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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

DELIVERED FROM DARKNESS

Colossians 1:12-14 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

Paul opens this letter with a prayer for the Christians at Colosse, which he began by giving thanks for them (Vs. 3), for the eternal life in heaven that awaits them (Vs. 5), for their spiritual fruitfulness (Vs. 6), that they may be filled with knowledge, wisdom and spiritual understanding (Vs. 9), that they might walk worthy of the Lord through good works and knowledge of God (Vs. 10), and that they might be strengthened with God's power through patience, long-suffering, and joyfulness (Vs. 11). His prayer continues in the lesson text by giving thanks unto the Father for delivering them from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

God is our Creator, and the Creator of all things. He is also the Author of the complete plan of salvation, through which the people He created can have eternal life. We should be grateful for all blessings, but for the hope of salvation alone, we should continually give thanks unto the Father. The heavenly Father that created us, also made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. The phrase, made us meet, means that God made us sufficiently able, or capable, of attaining salvation - to partake of the inheritance awaiting all faithful saints of the body of Christ. Two conditions are implied in this statement. First, salvation is limited to the saints - those that have put on Jesus Christ through obedience that led to baptism for the remission of our sins. That being faithfully done, God then added us to His church, the church of Christ. Secondly, this act alone does not assure salvation, it only makes one meet, or able to work out one's salvation, through continued obedience to the will of God. Even then, only by the grace of God, are faithful saints granted access to eternal life in heaven.

For emphasis, many things spoken are compared to their opposites. Softness is compared to hardness; sweet is compared to sour; smooth to rough; tall to short; and young to old, are but a few. In the lesson text, light is compared to darkness. They are the extreme opposites of each other. This same analogy is used in other biblical passages. 1 John 1:5 says ...that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. To walk with God, is to walk in holiness, which is His light; to walk without God is to walk in worldliness or spiritual darkness (See 1 John 1:6-7). With God being light, then the devil is the ruler of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:11-12). Of the Ephesian Christians Paul said, For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light (Eph. 5:8). In Peter's epistle to fellow Christians he called them ...a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that God had called ...out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9).

The inference in these passages is that there are two opposing kingdoms - the kingdom of light, ruled by God, and the kingdom of darkness, ruled by Satan. All people of the earth reside in one kingdom or the other, by placing their allegiance with its king, and by supporting its cause. We are either subjects of God, residing in the kingdom of light, and striving for the future rewards of heaven, or we are slaves to the devil, living in the kingdom of darkness, and seeking the pleasures of the world.

In which kingdom do you reside? Which king do you serve? As free moral agents, we can choose where we place our allegiance. Regardless of whom we serve, this we all have in common - Judgment Day! Before God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, all nations of the earth will be gathered and separated into two groups. The faithful residing in the kingdom of God will inherit eternal life in heaven, while the devil, and those living in the kingdom of darkness, will be cast into everlasting fire - eternal punishment (Study Matt. 25:31-46).

Thanks be to God, our Creator, the Author of our salvation, for providing redemption through His (Jesus Christ's) blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Thank you God for your Son, Jesus Christ, through whom we can be delivered from darkness into light, and have the hope of eternal salvation.