Summary: Now we know that Paul is speaking to the Colossians and to us and says that we are qualified and we know what he means. Christians are those who are found qualified or worthy in the sight of God. What then, are we qualified for?
Are you Qualified?
I was studying this passage that we will look at today and I have to confess that I kept getting stuck on one word. I would read the passage over and over and each time this word would come up, I would just stare and look at it. I want us to read the passage this morning and see if you can pick out the word I am stuck on (the sermon title gives it away).
READ COLOSSIANS 1:9-14
The Apostle Paul is describing his prayers for the Colossians to the Colossians. Most notable in his prayers he prays that they would know God’s Will and that it would guide them into living a life worthy of the Lord. He knows who they are in Christ and he prays that God would continue to bless their lives and their faith. But then, there’s that word... qualified. For some reason I just cannot get past that word. So, this morning, let’s study what that word ’qualify’ means to us.
I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ’QUALIFIED’?
When I think of the word ’qualify’, I seem to come up with two examples that give meaning in our world today. The first example I thought of was the Olympics. We just saw athletes from all over the world converge on Greece to compete in the Olympics. Many athletes compete. Most of the time, there are too many athletes to compete in one race for the medals. So what do they do? What is the process? They have ’qualifying races’ to whittle the field down to those athletes that are the best. Those athletes that make the cut are worthy to compete for medals. In swimming or track, if you are fast enough, you are worthy to compete for a medal. Most countries even have qualifiers before the Olympics to see who is worthy to go. So, in the Olympics, those who are ’qualified’ are those who are worthy to compete.
The second example I thought of was financial. You may or many not have purchased a new car or a house recently, but there is a process that one must go through in order to get a new house or car. One of the first things that a person must do is... pre-qualify. What does that mean? The bank or lending institution looks at your life and your assets and determines if you are worthy or not to receive the loan or purchase the car or house. Qualification lets them know that you are able to afford what you want to purchase.
In both instances, at least in the current way we use the word, to be qualified for something or to qualify means that you are worthy on some level. As I look in Colossians, I wonder if Paul is using the word in the same manner that we use it today? Believe it or not, but this word is only used twice in the New Testament. Once is here in Colossians 1:12 and the other is 2 Corinthians 3:6: “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant– not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (NIV) The King James Version says, “made us able ministers of the new testament.” In 2 Corinthians 3:6, the word is used to indicate the ability that God gave to be ministers of the covenant. Paul is saying that he has the ability and is qualified to be a minister in God’s service. He is a competent minister of God’s Word. So, the use is the same. When Paul says in verse 12, that we are qualified, it does mean that we are worthy or able.
Now we know that Paul is speaking to the Colossians and to us and says that we are qualified and we know what he means. Christians are those who are found qualified or worthy in the sight of God. What then, are we qualified for?
II. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ’QUALIFYING’? or WHAT ARE WE QUALIFIED FOR?
Verses 12 and 13 give us the answers we need for this question. Paul says that we are qualified for 5 interrelated things:
1) inheritance of the saints (verse 12): The Bible describes the spiritual heritage of God in the Psalms and in the Book of Acts as His Word (Psalm 119:111 & Acts 20:32). One of the things we inherit is the Bible that shares with us all about our God and His activity in history and His Will for our lives.
2) rescued us from darkness (verse 13): The Bible talks about good and evil many times in terms of light and dark. John 1 describes Jesus as the Light that came into a dark world that did not understand Him (1:5). Romans 13:12 encourages us to put away our ’deeds of darkness’ and ’put on the armor of light.’ We have been rescued from the losing side of the eternal spiritual war. A day will come when all the forces of darkness will perish and those who ally with them. We are on the side of light.