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…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
When Paul prayed for the Church, he thanked God that Jesus had delivered them from evil and into the Kingdom of God. It’s easy to get into thinking that being a Christian means that you have a prayer time or that you go to a church. Ultimately, the raw and bare minimum truth is this: Jesus has saved you from darkness and death, and will usher you into eternal life in perfect unity with Himself.
It says that we will “share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” This can be translated in a few different ways, but they all make the meaning more rich, rather than contradictory.
There is a portioning out that is going to come, and because of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, we get to be in that line and get part of it. The inheritance, of course, is Christ Himself. We are in Him and He in us, and as a part of who He is, we get to experience the full, unfiltered glory of God for all eternity.
There is a glorious and wonderful result of the life of a holy person. Someone that has dedicated their life to Jesus and lived for Him all of their days is someone that we would consider particularly special. “That person is a saint,” we might say. Jesus made the ground even and showed that salvation is by grace and not by works. All of the sinners that are saved get overpaid at the end of the day according to some of Jesus’ parables. Jesus has qualified you. He has made you as clean and righteous and holy as anybody else.
When I was a kid, my mom and I went on a trip out of the country. When we came back, we were waiting at the airport in a little building to be driven to the main terminal. Being a little kid, I had to go to the bathroom at this very inconvenient time. When I came out, there were 3 airport security people around me. I was not qualified yet to cross the line into the US and use that US bathroom! Those three guys took me back to my mom and she apologized. A lot. While I was walking from the US bathroom to my mom’s seat, I was about as safe as could be. Those guys were watching out for me to deliver me to where I belonged.
30 years later, I took too long with my own child’s car seat on an airplane in Germany. A stewardess shouted “There are still people on the plane!” when she saw us. The captain and all of the flight staff escorted us off the plane into
“Now what?” I asked.
The captain took us down a hall, opened a door, and out we stepped. We were in front of everyone else on the plane that had been slowed down by customs, and we had just entered Germany illegally. Without fanfare, without excuse, we were in Germany just like everyone else.
Jesus has delivered us from one place to another. There was a dark and hopeless kingdom. There was a place where we would have to pay for our sins and have no hope for redemption. He has taken us from there and delivered us into a completely new place. We have no legal right to enter that kingdom, except that Jesus has qualified us.
That is worth giving thanks.