The Kingdom of Light

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.                                                Colossians 1:9-14 NIV

Look at this tremendous prayer. In these words, we see the Apostle Paul’s conception of the Christian life. Let me misquote him so that you can see more clearly what he is saying.

“I pray that you will struggle against sin all the time, and although you are doomed to fail, I pray that you will nonetheless be encouraged by the knowledge that all those sins you can’t help committing are under the blood.”

Is that what Paul says? No! He is not talking about forgiven sinners who will continue to be defeated by sin but will just experience continuing forgiveness. That is to continue in what Paul calls the kingdom of darkness. We, as believers in Christ, have been transferred to a new kingdom, the kingdom of light. We are no longer subject to the Prince of Darkness. We can live “a life worthy of the Lord, and please him in every way…” Isn’t that wonderful good news?!

An inadequate understanding of Christian faith says we have only been transferred from a guilty position to a forgiven position. No! We have been from one kingdom to another, and as such, we are “qualified…to share in the inheritance of his holy people.” What is that inheritance? Is it just the promise of heaven to those whose behavior continues to bring reproach on the name of their King? No! Our inheritance in this kingdom is the Spirit-enabled ability to demonstrate what living in the kingdom of light looks like. “In him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Why should there be any in his subjects? Oh, it’s not by striving – don’t mistake me. This kind of living is a gift, a gift given by the King to the citizens of his kingdom. Are you a citizen? Claim your inheritance!

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