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, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
(Ephesians 1:11-14 ESV)
The other day we read how those who believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins are adopted into God’s family. An adopted child has the same rights and standing within the family as any natural born child. This includes sharing in the inheritance.
Jesus is God’s only begotten son. All other believers are God’s adopted children [John 1:12]. But we are not treated any differently by God. All that God is He shares with us [Romans 8:17]. In fact, the very reason God saved us is to share Himself with us – to give us an inheritance [Titus 3:5-7].
On earth an inheritance is received when a parent’s wealth is dispersed among his/her descendants. This usually happens at death through a will but can happen earlier if the parent desires. In either case, the child has to wait to receive this inheritance.
Likewise, a believer’s inheritance is stored in heaven. While we will experience certain parts of the inheritance on this earth – namely the blessings Paul has delineated in this letter – sin prevents us from experiencing this fully this side of death. It is not until we get to heaven that we will truly experience the full inheritance – the presence of God in our life and the absence of sin.
Notice that the inheritance comes through Christ. The words “in Him” point back to a previous verse referring to Jesus. There is no other way to get this inheritance. The inheritance is waiting in heaven. Since the only way to heaven is by faith in Jesus [Acts 4:12; John 14:6; John 3:16, 36, et. al] the only way to receive the inheritance is through Jesus as well.
This is consistent with the way God has always worked. In the Old Testament God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham as an inheritance. The only thing Abraham had to do to receive this inheritance was believe. He simply had to believe the promise that God made to Him.
Belief in God is rewarded. In the case of those of us living today, under the New Testament, that reward is eternal life.
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