“…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” (Colossians 1:12-14). 

Apart from Christ we are unqualified and disqualified from relationship with a holy God. This means that in our human condition we are insufficient in our nature (unqualified) and inadequate in our performance (disqualified). This is because, when compared to purity that God demands, we are sinners by nature and sinful in our actions and attitudes. Even considering the best parts of us, “we have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6). In other words, no matter how gifted, blessed, or “good” we may be, apart from Christ we unworthy due to our sin and our sinfulness. 

But Jesus is none of these things. He is the righteousness of God, the “spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:19), and our great High Priest “who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).  Therefore He is qualified and only in Him can we be made qualified: “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). In Him we become participants in His “divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). 

Not only has He qualified us when we were unqualified and disqualified but He has delivered us from darkness and transferred us into the light of His bright kingdom. He has turned us “from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God…those who are sanctified by faith in [Him]” (Acts 26:18). God’s Word uses the symbol of darkness to designate those that do not know or understand the light of the good news (see Matthew 6:23). Those in darkness (separated from God in their hearts and minds) can only see the light by the Light. Jesus tells us that He is that light: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12). Those who do not follow Him, then, are under the dominion of darkness and the sway of Satan (see 1 John 5:19). Those who are in Christ by faith are “uprooted” from this kingdom of condemnation and are “transplanted” into “the kingdom of His beloved son”. 

But there is more. Not only has Jesus qualified us and delivered us but He has also redeemed and forgiven us. This is because we need to be both redeemed and forgiven. Good works and good intentions are not enough. A positive attitude and self-image are insufficient. Forgiveness and redemption come only by Christ. And in Him. He has forever wiped our sinful slate clean because He is the only one qualified, adequate, and sufficient to do so. Through Christ’s shed blood He has declared those that are in Him by faith free from condemnation: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Or stated another way: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

This means that God doesn’t count our sin against us (Psalm 32:1-2), throws them over His shoulder (Isaiah 38:17), casts them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19), and forgets them forever (Isaiah 42:5). In the infinitely gracious transaction of God sacrificing His Son and making Him our penal substitute we are qualified, delivered and forgiven. Through transformational faith we receive Jesus’ righteousness, we share in His inheritance, and are granted entrance into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. 

Truly those in Christ have been redeemed (bought) by precious price (see I Corinthians 6:20; 7:23) and by the most precious One. He has overcome the darkness for us and in us. Jesus has qualified, delivered, and forgiven us so that we might forever bask in His life and light: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4).

So, to you, who is this Jesus? Is He the light of your life? Are you, through faith, in Him? These questions are critical in the most profound and eternal sense. One way or another we all must answer them. Jesus Himself accosts us with this all-important issue: “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29).

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