Colossians #4

God Made Us “Meet” To Be Partakers

“Giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins…” (Col. 1:12- 14).

In these three verses Paul thanks God for the things He has done. He has made us to be “meet” to be partakers; He has “delivered us out of the power of darkness” and He has “translated us unto the kingdom of the Son of his love.” Then he tells how and why these things are possible when he tells us we have redemption (forgiveness) in Christ.

We are made “meet.” The idea is that we are made suitable to partake of the saints’ inheritance. Peter calls this inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, one which fades not away and which is reserved in heaven for us (1 Pet. 1:4). Peter tells that we are “quickened” unto such a hope by Christ’s resurrection, but Paul tells that we are suitable to partake because of Christ’s redemptive work. Because Christ’s blood has been shed for all (which blood cleanses us from sin 2 Cor. 5:14; 1 Jn. 1:7); the redeemed sinner is suitable to partake of the inheritance God prepared for his saints.

We are “delivered from the power of darkness.” To be delivered from the power of darkness is to be freed from it’s dominion. Having been enslaved to sin because we sinned; we were unable, of ourselves, to release ourselves from its grip (Rom. 6:16). In Romans six Paul showed that once Christ was raised from the dead, death no more had dominion over him and that since he died for those in bondage to sin; those who share in that death by their obedience to the gospel, are delivered from its’ power over them (Rom. 6:6-11). That is not to say we cannot go back under sin’s dominion, we can. But, that dominion is self-imposed: grace has opened the door to release from it (Rom. 6:14).

By grace we are translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love. God does presently have a kingdom as this passage and others show. It is a kingdom not of this world, but no less a kingdom (Jn. 18:36; 1 Thess. 2:12; Heb. 12:28). It is the kingdom prophesied by Daniel and which was preached as “near” by both John and Jesus (Dan. 2:44; Matt. 3:1 Mk. 1:15). To “translate” signifies to transpose from one thing to another, as a message in English is transposed into Spanish, etc. So one who is spiritually in the kingdom of Satan is spiritually transposed into the kingdom of Christ.

Yet, in all these things let none understand the writer as saying these things are done for us whether we are willing or unwilling. True, the means by which all these things are possible, VIZ the redemptive work of Christ, was done without man’s consent, but to actually be made “meet,” “delivered,” and “translated” lies in the volition of man as Paul’s allusions to man’s obedience clearly demonstrate. These had received the Lord Jesus; sought the things above; set minds on heavenly, not earthy things; put to death earthly members, put on the fruit of the Spirit; let the grace of Christ rule in their hearts; let Christ’s word dwell richly in them and whatever they did, they were to do in the name of Christ (Col. 2:6; 3:1; 2, 5, 11, 15, 17). But all of man’s efforts would be futility were it not that God had made the way possible for us by offering the gift of his Son.

Jim McDonald