Our thankfulness to God

Published 9:03 am Friday, August 31, 2018

Q. How should the Christian be thankful to God?
I appreciate this question and thank the reader who sent it. This is a timely question and one that every child of God should remember in their daily lives. While there are many places in the scriptures we could consider for an answer to the question, perhaps one of the best places to go is found in the book of Colossians.
While God has given Christians great blessings in Christ, we should always remember that God gives both the righteous and the unrighteous material blessings that people should not take for granted, realizing that they are blessings from God. However, according to scripture, Christians must express their thankfulness to God for these blessings. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:20 that we should always give thanks for all things and in 1 Thessalonians we are instructed to give thanks in everything because it is the will of the Father. There is a more detailed list found in Colossians where Paul said, “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.” (Colossians 1:12-14 KJV). In the previous Paul lists five reasons that Christians are to be thankful. Consider the following:
First, we should be thankful that God has made us able (through the remittance of sins) to be partakers of the inheritance of Heaven (verse 12). In this verse Paul refers to Christians as “saints in light.” Those who are saints in light are the ones who have obeyed the commands of Christ, and the teaching of His inspired writers. Thus, he refers to those who have, obediently believed, repented, confessed that they believe Jesus is the Son of God and obey the command of water baptism. (See: 1 Peter 1:3-4, 22-23; 3:20-21, Romans 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:15-16). Paul’s use of the word saints reminds us that he is referring to those set apart. Are you one who through obedience is a saint set apart for eternal glory and salvation?
Second, we should be thankful that God has delivered from the power of darkness. Christians have been released from the power of Satan’s realm of evil and darkness. We should know that the darkness here is an absence of light and a defiant stance against it. When one willfully rejects God he also willfully accepts a state of darkness in Satan’s kingdom. All this is because of mankind’s sinfulness. Paul teaches in Ephesians 4:17-24 that man gets into the kingdom of darkness by his own efforts when he or she sins. If you through obedience have left the kingdom of darkness and now exist in God’s kingdom of light you have much to be thankful for.
Third, we should thank God for translating us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. According to Matthew 16:18-19, the Church Christ established and the kingdom of God are one and the same. The church is the earthly presence of the heavenly kingdom we have been translated in to. According to Acts 2:47, God added (translated) those who obeyed the plan of salvation into His kingdom, the church.
Fourth, according to verse 14, we should be thankful for redemption through Jesus’ blood. It was the blood of Jesus that was the purchase price to buy us or redeem us from the state of slavery that all sinners live in. It is important to note that newborn children enter this world in a state of purity and are therefore free from any guilt of sin. When we reach the age of accountability (Romans 6:16) and commit sin we then are slaves to sin. Thankfully God offered us redemption through His dear Son’s blood. (See also, Romans 6:16-17, 6:3-7; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Finally, we should be thankful that God has made it possible to receive forgiveness of sin through Jesus. In verse 14, Paul said, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Both Christians and sinners should remember that the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23).
If you’re not a Christian I encourage you to express your belief in Jesus, repent your sins, confess that you believe Jesus is the Son of God and to be baptized for the remission of sin (Acts 2:38). If you are an unfaithful child of God repent of your sins and return to your first love.
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 423-737-2287 or by e-mail at tmagho1@comcast.net).

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