Posted by: mattcolvin | December 11, 2011

What God Has Done for Us (Colossians 1)

Monday of the Third Week in Advent: Colossians 1.

Colossians 1 speaks of what God has done for us using language that Christians might profitably meditate on. Too often, we think of Christ’s saving work in terms of penal satisfaction or payment. Those are good and Biblical metaphors, but there are others, and God wants us to use all of the ones He has provided.

1:12 – “The Father who has qualified you (more woodenly, “made you sufficient” ικανωσαντι) for a share in the inheritance of the saints in light…” God’s saving action is that of a judge, who determines that we have a legal right to share in an inheritance. Think of all the rags to riches stories you’ve ever heard, and you’ll come close.

1:13 – “Who has rescued us from the authority of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love…” We are removed from one kingdom and put in another kingdom. Our citizenship is changed. We are no longer citizens in the kingdom that is at war with God. As NT Wright points out (Paul for Everyone: the Prison Letters), Paul “has the Exodus from Egypt in mind. What God has done in Jesus is the new Exodus, the great movement of setting the slaves free. To become a Christian is to leave the “Egypt” of sin and to travel gratefully towards the promised inheritance.


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