12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Paul prays that the Colossians will be the kinds of people who have the knowledge of God and strength of God to offer proper gratitude to God for the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul says that God the Father, “has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” This is a beautiful way to talk about our salvation.
The inheritance of the saints is a reference to being brought into the promise of God as part of the family of God. In the Old Testament, when the people of Israel were rescued out of Egypt and brought to the promised land, they were granted an inheritance, a portion of the land to live in.
But for us, the inheritance is something greater than a mere possession of property in the physical land of Israel. God has actually given us an inheritance as part of his eternal family and spiritual kingdom. He has made believers his children with all the privileges associated with that joyful reality. The possession we have is a home forever in Christ.
And note the word qualified. Have you ever felt personally qualified to stand in the presence of the holy God? Have you ever felt qualified, actually good enough, to look upon the blazing perfection of the only perfect being in the universe or beyond? In the Old Testament, people knew that for them to see the perfection of God would be for them to be destroyed by his holiness. Isaiah, in chapter 6, believed that he was falling apart at a mere glimpse of the Lord’s glory. Do we dare consider ourselves worthy, qualified to see God?
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Are you qualified? Not on your own. Are your hands clean and is your heart pure? Is your soul clear from any deceit, ever? Not on your own it is not.
But God qualifies us. Verse 5 of that psalm talks about people receiving righteousness from God. It is God’s gift. It is god’s action.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
The same picture is in John. God gives people who believe in Christ the right to become children of God. But, we find that they believe and receive Christ, not by their own power, not by the will of man, but by the will of God.
So, for God to call us qualified to have an inheritance with the saints is for God to take sinners who are totally unqualified and give to us a righteousness that is completely from him. He does the work, not us. He gives us the faith that we need, not us. And he gets the glory for doing this amazing thing. Do you get how amazing this is? Does it stir gratitude in you?