We move now in our series of topical studies from Paul’s Letter to the Colossians to the special inheritance we have in Christ Jesus. This series of studies was first taught more than 40 years ago as part of a verse-by-verse study that became a series of topical insights from Paul’s great Letters to the Christians in Colossae and Ephesus. Our prayer is that this study will be clear and powerful and help you in your life.
As with other Teaching Notes, we invite you to use this study in any way God leads.
[These notes are from a Bible study taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:12
I. The Qualification of our Inheritance
A. The Qualifier
The King James Version translates the Greek word hikanoó as “meet.” The word means “make sufficient, render fit, qualify.” We were rendered fit or “made sufficient” to share in this inheritance by God the Father. There was no possible way we could have qualified ourselves for the inheritance of the saints. We were totally depraved, totally out of harmony with God, and completely hostile toward God. When the human race, through Adam, fell into sin, it became totally depraved. The Fall blinded man’s mind, hardened his heart, disordered his affections, corrupted his conscience, disabled his will, and brought him in total opposition to God’s will.
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:1-7
The word “qualified” is in the aorist tense and pictures a once-for-all act of God.
B. The Qualified
Those who are qualified for the inheritance are the “saints” of God. Paul wrote the Colossians and reminded them that they shared in the great inheritance with all of God’s “called out ones.”
C. The Inheritance
The inheritance spoken of here is our “lot or portion” in the Kingdom of God. (Explain how an estate is divided up equally among heirs)
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Ephesians 1:11
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory … The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:13-14, 18
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4
II. The Light of our Inheritance
A. Before We Received The Inheritance
One of the most revealing statements concerning the unsaved man is found in Ephesians 5:8 where Paul wrote, “For ye were sometimes darkness.” The verb here is in the emphatic position. Paul is not saying that we were once just “in” darkness, but that we were actually “darkness” ourselves! He wasn’t saying that we were lost in darkness groping around looking for light, but that we were the darkness.
B. After We Received The Inheritance
Reading on in verse 8 of Ephesians 5, Paul wrote – “but now are ye light in the Lord.” Again, Paul is not saying that Christians are just “in” the light, but that they actually “are light!” Expositors reads, “The completeness of the change is indicated again by the use of the abstract term — so possessed and penetrated were they by that truth that they could be described not simply as enlightened but as themselves now light.”
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Let’s remember these words from the Apostle Paul to the Colossians –
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:9-12
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you, your family and your ministry.]