prayer which Paul opens this letter with, we have been impressed by the broad vista which Paul sets out for us as he addresses the Colossian Christians (God’s holy people in Colossae – 1:2).  They may have thought of themselves as a small and weak band of people, threatened by those around them and very much in the minority.  The reality is that they are a holy people, with eternal hope which springs from the gospel, with direct access to knowledge of God himself through his indwelling Holy Spirit and with access to the mighty power which this gives.  

We often say that appearances can be deceptive.  I’m sure it was the case with these Colossian brothers and sisters in Christ.  If we were able to eavesdrop on their meetings and times of fellowship we might have thought of them as a small and ragged band, at the mercy of powerful local political forces ready to oppress them.  The reality is that God’s power dwells in them.  

Today’s passage rounds off Paul’s description of the status which these Christians have.  God the Father himself has personally qualified them to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light!  This is a high calling and a wonderful position which God gives to all who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is evident because of the rescue which God has achieved, transferring his holy people from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Jesus, his anointed Messiah, the Christ.  Jesus himself, whom God the Father loves, has redeemed us and has forgiven our sins!  

The word “redeemed” comes from the slave market, where a new owner pays the price for the slave he has bought.  The price was Jesus’ death on the cross, which has achieved our redemption.  Our sins are forgiven and we are free to serve God in all righteousness and truth.  

So how does this passage apply to us?  What can we learn?  

We are beneficiaries, in precisely the same way as the Colossian Christians, of God’s grace.  God the Father himself has qualified us to share the same inheritance.  We are in the kingdom of light, we have been rescued from darkness and redeemed, our sins have been forgiven.  

Sometimes we may look around the room, or the garden, or these days the gallery view on Zoom, and see our fellow church members.  In some ways we’re a mixed and rather curious bunch.  But in the way that matters, we are the redeemed people of God the Father, purchased by the precious blood of Jesus, shed for us on the cross.  It is God who qualifies us, who would dare to disagree?!?  Our share in the inheritance of God’s holy people is secure and unassailable.  

Yesterday Rosemary set out Paul’s ambitious prayer for the Colossian Christians, involving the fruit of good works, increasing knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power so as to endure, be patient and give thanks.  Today, we see how this works, since God the Father has worked in them and continued to do so even as Paul wrote his letter.  This is the same for us.  We have the same qualification!  

Tomorrow Paul will begin to unpack who Jesus is.  This is critical for us to understand, as our redemption comes from him.  

So the next time you look around the room, or church garden or Zoom gallery remember that each one you set eyes on has been qualified by God the Father, through the redemption which comes through the Son he loves.  This is no ordinary group of people, they come with eternal credentials, destined for glory together with you!  

Prayer:  

Lord God Almighty, 
You are the one who qualified us share in the inheritance of your holy people in the kingdom of light.  
In your love and grace, you redeemed us and you sustain us.  
Give us the confidence to live lives which are worthy of you, so that we may please you in every way.  
We ask this for the honour and glory of Jesus Christ, who loves each one of us and who made himself nothing to redeem and save us.  

Amen

Tomorrow’s passage:  Colossians 1:15-17

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www. zondervan.com. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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