Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,
Indeed we serve and worship and are loved by the one who created the universe and calms the storms. As we discussed last Sunday, often Jesus leads us into the very storms we face … but also he is with us in the storms, teaches us through the storms; and ultimately he is sovereign over the storms. May that truth be an encouragement to you this week.
1. Ladies, a baby shower for Christy and Lina is scheduled for 2/23 at 3:00 at the Perkins’ home.
2. Be on the lookout for more upcoming men’s and women’s studies.
3. Finally, this week’s devotion is a reflection on God’s grace in our lives from Colossians 1.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Are You Fit?”
Colossians 1:12, “…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Are you fit? Am I fit? In Colossians 1:12, the Apostle Paul talks about fitness. Now of course Paul is not giving exercise instruction, rather he is reflecting on our ‘fitness’ – ‘our readiness’ – for heavenly glory. Col 1:9-14 is the record of Paul’s prayer for the Colossian believers. He writes, “From the day we heard [of you faith, hope, and love], we have not ceased to pray for you” (1:9). And what is the substance of Paul’s prayer for the church?? In short, Paul’s desire is that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of God in order that they might live to his glory (1:9-10). And in vv. 12-14, Paul closes his prayer with a glorious thanksgiving – he is thankful for the grace of God in the lives of believers. It is this thanksgiving that I want to briefly consider.
First, for what is Paul specifically thankful. Verse 12, “… giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” He is thankful for the work of the Father in qualifying Christians. The term ‘qualify’ means ‘to fit,’ or ‘to prepare.’ That is, God has ‘fitted’ or ‘prepared’ his children for the kingdom to come. Or to put it another way, God has prepared us for the fullness of salvation that awaits us in the New Heavens and the New Earth. Before God’s grace invaded our hearts, we were disqualified to partake in heavenly inheritance – we were dead in sin – we were enemies to God – we were hostile to the things of the Lord (Eph 2:1-3; 4:17-19; Rom 8:7). But God by his grace (Eph 2:8; Titus 3:5) has qualified – or ‘fitted’ – us for our heavenly inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Secondly, how has the Father qualified us? Verse13, “He has delivered us … and transferred us.” Through the work of Christ, we have been delivered – or ‘rescued’- from the domain of darkness. And we have been transferred – or ‘changed’- to the kingdom of Christ. In other words, through the finished work of Christ upon the cross and his subsequent resurrection, we are no longer citizens of Satan’s kingdom (2 Cor 4:4); but we have been changed or transferred to Christ’s kingdom. What a glorious transference! What glorious grace! We are no longer servants of sin and death – we are now servants of Christ the King!
Finally, Paul summarizes what he has just been saying in v. 14, “… in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Christ has redeemed us – he has set us free – he has satisfied the wrath of the father. And in him, our sins are forgiven (Eph 1:7; Ps 103:11-12). God’s grace is seen in its fullest light in the cross work of the Lord Jesus Christ, our glorious redeemer! In Christ our sins are forgiven. In Christ we are rescued from the kingdom of darkness. And in Christ we are transferred to the kingdom of light.
Dear brothers and sisters, Paul’s prayer for you is the same as his prayer for the Colossians. Namely, to grow in grace to the glory of God. And the most fundamental step to our growth in grace is to recognize our citizenship – we are now citizens of Christ’s kingdom (Phil 3:20). Christ is our king! We are his servants! He has redeemed us! We belong to him! AMEN and AMEN!
Have a good day and I look forward to seeing you this Lord’s day,