Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Colossians 1:12

Paul spoke of the five requests that he made for the Colossian believers on a constant basis. He continues writing about his prayers and now moves from the requests to five items that he gives thanks to God for. When one prays, one should not only spend time making requests, we need to spend time giving God thanks for the things He has blessed us with. The Greek word eucharisteo is used about 39 times in the New Testament, 25 of these being in the writings of Paul. It emphasizes the need for us to be grateful and to feel thankful. He points us to the recipient of this thanks – the Father. In the New Testament, we find thankfulness the major motive of our souls. When we realize all that God has accomplished in us, we do not serve out of fear or the need to gain acceptance, we serve out of a thankful heart.[1]

The first thanksgiving that Paul offers is that God has qualified (Greek hikanoo) to share in the inheritance. The word qualified can be translated to mean to make sufficient, to render fit, in other words, to equip one with adequate power to perform duties of one – in this case, that has inherited something. The word is in the past tense and means that we could translate this passage a “who made us meet, fit once and for all.”[2]

There is no variation in our fitness to receive the inheritance, it is a state of being that God has given us when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior. This state is instantaneous, not a progressive process, that we received at the moment of conversion.[3] We, therefore, have a share in the inheritance as an unearned gift from God.

This inheritance is a future promise to His “holy ones” (Greek hagios) which has created some discussion.[4] Some believe that this is a reference to the angels, but most hold to the belief that Paul is speaking about the believers to whom he is writing (see Col.1:2 above). The Greek word phos, translated light, carries a metaphorical sense leaning toward the concept that God is light because light has the extremely delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant quality. It can also include the view of truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity associated with it. So in view of this, we see the inheritance descends to believers from “the Father of lights” by Jesus “the true light”[5] culminates in the Kingdom of light.[6] This is in contrast to the darkness (see further in the following verse), which metaphorically is the unconverted state of man.

[1] Allen, Clifton J., ed. The Broadman Bible Commentary. Vol. 11. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1971. Page 225. 
[2] Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset and David Brown. A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments - Volume 3. Vol. 3. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 2008. Page 440. 
[3] Falwell, Jerry, ed. Liberty Bible Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983. Page 2456. 
[4] See a good treatment of the question in Bruce, F. F. The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. Grand Rapids: Eerdman's Publishing Co, 1984. Pages 48 – 50. This author agrees with his final conclusion, 
[5] James 1:17; John 1:9 
[6] Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset and David Brown. A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments - Volume 3. Vol. 3. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 2008. Page 441.

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