Friday, April 29, 2011

Fully Qualified for the Father’s Inheritance

Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. (Colossians 1:11)

Paul has prayed for the believers at Colosse that they may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work, knowing God more and more, being strengthened with all strength by the power of God’s glory, joyfully enduring difficult times and difficult people. Now he prays that they may always be giving thanks to God, the Father.

Enduring difficult circumstances. Dealing patiently with difficult people. With joy, no less. Now he prays that we may always be giving thanks! No matter what may be happening in our lives, no matter how thick the darkness around us may seem, there is always something much greater going on inside us by which we prevail.

First, notice to whom we are giving thanks. Not some impersonal deity, but to the Father. In Paul’s earlier prayer, which was a prayer of thanksgiving*, he gave thanks “to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” for the faith, hope and love at work in the Colossian believers. Now he presses in on that relationship and how it pertains to us.

The essence of fatherhood is inheritance. When we have a father, we receive a name, a family, an identity. Through faith in Jesus the Messiah, we are “accepted in the Beloved” and have “obtained an inheritance” (Ephesians 1). His Father becomes our Father, His name becomes our name, His identity becomes our identity. We do not qualify ourselves for this — we cannot — but God has done it for us, through His Son. Jesus is fully qualified, and through faith, we are joined with Him, In this way, we are fully qualified in Him and can now take part in the inheritance with Him. We are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). Everything He inherits, we now inherit, too.

In Ephesians, Paul prayed that we would know the “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:19). “Saints in the light,” is how he puts it here in Colossians. Because we are in Jesus, we are “in the light,” for that is what He is, light. John calls Him the True Light who gives light to everyone who comes into the world (John 1:9). The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot comprehend it, cannot overtake it, cannot put it out (John 1:5).

James, also, has something to tell us about the Father and light and inheritance. He says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

The inheritance Father has for us is nothing but good. It is full of life and light and carries with it the blessing and power of heaven. Darkness cannot overcome it, and when we learn how to walk in the reality and power of it, the will of God will be done wherever we walk on earth, just as it is in heaven.

It is a wonderful inheritance and all who entrust themselves to King Jesus the Messiah are fully qualified to take part in it. So, with David we can sing:
O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
 You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
 Yes, I have a good inheritance.
(Psalm 16:5-6)
*For more about the pastoral prayers and prayers of thanksgiving in the New Testament, see Praying With Fire: Change Your World with the Powerful Prayers of the Apostles.

The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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