INHERITANCE. Day 24 of Lent. Your claim in Christ.

INHERITANCE. Day 24 of Lent. Your claim in Christ.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-14

What is our inheritance?

Hebrews 1:11 is rendered in a variety of ways~
(ESV) In him we have obtained an inheritance,
(NLT) we have received an inheritance from God,
(NIV) In him we were also chosen,
(NET) In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession,

So are we claimed as God’s inheritance,
or have we received an inheritance from God?
The answer is both.

An inheritance is God’s portion in his people (Heb 1:11)

An inheritance is the everlasting portion which God has reserved for His people (Heb 1:18).

F.F. Bruce in his commentary believes the best rendering for verse 11 is “we were claimed as his portion” because it corresponds best with OT passages. God has reserved for himself a portion of all the peoples of the earth to be his special possession, his treasured possession, his chosen people.

An inheritance is hereditary succession to an estate or title; the right of an heir to succeed to property on the death of an ancestor; something that may legally be transmitted to an heir.

Because of the work of the cross and the great victory of the resurrection we became joint-heirs with Christ and called the children of God. 

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but
you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:15-17

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs
according to the promise. Galatians 3:29

Since God has claimed us as his inheritance, his heritage, his portion, therefore it can be said that we have obtained an inheritance, a heritage, a portion, the possession of all the benefits of salvation offered in Christ.

you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1: 13-14

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you  1 Peter 1:3-4

Our inheritance is the sum total of all God has promised us in salvation which is being lived out now and reserved for us in heaven for eternity.

Our spiritual inheritance defines our position in God and who we are in Christ.

...the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places… Ephesians 1:18-20

Our inheritance has an eternal scope.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working
for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Cor 4:17

Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for
those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! Psalms 31:19

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Our Spiritual Inheritance Here & Now means that we actually begin to partake of His blessings right now and the Holy Spirit is the promise as a down payment.

Elyse Fitzpatrick says it this way, “Our spiritual inheritance is being kept for us while we are being kept by Him.”

How do we received our inheritance?

By God’s purpose and will.  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, Eph 1:11

We have received this inheritance also by hearing the word of truth, which is the gospel, and believing in Christ.  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, Eph 1:13

We have received this inheritance by the sealing of the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we take possession of it.  “were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,”   Eph1:13-14

A guarantee is something that assures a specific outcome. The Spirit is God’s guarantee to assure us that God will complete what he has promised.  Some call this the “already and not yet.”  F.F. Bruce writes, “Redemption is already ours through the sacrifice and death of Christ but one aspect remains to be realized. On the day of resurrection God will redeem his own possession, and the proof of His commitment to do so is the sealing of the Holy Spirit.

Maybe the most important thing to consider is why has God given us an inheritance?

God’s purpose in redeeming a people, in claiming us as his portion out of all the peoples of the earth is that we should give Him praise.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

God has claimed us as His own possession. We are the children of God. We should give Him praise for the indescribable gift of salvation and all its benefits, because we have done nothing to deserve it. If all we ever received was grace, it would be enough. Right? But God has given us so much more.  Is you heart grateful? Does your mouth witness and praise your Father God for his lavish love? Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15

We should declare his praise with our lives.  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1-2
We should declare his praise even with our thoughts and attitudes.

That is God’s purpose for everyone whom He claimed as His own possession, to whom he has promised an inheritance, to live for the praise of His glory.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. Psalm 107:2

We should declare his praise. We should give Him praise.

That is why you were claimed as his own possession, His special treasure, that you might declare his praise with your whole life.

When we are in Christ, when we have received his Spirit, we are enabled to do this and to persevere to the end to receive our portion of God’s inheritance. We are enabled to give him thanks and praise even in trials and difficulties because we have his guarantee that we will receive what He has promised.

 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

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