Joy, Competence, Inheritance, Light (Col 1:12)


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Joy and happiness are often described by believers are being entirely different realities, but sometimes I think we are simply trying to avoid admitting that we lack true joy. True joy will be a fruit of the Holy Spirit, not a rule to keep, but a byproduct of a life lived abiding in Christ.

The word sometimes rendered “qualified” here is used by Paul in 1 Cor 3:6 where Paul said that God is the one who enabled him to proclaim and live out the new covenant in a manner worthy of the Lord. Our competence, our faithfulness, this whole walk, is done through God’s empowering grace.

The word, “inheritance,” is so rich that it deserves its own prolonged study. For our purposes here I will say that an inheritance cuts against the grain of earning, and we protestants are prone to see that. But what I think is less clear to us is the idea that it is a family word. Inheritance is about belonging to a people, and receiving something from that family that marks our lives, gives us identity, shapes our destiny and our walk in the world.

The phrase used is “share in the inheritance,” which is a call back to the portions of the promised land that were given to each of the 12 tribes of Israel as their place of dwelling. The inheritance isn’t just heaven when we die. It is a land we’re meant to inhabit NOW!

Light. Throughout Scripture we find the contrast of light and darkness signifying, righteousness vs sin, God’s rule vs the demonic…We may fall alone, but we will only rise together. To walk in the light is a corporate reality. The saints in light.

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