Grace Family Bible Church
Doctrinal Aspects in the Prayer
By: Scott Morton
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
As the Apostle Paul records the prayer he has offered up for the saints in Colossae, he gives them some doctrinal information. This is important to understand, as the doctrine is what helps build an individual up in order for them to walk worthy in this dispensation. Paul understands the edification process and is demonstrating this for believers today.
He starts with the issue of the inheritance we are going to receive. This inheritance is promised to us based on the fact we have put our trust in the gospel message for today (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and there is a seal which is placed upon us (the Holy Ghost- Ephesians 1:13-14) which keeps us in the Body. We cannot lose our salvation, no matter what we do. This is a glorious thing, as those who were part of Israel's program were never able to say this.
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Paul here points out the reason why we are going to be able to receive the reward which has been promised to us. We are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, which means we have a guarantee of receiving this reward. This is something Paul understood from the beginning of his ministry:
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.  But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;  Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
The Apostle Paul looks back here to the salvation which is recorded in Acts 9. As he gives a few more details of what was said there, he identifies the issue of inheritance as something which he was going to be preaching. It is important to note this, as this means this is a foundational piece of information for us in this dispensation. There is clearly something which has been promised to the members of the Body of Christ. We have been told we are going to be an heir:
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
These passages show how the theme of inheritance runs through Paul's epistles. This is something which has been promised to us because of our identity. We are looked at as being a son, no matter if we are male or female. The reason for this is we are identified in Him (Christ), which is why we are a son. We have been promised a position that already is ours.
This is why the Apostle Paul could look at the things as he was approaching the end of his life in a manner which many find confusing. He was not scared of his approaching death, as he knew the glory which was promised to him:
2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
As he knew his time was short, he was focusing on this crown of righteousness. This is something which Paul identifies is promised to all those that love His appearing. The appearing is speaking of the day of Christ, which is when He returns for the Body of Christ and we meet him in the air. All members of the Body of Christ are going to be partakers of this event, which means we are identified as those who are going to receive this crown of righteousness.
This crown is tied in with the glorified body which we are going to receive (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). At the moment of this event, we are given a body which is going to be able to last in the heavenly places for all of eternity. This promise is ours, as it is part of the spiritual blessings which have been promised for us (Ephesians 1:3). This body will not break down, it will be able to exist in the heavenly places, and will allow for us to be able to carry out the promised positions and duties which are part of this inheritance. We are told we are going to judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). We are also told there is promised rulership:
2 Timothy 2:11-13
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
The discussion here has created problems for people, as they misinterpret what Paul is saying. He does not imply an individual can lose their salvation. This is addressed earlier in this article. We cannot lose our salvation and do not have to worry about this being an issue.
The Apostle Paul is talking about an individual possibly losing their rewards. There is an issue of reigning with Him based on the suffering which happens in our life. It has been said we are going to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29) and we are told the issues of suffering are something which is promised to us.
This suffering comes about based on our walk related to the doctrine which has been given to us for this dispensation (Romans through Philemon). We have the information needed to live the life God intends. Based on our ability to do this, we build gold, silver, and precious stones which will be there at the Judgment Seat of Christ. When we appear there, we will then receive a reward based on what is there. This is the inheritance which has been promised to us. This is all being done according to His will (Ephesians 1:11).
Paul mentions there is an inheritance which the Lord Jesus Christ is going to receive as well. This is something which is difficult for us to grasp, but the Bible records this fact for us:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
This inheritance is related to the positions which we are promised. We are to fill the governmental structures in heaven and Israel will be filling these positions on the earth. This is the issue of the reconciliation of the heaven and the earth, which the Bible identifies, is part of the plan of the Godhead. The church is going to be presented to Him without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27) as we being given the positions in the heavenly places. This is what allows the Lord Jesus Christ to be able to be identified in the manner in which He is in 1 Timothy 6:15.
Paul then goes on to discuss the contrast between light and darkness. These are two things which are contrasted all throughout the Bible, starting back in the book of Genesis:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Starting from the creation, man is given information about the differences between light and darkness. The issue of light is always identified as good, which is important because the Bible tells us God is light (1 John 1:5), as well as Him being identified as things such as a sun in Psalm 84.11. This keeps being made reference to with the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as well:
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
These three passages from the book of John show this consistent issue of the Lord Jesus Christ being identified in this manner. These statements should have shown the nation of Israel who He was. This did not happen, as the nation as a whole rejected who He was. Going along with these statements, there was an event which had occurred which demonstrates this as well:
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
During this event, the revelation of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ was demonstrated to them, along with being able to see Moses and Elijah. The glory which is shown here is reflected in the issue of the light which is being shown. This is why the Bible speaks of the things related to this glory. The Apostle Paul speaks about glory in 1 Corinthians 15 as of light. He states there is a difference in this based on the brightness which is being shown, which indicates there will be differences in our rewards based on how well we follow the doctrine which has been given to us. Satan was originally created to reflect the glory of God. This is why he is covered in gemstones.
Paul speaks about how we are to be seen by those in the world:
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
We are to shine as lights to this lost world. The members of the Body of Christ are to be examples of the truth of God's Word rightly divided and demonstrating to individuals how we should live. In order for this to happen, there needs to be a difference between us and the world system. This is the only way we are going to actually be a light unto someone for them to be coming unto. The world can only be described in the manner which the Apostle Paul does in the above verse, a crooked and perverse nation. For those who think the world is good, it doesn't take long watching the news to figure out this is not the case.
The Apostle Paul also contrasts what we were with what we are now. He explains this to the assembly in Ephesus:
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
It is clear we were identified in the past with the things of darkness. This is why Paul states we had walked according to the course of this world and the prince of the power of the air (Satan) earlier in this epistle (Ephesians 2:2). This is what we were prior to our salvation. Once we put our trust in the gospel message for today, we are identified as light because we are identified in Christ. We are light because we have His righteousness. The encouragement of the Apostle Paul is we are to be living our life in this manner.
Paul speaks about how we have been delivered from the power of the darkness. This is all through Him. This could have been nothing of us, as we were not able to do the right things outside of Him. This is why He had to remove us from the law (Galatians 3:13) and give us the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23). It is only through the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be said to have the complete victory over these things (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Even though there are clear things about the position we have, many people struggle with this. They struggle to separate the position we have from the things we should be doing (practice). Paul gives us the information about how to have this as a reality for us when we are looking at the practical outworking of this.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
The Apostle Paul mentions Satan and the angelic realm that had followed him in the rebellion against God. Many people think they function today in trying to get people to perform bad actions. This is because they have been taught things related to the traditions of men and not what the Bible actually says. The Bible shows how Satan is functioning in trying to keep people in darkness by keeping them away from what the Word of God actually says for them today. The issue is we are to understand the doctrine which has been given to us for today by the Apostle Paul and need to be applying it to our lives. This is how we start to understand where the battle is actually being fought:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Our battle today is a spiritual one. We are to be fighting against the spiritual wickedness and concentrating on those things. The problem today is so many people focus on the physical things that they end up being taken out of the fight. They are not fighting the true fight they should and Satan ends up making them of no effect in the battle which is going on.
This does not mean we are to ignore our behavior when we are talking about this. The Apostle Paul gives us many practical instructions, which come about after we understand the doctrine. This is what we see in passages such as this one:
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
The members of the Body of Christ are to have an understanding of the doctrinal information given to us by the Apostle Paul. This is what influences our walk and allows for us to be functioning properly during this dispensation. This is what the Apostle Paul means by these prayers. He holds up groups of individuals who managed to do this for themselves (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Paul also gives us some other examples that we should follow:
Don't seek vengeance (Romans 12:17-19)
Be careful with the words we use (Ephesians 4:29)
Things not to be named among the saints (Ephesians 5:3-4)
It is up to us to gain understanding and then apply it. We need to grow and continue to work to make sure these things happen.