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Oct 21, 2018

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:12-14

In this first section of Colossians, Paul has been thanking God for the conversion of the Colossian church.  He had not been to Colossae, but wrote, "We always thank God . . . when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith" (Col 1:3,4).  At the end of this paragraph of thanksgiving, we have a brief, but glorious description, of what God has actually done in the conversion of His people.

Echoing the Old Testament division of the land among the twelve tribes of Israel, God has "qualified [Christians] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col 1:12).  The 'inheritance of the saints' is experienced now, but the primary meaning here is our enjoyment of heaven.  We do not qualify ourselves.  We are qualified by God's authority, according to the merits of Christ. 

Having mentioned 'light,' Paul now says that in our conversion, we have been 'delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ' (Col 1:13).  In the Scriptures 'darkness' is symbolic of several kinds of corruption.  There is the darkness of spiritual ignorance (cf. Jn 1:8,9; 12:35) … the darkness of wickedness (cf. Jn 3:19; Rom 13:12,13) … the darkness of hell (cf. Mt 8:12).  

Christians have been transferred into another kingdom … a kingdom of light and righteousness, where Christ is.  Certainly there is a present aspect to the kingdom of Christ, which we experience now, and a future aspect, which we will know in fullness in heaven.

Furthermore, the price of the debt that  Christians owe for their sins has been paid (redemption) and the penalty for their sins has been taken away (forgiveness).  There is no deeper joy or greater hope or sweeter peace than what is being described here.  Soli Deo gloria!