[12] giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Colossians 1:12

Paul’s use of the word “qualified” got me thinking. I am definitely unqualified to be a surgeon in hospital but I have never been disqualified from driving a car. When we are unqualified we simply lack the talent, education or training to fulfil a task. There is no shame in being unqualified, some are and some are not and we can always learn.

However, being disqualified means you are unfit for the task, you may even be excluded because of wrong behaviour. You have been declared ineligible for an office, activity, or competition because of an offence or infringement.

I may be stretching the point but you and I in our sinful state and apart from God’s initiative and grace are not mearly unqualified for the Kingdom of God, for eternal life, for heaven, for a relationship with Him, we are very, very, very disqualified.

God has not, and does not, ask us to perform certain tasks well, behave to a moral standard, give all our money away, serve in the community and if we can the world, to then evaluate what he sees and give us entrance into His heaven.

No, when we read the first few verses of Ephesians 2 it’s the exact opposite. By nature and choice we are the kind of people who are prohibited from entering His kingdom. In fact there is no improvement we can make that will allow Him to even think about letting us into His heaven, or share in His fellowship.

But, Paul says, “thanks to the Father, who has qualified you” or “fitted us” or “made us sufficient” to inherit the kingdom of God. How? Read on to verse 14, by redeeming us and by forgiving us and placing upon us his righteousness.

[30] 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

[21] 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.

However uncertain your feelings about your salvation are, whatever feelings of inadequacy or sense of shame or depths of despair may have crippled you till now, God has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light!

Quite a few think of themselves to not be up to the task of Christian living, they believe they fail time and time again. Some believe they don’t deserve eternal life or to be close to their father in heaven. Some believe they must try harder, some hide their failures from those close to them. Many battle with their mind and some hear Satan’s accusations acutely.

God now says and forever to those who are in Christ: “Qualified!”Forgiven! Adequate in Jesus! Righteous in my Son! Come and receive and enjoy your inheritance together with all the saints in the life-giving, soul-cleansing light of my kingdom!

There is much spoken about this inheritance that the saints have and share in. Try these.

[3] Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

1 Corinthians 6:3

[5] “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

[23] And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Romans 8:23

[9] Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [10] nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Yes all of those and much more. As good as they all are (and they are magnificent) none of this means anything without God, what good are all of those things without God. Our inheritance is God! He is our exceeding great reward.

John Piper,

“the highest, best, final, decisive good of the gospel, without which no other gifts would be good, is the glory of God in the face of Christ revealed for our everlasting enjoyment. The saving love of God is God’s commitment to do everything necessary to enthrall us with what is most deeply and durably satisfying, namely himself”

John Piper again,

“If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”

I hope the answer is No. Being with God is your privilege and inheritance and so your longing.

[1] As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.

Psalm 42:1

No simple words will suffice to account for the depth and intensity of David’s longing for God. “I’m like a deer panting for flowing streams of life-giving water. O God, I thirst for you!” He says in the next verse.

C H Spurgeon.

“Debarred from public worship, David was heartsick. Ease he did not seek, honour he did not covet, but the enjoyment of communion with God was an urgent need of his soul; he viewed it not merely as the sweetest of all luxuries, but as an absolute necessity, like water to a stag. Like the parched traveller in the wilderness, whose skin bottle is empty, and who finds the wells dry, he must drink or die – he must have his God or faint. His soul, his very self, his deepest life, was insatiable for a sense of the divine presence. . . . Give him his God and he is as content as the poor deer which at length slakes its thirst and is perfectly happy; but deny him his Lord, and his heart heaves, his bosom palpitates, his whole frame is convulsed, like one who gasps for breath, or pants with long running. Dear friend, dost thou know what this is, by personally having felt the same? It is a sweet bitterness. The next best thing to living in the light of the Lord’s love is to be unhappy till we have it, and to pant hourly after it – hourly, did I say? Thirst is a perpetual appetite, and not to be forgotten, and even thus continually is the heart’s longing after God. When it is as natural for us to long for God as for an animal to thirst, it is well with our souls, however painful our feelings”