This week I was watching a Television show about the rich and famous. It showed the homes and property of the super-wealthy. A comment was made that it would be nice to be a part of that family just for the inheritance. That comment got me thinking, that we as believers are also part of a wealthy family, but many believers are still living far below their means.
Today we will be studying the inheritance that we have in Christ, specifically for the here and now. You see, we all know that we will receive a divine inheritance up in Heaven, but very few recognize that there are benefits on this earth as well, and so this is what we will be studying today.
Let’s begin our study by reading Ephesians 1: 3-12:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself:
That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will:
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
We see in verse 3, that the Father has blessed all those who are in Christ with every spiritual blessing, in Heavenly places. This blessing is not for unbelievers, the rest of the world does not have this reality in their lives because they have not accepted Jesus; but we do have it. And this right here is the verse which causes misunderstanding about when and where these blessings are received. People read this verse and think that because it says “every spiritual blessing” and “in heavenly places” that these blessings will only be received when we get to Heaven. So right here at the start of our study, we first need to lay the proper scriptural foundation and eliminate some wrong believing in this area.
First take note that the verse says that the Father has blessed us – that is past tense, we are not still waiting for it to be done or for anything to happen before the blessings are given. Second, the word “spiritual” here is a little bit misleading for most people. The verse is not saying that we will receive all of these things when we get to Heaven. It is indicating that the source of our blessings is the Spirit of God. In the original Greek text, “spiritual blessing” is the word pneumatikos, which means having properties and characteristics belonging to the Spirit. So when you have a pneumatikos blessing, it means that it is of the Spirit of God, and therefore does not depend on your own works or effort to get it or maintain it. Likewise, the phrase “in heavenly places in Christ” is further defining where these blessings are coming from. This exact phrasing is repeated several other times throughout scripture, such as Ephesians 2:6.
Continuing on now to verse 4, we see that Jesus Christ was never an afterthought or a plan B or C. It’s not as if God first tried the Garden of Eden, then after that He tried the Ten Commandments and then after that He finally tried Jesus. No we see here that Jesus was always the focus and the plan; He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, and also notice that we are holy and blameless before Him which means in His sight. When the Father looks at you and me today, He does not see us in our sins, He sees Jesus Christ, He sees His Son, with all of His Divine righteousness, perfection, holiness and beauty.
Next in verse 5, we are told what our proper position in Christ today is – we are sons and daughters, children of the Creator God. That word “adoption” there in English does not convey the proper power of the original text, it is actually “Sonship” not adoption, but as true blood-children, because we are sons just as Jesus is; we are in Christ. We also see in this verse that it was His good pleasure and will which gave this status to us. We are not unwanted children, and Jesus was not forced into sacrificing Himself for us – God truly does love us this much, don’t ever let anyone rob you of this wonderful truth of God!
Continuing into verse 6, we see that the result of this status which we have in Christ today is actually praise to God. To the praise of the glory of His Grace. So many people today are afraid of this Grace of God, but it is the Grace of God that brings Him praise. When you receive His love for you, then you are truly free and able to respond in love. This verse tell us that by His Grace we are made accepted in the Beloved. The Beloved is Jesus Christ, and we are accepted in Him.
Now that word “accepted”, is the Greek word kharitoo, which means “Highly Favored” – we are Highly Favored by God in Christ Jesus today. It is the exact same word used by the angel Gabriel of the Virgin Mary in Luke 1:28.
Verse 7 tells us that we have redemption through His blood and forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His Grace. The word “redemption” means to buy something back. The devil had you at one time, but Jesus Christ bought you back! And He bought you by the riches of His Grace. It was His mercy, His riches and His Blood which bought you, it is done already, and you had no hand in it at all, only to accept and receive what was freely given – praise God! Again, don’t ever let anyone rob you of this truth.
Now verses 8 and 9 tell us that Christ has abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence. That word “abounded” means poured out in abundance and excess to overflowing. It is a picture of the divine generosity of God for us. And Furthermore we are told what this wisdom and prudence is concerning in verse 9: having made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself (we have just read about that a few verses ago). You see, all of the wisdom and prudence which God gives is focused on Jesus, to lead us to Him, to point us to the Savior, so that God can give us all spiritual blessings.
Verse 10 continues, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, Christ will gather together all in Heaven and on Earth who are in Him. This is the return of Jesus. This is future and has not happened yet.
So now we have laid the foundation of where we stand in Christ, why we stand where we stand, why we have blessings and how very much God loves us. Let’s now proceed to look at verses 11 and 12:
And we can see that In whom also we have obtained an inheritance. Always remember that there are no insignificant details in the Bible. That word “also” tells us that in addition to the glorious eternal future that we have in Christ, we also have an inheritance in Him as well. An inheritance in which we are predestined according to the purpose of His will, and that through this we also bring Him glory.
In order to truly appreciate this inheritance we must see the details of it in scripture. So now with the time we have remaining today, we are going to explore this amazing inheritance that we have in Christ. Turn with me now to Romans 8:28-33:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.”
Verse 28 starts off with three very important words… And we know. There are many believers today who do not know the things written of in these verses. How about you? Do you know that all things work together for your good in Christ Jesus today? Are you confident of this fact? One of the chief blessings that we have as our inheritance in Christ today, is that God works everything out in our lives both for our good and ultimately to His praise as we read in Ephesians. He works everything, that means all of it. The good, the bad, the frustrating, the delays, the losses, all of it. The things you are going through right now may not be fun, but He has not only promised to work out the fun things, but all things for your good and for His praise.
Now please understand that many of these things are not from God, although some delays, especially on the road sometimes are… I can not even tell you how many times I have heard testimonies about how a red light or delay on the road caused someone to avoid a terrible accident or tragedy. And there we are in the car complaining about the delay, being ignorant of God’s plans and His care for us.
Just because God can use bad things in your life does not mean that He has sent them into your life; but praise be to God a major part of your inheritance in Christ on this earth is that He has promised to work all things in your life for your good according to His will and good pleasure for you. So back to those three words again, Do you know? The problem you are faced with right this moment, do you know that it will end up working for your good? What the enemy has thrown in your path to try and stumble you will end up being turned-around by God to bless you. Believe it! It is part of your inheritance in Christ!
Another related part of our inheritance is in verse 29, that you and I which He foreknew, that by our own free-will we would accept Christ, He also predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. We don’t even realize what an amazing blessing this is for us. To be conformed to the image of Jesus is a fantastic part of our inheritance – and many people neglect it. Here’s the benefit… It’s a promise for us, we are predestined for it, so one way or another one day when we reach Heaven we will all fully conform to the image of Jesus. That being said, the more we receive the image of Jesus here on this earth, the more Jesus-results we will experience on this earth as well. The more of Him you receive, the more divine peace you will have. The more of Him you receive, the more health you will have. The more of Him you receive, the more wisdom you will have. Divine things will happen in your life. People will be drawn to the light and love of Christ in your life, and of-course some will hate you as well… those who also hate and reject Jesus. This too is your inheritance in Jesus Christ.
We are reminded in verse 30, that He has done a complete work: predestining, calling, justifying and glorifying us. So we can be assured not only of the present good guaranteed to us but also the future good as well.
Then in verses 31, 32 and 33, we can plainly see the total victory that we have in Christ. Not only can no enemy stand against us, but in Christ who is the greatest blessing, He also brings with Him every other blessing for us. In Christ Jesus, we have every single blessing freely given to us, because Jesus Christ has paid for it already, and we simply freely receive!
In verse 33 it is mentioned that No-one can lay any charge to us in Christ. Keep this always in your spirit, because there are many voices in the world who try to lay charges against those who are in Christ and would try to rob you of your confidence in Jesus.
In closing today I want to share with you an important principle. Turn now to Hebrews 9:15-17:
“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives.”
This is a simple truth. No-one normally receives an inheritance while the parent is alive. A will is only executed after someone has died. Now here is the key to your inheritance in Christ… Turn to 1st Corinthians 11:26:
“For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.”
Every time you receive communion, you are proclaiming the death of the LORD Jesus for you. You are claiming your rights and inheritance in the New Covenant in Christ.
So now you know the key to your inheritance in Christ Jesus. It is done and paid for and the only thing for you to do is freely receive. Never let anyone rob you of the free gift in Christ. Give Jesus the praise!