THE STRENGTH AND QUALIFICATION OF THE SAINTS
(Col 1:11-12) 04/30/17
Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming
Pastor Daryl Hilbert
I. STRENGTHENED BY HIS GLORIOUS MIGHT (Col 1:11)
A. There are four participles in Col 1:10-12. They explain how the believer exercises walking worthy of the Lord and pleasing Him in all respects.
1. “bearing fruit in every good work” (karpophorountes (PAP) - Col 1:10)
2. “increasing in the knowledge of God” (auxanomenoi (PPP) - Col 1:10)
3. “strengthened” (dunamoumenoi (PPP) - Col 1:11)
4. “giving thanks” (Col 1:12)
B. The believer is able to bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God because he is being strengthened by the Lord.
1. “Strengthened” is the Greek word dunamoō and depicts capability and its demonstration (cf. Eng. dynamic).
2. This power comes from God through the Spirit to the believer (passive participle, lit. “being strengthened”).
3. This power is continuously supplied by the Holy Spirit to the believer (Present tense, lit. “being continuously strengthened).
4. This power is “all power” (dunamis) in that it is sufficient in every degree and sufficient for every situation.
a. The believer’s salvation is wrought by the power of God (Rom 1:16; 1Co 1:18).
b. The believer is given power to live the Christian life (2Pe 1:3).
c. The believer is given power to evangelize (Act 1:8).
d. The believer is given power for ministry (Col 1:28-29).
C. God empowers the believer with full measure according to His own limitless and glorious might.
1. “Might” is kratos and means the authority and force of strength. The Lord has all power, has all right to use His power, and executes His power in and for the believer so that he can walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.
2. In his parallel letter to the Ephesians, Paul used four different Greek words to describe God’s power.
a. “and what is the surpassing greatness of His power (du,namis - effectual power) toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working (ene,rgeia - operational energy) of the strength (kra,tos - authority to exercise might) of His might (ischu,s - inherent strength)” (Eph 1:19).
3. Paul described the Lord’s might as “glorious” (doxa - majestic attributes, radiance, splendor, Eng. doxology), that is, radiating and in concert with all of God’s majestic attributes.
D. The purpose for such empowerment was so that the Colossians would have all perseverance and patience.
1. “Steadfastness” is the Greek word hupomenê which literally means to “remain under.” The believer is able to “remain under” and persevere in trials, difficulties (Jam 5:11), persevere to maturity (Jam 1:2-4), persevere and wit eagerly for the hope in the inheritance (1Th 1:3; Rom 8:24-25), persevere to the end (Mat 24:13; Rev 14:12).
2. “Patience” is makrothumia which literally means a long (makros) temper (thumos), or a long fuse as opposed to a short fuse. However, it also means to be longsuffering or to “remain tranquil while awaiting an outcome” (BDAG). It was used in regard to ministry (2Ti 4:2), with suffering (Jam 5:10), and the assurance of hope until the end (Heb 6:11-12).
E. All this was to be done joyously.
1. Though some see the word “joyously” connected with the next verse (“giving thanks”), being steadfast and patient “with joy” is unique to the Christian life.
2. They were to be joyous because God was the one who was supplying the believer’s strength, perseverance, and patience.
3. In spite of difficulties, they were also to be joyous because joy is becoming of the Holy Spirit’s fruit in the life of the believer (Gal 5:22-23; Php 2:17; Php 4:4). Joy under pressure, that's the marvel of the work of God (SLJ).
II. MADE QUALIFED FOR THE INHERITANCE (Col 1:12)
A. Paul directed the Colossians to “give thanks”, but particularly to the Father and particularly for the Father’s work.
1. It has been mentioned that the Father is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 1:3) and the Father of believers (Col 1:2). Here both senses can be applied (believers - “us” (Col 1:12) and the “Son” (Col 1:13).
2. There are many reasons why the believer should give thanks to the Father, but Paul directed the Colossians to one important truth, that is, they were qualified to share in the inheritance.
B. It was the Father’s work through Christ that qualified the believer in regard to inheritance.
1. The Father has qualified the believer.
a. “Qualified” (hikanoō) is defined as to attain, to make adequate, to make fitted, or make complete.
1) It was used in a positive sense in the NT to refer to an adequate number of lamps in a room (Act 20:8) or an adequate number of disciples (Act 14:21). It was also used in a negative sense in the NT to refer to not being adequate to unit Jesus’ sandals (Mat 3:11) or not adequate in oneself to be an apostle (1Co 15:9).
2) In Col 1:12, the believer has been fitted and made adequate to share in the Father’s inheritance.
b. Paul states that the Father qualified “us” (both Paul and all believers) to share in the inheritance.
c. How was the believer qualified? The Father qualified us through justification.
d. Rom 5:1 concludes that the believer has been justified by faith. Justification is the judicial act whereby God imputes Christ’s righteousness to the believer (2Co 5:21). The status of righteousness is the eternal position of the believer.
1) To be fitted for the presence of God is of immeasurable importance (Col. 1:12). This calls for a righteousness which is made over to the believer even as Christ was made to be sin for all men (2 Cor. 5:21). (Chafer)
2) As a result, the believer is free from condemnation (Rom 8:1)
3) His sin is judged in Christ and Christ’s righteousness was imputed (Rom 8:2-3).
4) It is on this basis that believer receives the adoption as sons (Rom 8:15-16).
5) All of this has qualified the believer to share in the inheritance and glory of Christ (Rom 8:17, 23).
e. These are only a few of the spiritual blessings that the believer possesses, but all of them are possible because of the believer’s qualification in Christ. Paul will go on to describe the believer’s qualification as being “complete in Christ” (Col 2:9-10; Joh 1:16).
2. The inheritance for which the believer is qualified is the inheritance of the saints in Light.
a. “Inheritance” is the Greek word is klêros which depicts that which is assigned by lot or simply given as a portion or share (BDAG).
b. In the OT, it primarily referred to the assignment of portions of the promised land to the tribes of Israel (Num 26:55-56).
c. In the NT it refers to the future spiritual blessings from God realized in heaven.
1) It was decided before foundation of the world (Eph 1:11).
2) It is based on sonship (Rom 8:16-17).
3) It is the inheritance of Christ’s glory (Rom 8:17b).
4) It is for the saints (Eph 1:18)
5) It is reserved in heaven (1Pe 1:4).
6) It is for eternity (Eph 2:6-7).
d. The “saints in Light” refers not only to believers, but believers who have been brought to the Light (Joh 8:12), given the light of salvation, and the light of God’s Word. This would be in opposition to darkness that is in the world (Joh 12:46; Eph 6:12).
III. OBSERVATIONS AND APPLICATIONS
A. The Believer’s Strength
1. To do what’s right when we don’t want to
2. To keep going when we don’t want to
3. To stop acting a certain way when you know you should
4. To trust God in spite of what is happening around you
5. To boldly speak up, even though it is becoming to keep silent. (article)
6. To keep living for the Lord when it popular to renounce your faith.
7. To keep living according to the principles of Scripture rather than pursuing Mysticism. (Hank Hannegraph - converted to Greek Orthodoxy - mystical
a. Watchman Nee - In addition to publishing his own books, other spiritual publications were translated from English and published under Watchman Nee's oversight. These included books by T. Austin-Sparks, Madame Guyon, Mary E. McDonough, Jessie Penn-Lewis, and others. Wiki
B. The Believer’s Qualification
1. This is the positional side
2. 2Co 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight--
3. Nothing we can do to be qualified or deified
4. Greek Orthodox - deification - theotokos
5. Who deserves heaven?
6. Who deserves the inheritance of God?
7. Who deserves to be co-heirs with Christ?
C. The Believer’s Inheritance
1. It is the rightful title of that which is not the fruit of personal exertion. The heir being what he is in relation to others, enters upon a possession which corresponds with his position. (Wescott).
a. We did not earn it by personal exertion but by Christ’s work on the cross
b. We are heirs because of our relationship with another, namely Christ
c. It becomes our possession because of our position in Christ
d. Having been adopted as sons of God, God, we have the rightful title as heirs with Christ.
2. Man’s inheritance brings out the bes and the worst
3. God’s inheritance brings out the best and the best
a. His inheritance - Gracious He is
b. Our Righteousness - Gracious He is, how blessed we are.
Grace Bible Church · 4000 E. Collins Rd · PO Box #3762 · Gillette, WY · (307) 686-1516