Text: Colossians 1:12-14

INTRODUCTION: Our God is One Who acts. He is revealed by His deeds. Paul is describing in these verses what God has done; these are the saving acts of God. We often fail to grasp the reality of the finished work of Christ. A prior transaction has taken place–a prior event has transpired, and by it God accomplished our salvation. “Tis done, the great transaction’s done!”

Salvation is like a many-sided jewel; it is all one stone, yet it has many sides and reflects different shades of light. The description that Paul gives here of what God has done are several sides to the Jewel of salvation. Salvation is not something we achieve, it is something we receive.

I.   GOD HAS QUALIFIED US. Each portion of the statement is significant.

“Made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Idea of fitness).

“Made us sufficient to the sharing of the portion of the saints in light.” (Inner transformation)

“Qualified us to share the lot of the saints in the light”. (Relate this to Old Testament inheritance.

1.  The Future Aspect of this Qualification.

(1) This is the future glory of heaven. It is an inheritance…a gift of God to His people, promised in the Old Testament and fulfilled in Christ. We are going to dwell with Him; this is our portion… .but how?

(2) He has qualified us–made us competent. We were inherently unworthy, sinful, unfit, unqualified.
Illustration: Being new in Ft. Worth, I wanted to open a charge account but wasn’t qualified. A woman said “I’ll qualify you”, “I’ll sign for you.”

2.  Present Aspect.
(1) God has given us a lot allotment, portion; the lot of the saints in this life….bearing fruit, increasing, etc. God’s people have a lot in this life, ordained of God.
“To share”… .to share in the part assigned to us, our part. The phrase suggests the thought that each individual has a particular place in this

(2) God has made us fit, has qualified us to share this lot of the saints. God has made us worthy of the high destiny to which He calls us… .co-laborers with Christ.

II. GOD HAS DELIVERED US. How God Qualified Us

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.”

1. Our Former State– “The power of darkness.

Throughout the New Testament darkness is conceived as a definite power that is horrible and monstrous. It holds all men in its authority and they are powerless to escape. The phase refers to tyrannical rule of Satan over the unsaved.

Before our deliverance sin held sway over us. “In darkness”… .this is not only a condition of being without God, but of being against God… .a rebel kingdom.

“Power”.. .a moral influence, affecting our character and conduct.

2. Our Rescue… .“Who hath delivered us.”

The word means “to pluck out of danger, to rescue from destruction.” “To rescue” requires a power that is greater than the power from which the rescue is effected. God rescued us by His Strong Arm, as a mighty conqueror. God has rescued us from every power but His own. There is an invisible war… .a day by day, moment by moment battle going on.

III. GOD HAS TRANSLATED US. How God has Qualified Us.

God has delivered us from a rebel kingdom and brought us under the sovereignty of our rightful King.

1. The word means “to transfer, transport, remove from one place to another, one country to another.” In the ancient world when one empire conquered another it was the custom to take the population of the defeated country and transfer them “lock, stock and barrel”{ to another country….transplant them. (Babylonian Captivity)

Here God has delivered His people from a dark tyranny which held them captive and brings them into His Kingdom.

2. This is the present condition of Christians. God has already transferred us from the power of darkness to the Kingdom of His Son.

3. It is implied that we have already won our freedom. We have been removed from a world which is subject to evil forces into one which has Christ as King, so that now we submit ourselves to no authority but His.

According to the false teachers at Colossae it was necessary to conciliate the angelic powers who rule over the world, or to win to our side other powers which will protect us from them. Paul maintains that as Christ’s people we have escaped from all lower jurisdiction. Christ is above all angels; he has conquered all other powers, and since we belong to Him we are free. Perhaps we can best understand Paul’s meaning when we translate His idea out of the terms of ancient mythology into those of modem thinking. We speak now, not of angelic powers throned in the planets, but of a world of mechanical law, in the clutches of which we are helpless. Our life is determined for us by heredity, environment, natural and social and economic forces, and the most we can do is to adjust ourselves as best we can to these conditions. To such a philosophy Paul would answer… .that we have access to a world of freedom. God has delivered us out of this lower mechanical sphere and placed us in the Kingdom of His Son. (Moffatt Commentary)

We still need to learn that in Christ we are really made free.. .rescued from the power of these blind forces that we find at work in history and in human society, and admitted to the Kingdom of Divine love wherein we may fulfill our lives according to the will of God.

4. The reign of Christ has already begun.. .wherever Christ rules.

The change that makes us fit for our place in the light is accompanied by an equally radical change in the conditions under which we live.. inward and outward.

IV. GOD HAS REDEEMED US. Covers the first three points.

Verse 14 The imagery of a captive and enslaved people is still continued.

1.  The Meaning of Redemption.. .“release by the payment of a ransom.” “We have” represents the continued result of the rescue effected in the past.

2. Medium of Redemption.. .“In Whom”.. .Christ is the ransom.

3. Manner of Redemption. .“Through His blood.” costly

4. Measure of Redemption. .“Forgiveness of sins”. Sins are the chains which keep men imprisoned in the “power of darkness.~~

“To send away, put away.” This implies that an absolute end has been made in Him and made by Him of all sins. The absolute security of every Christian is entirely wrapped up in Him.

©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2004

Categories: Sermons

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