“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.” Colossians 1:12-14 (Read v. 9-23)
How is it that you and I, rebellious sinners by birth, were made meet (or fit) to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”? How is it that God the Father could translate us from the kingdom and power of darkness into the kingdom of His own dear Son? How is it that our sins could be pardoned and forgiven?
We find the answer in St. Paul’s letter to the believers at Colosse. It is because of the redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, when He suffered and died upon the cross.
The inspired Word tells us that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (v.15-18).
Jesus is God Himself in the flesh, the eternal Son of God and the Creator of all things who took upon Himself our nature and became a true man (cf. John 1:1-5, 14-18; Hebrews 1:1-3; 2:14-17). And, as our Redeemer and the firstborn from among the dead, He is the head of the church.
And, “it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (v. 19-20).
God’s only-begotten Son became true man that He might take our place under God’s law and fulfill all righteousness for us, and He took the guilt and just punishment of our sins and the sins of the world that He might appease God’s wrath and satisfy the just demands of God’s law against us sinners.
God the Father made peace through the blood of Jesus’ cross (aorist active participle), in order to reconcile (aorist active infinitive) all things unto himself, whether in earth or in heaven.
“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight…” (v. 21-22, again using the aorist tense). The salvation and reconciliation of believers to God always go back to the cross of Christ Jesus and what He accomplished for all there when he offered up Himself as a sacrifice for sin.
This applied to the believers at Colosse, and it applies to us, as well (cf. Rom. 3:19-26; Eph. 2:11-18). In our natural state, from conception and birth onward (cf. Ps. 51:5), we were in rebellion against God and living in death because of our disobedience and sin (cf. Eph. 2:1ff.). But God, in His grace and mercy, sent to us His Word and brought us to see our lost and sinful condition under the law and to see, through the preaching of the Gospel, Christ Jesus our Savior, the Lamb of God who shed His blood on the cross and made atonement for the sins of the world (John 1:29)! Thus we, who are rebellious sinners by birth and separated from the family of God by our sins, are reconciled to God when we trust in the atoning and reconciling sacrifice of Christ Jesus – the satisfaction rendered by God’s own dear Son when He suffered and died upon the cross for our sins and the sins of all mankind.
When Christ Jesus, God the Son and true man, fulfilled all righteousness for us and died on the cross for our sins and rose again in victory, the redemption price was paid, satisfaction was rendered, peace with God was won. And this was done that lost and condemned sinners might look to Jesus in faith and be pardoned, forgiven, justified, counted righteous, holy, unblameable and unreproveable in God’s sight.
And how are they forgiven, pardoned, counted righteous, holy, unblameable and unreproveable in God’s sight? How is it that you and I, rebellious sinners by birth, are made meet to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”? It is through faith in Christ (cf. Rom. 3:19-26; Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:16; 5:24). And St. Paul says the same here: “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (v. 23).
Through the redemption accomplished by Christ and through the preaching of the Gospel, God the Father has made us “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” He has “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.”
We thank and praise You, O Christ, for redeeming us and bringing us to know and trust in You for forgiveness and life everlasting. Preserve us in this true and saving faith unto life everlasting. Amen.
[Scripture quoted from the King James Version of the Bible]