Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Colossians 1:12-13 - Changing kingdoms

Paul has reminded the Colossian believers that they now share in the inheritance of the saints in light. We noted yesterday that this is a description of their current status as Christians rather than their future existence in heaven. And we observed that this shared possession is only one of many ways by which the Bible describes the experience of conversion. In our verses Paul mentions other aspects of what occurs when a person becomes a believer. Yet all these ways of describing salvation have one thing in common – they each stress that salvation involves a great change. Paul continues with his imagery of light, except he also uses its opposite (darkness) to describe those outside the inheritance of the saints in light.
Paul by this description reminds the Colossians that they had been born into a particular spiritual realm. They were Colossians by race, but they also belonged to another relationship, that of sinners in a wasteland ruled by the powers of darkness. Of course, they could not see that they were in a world of no hope because sin had blinded them to the reality of their situation.
What is life like in the domain of darkness? There each person has a built-in bias against God and his commandments. They do not want to submit to his requirements, they show no interest in his promises, and they pay no attention to his warnings. They are guided along in this outlook by the ruler of the dark world, the devil himself. He does not have to compel them to do anything, because they are not neutral with regard to things. They prefer his kingdom to God’s kingdom.

The Christians in Colosse had been taken out of that domain and brought into the kingdom of God’s Son (another name for the inheritance of the saints in light). What is life like in this kingdom and how is it different from existence in the domain of darkness? We will think about that in tomorrow’s reading, but for now, if we are Christians, we should thank God for taking us out of the kingdom of darkness.

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