The Inheritance of the Faithful
Colossians 1:12-14
Giving thanks to the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:…

1. In the spirit of "joyfulness" Paul stirs up his brethren to gratitude.

2. This gratitude was due to God. They owed much to Epaphras, Paul, and Philemon, and others. Many are the subordinate cisterns out of which all have drawn refreshing water. But the water that is there, is there only because it has been supplied from the overflow of the inexhaustible fountain above.

3. God is "The Father"; not the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. my Father, yours, or ours; but absolutely the original, archetypal fountain from which all other excellent fatherhoods are derived. Full scope is thus left to the Colossians to claim their peculiar share of the blessing laid up in the Divine Fatherhood, e.g.

I. MEETNESS FOR THE HEAVENLY INHERITANCE. A desire is expressed that they should be led out beyond themselves. "Giving thanks to the Father who hath made" not you, not myself, Timothy and all true brethren; "us."

1. The inheritance. There are many heritages; some evil. This is "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled," etc., and thus one in heaven, "an eternal inheritance" — in one word, perfected salvation. To the heirs of this angels are ministers, and they, being "heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ," are "heirs of all things," as they are Christ's and Christ is God's.

2. It is the inheritance of "the saints." There are two classes among men. The inheritance belongs to the "holy ones."

3. It is in "the light." But it belongs not only to those who are in the light, but to those who are in the dusk.

4. For this God has made us meet to be "partakers," i.e., partners, sharers, which annihilates selfishness. Things are not equally distributed here, but they will be there; and even here, like an earnest of what is coming, one of the greatest of Divine boons, the light, unlike our farthing candles, is wondrously impartial.

5. For this we need "meetness," not for salvation, but for the heritage. Through sin we are disqualified. Happiness is interchangeable with holiness. Hence we need transformation. "Nothing that defileth shall enter" there.


1. The apostle was a rescued man, and so was Timothy, and the Colossians. They had all experienced emancipation and were free.

2. The Divine Father, who feels peculiarly at home in heaven, was the Author of their freedom, as He is of all liberty. Men have sold themselves, but as His offspring they have a right to the prerogatives of children, and God has come down in the person of Jesus to make them free.

3. This rescue is from the power of darkness.

(1) Men are in the dark in reference to all that was most important to their weal; as to their own nature, the character of God, and forgiveness.

(2) This darkness involves the obscuration of all that is fitted to impart delight. When we are out at night we might wander in the choicest gardens, and be surrounded with enchanting scenery, but it would be utterly blank; even if we were in delightful company we should not be able to adequately appreciate it."(3) More than this is involved. Darkness means danger, and hence the Colossians had been under its power, which is darkness personified. The idea is tyrannous power, power to do harm, because power in which malice predominates.

4. But the Great Father hath rescued us from this and translated us.

(1) Paul intended a contrast between the two conditions which lie on the opposite sides of the line that is drawn by faith in Christ. The apostle delighted in this contrast, hence his frequent allusions to it — and no wonder (see Acts 26:17-18).

(2) They were translated, i.e., transferred. The Jews were familiar with the idea. Again and again had masses of them been transported as prisoners of war. But this is translation not into slavery and degradation, but out of them. But Paul does not say as we might expect, into "light," but into "the kingdom of God's dear Son" — the kingdom of heaven where Jesus reigns. In the expression "the Son of His love" we see what we ought to feel towards Jesus. He should be our dear sovereign, and we should "love Him, for He first loved us."

(J. Morison, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

WEB: giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;

The Inheritance of Light
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