JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST
This is a prayer offered by Paul for all Christians.. It was a prayer that God would open the eyes of our understanding, open the eyes of our mind to see and know more about three things: the Christian's hope, the Christians inheritance, and the power God is exerting on Christians. He presented these three requests in the form of three whats. He asked God to enlighten our minds on: 1. What is the hope of our calling; 2. What are the riches of the glory of God's inheritance ; and 3. What is the exceeding greatness of God's power towards us who believe.”
In this study we will consider the second petition he offered for Christians, to see and know the glorious riches of the inheritance to be received by the Christian family. My first thought about this inheritance is one of amazement that He would bestow an inheritance on any part of the human race, even on Christians. God owes the human race nothing. To say the least, God has been greatly disappointed with the human race. It has not given Him the worship, reverence and honor He deserves. Even Christians have not given Him the honor due His name. The history of the Christian religion is sad almost beyond imagination. I think Paul could have added one more petition that God would open the eyes of our understanding to know why God is so good to the human race, who has treated Him so badly. That's what I would like to know!. Apart from any future inheritance that belongs to Christians, God has given Christians great possessions in the here and now. We have in possession now the forgiveness of our sins, acceptance in Christ, adoption into the earthly family of God, and the nature, rank, and rights of a child of God. We already possess what makes us among the happiest of mankind. Even if there were no hereafter, if we should all die like a dog, yet our faith in God has given us such consolation, strength, peace and joy. We should be thankful to God just for bringing us into existence. He doesn't owe us anything; we owe Him everything. Yet, He is going to give us more. All these blessings we have in this life are like spending money in our pockets, but the bulk of our wealth is deposited in the Bank of Heaven in the form of an inheritance. The prayer of Paul was that God would help us understand how gloriously rich we will be when we receive His inheritance.
The second thing of interest about this inheritance is how God would answer Paul's prayer and what means God would use to to give us knowledge of this inheritance. We need to know more about it, but how
shall we get this knowledge? The days of miracles, inspiration and the supernatural impartation of knowledge to the mind of man has come to
an end. God will not inform u by some way apart from the Bible. All that we can know of this inheritance is revealed in the Bible. God answers Paul's prayer by making us diligent students of the scripture. Jesus said search the scriptures, for in them we learn about eternal life. The word of God says, “Study to show yourselves approved unto God.” I believe God will open our eyes on this subject when we search the scriptures and study all that scripture has to say ab out this inheritance.
The third thing I would sway about this inheritance is that it is a figure of speech. An inheritance is a gift, a reward of wealth or property from an ancestor at his death. It is a gift received from a predecessor. Our inheritance is not one in the ordinary sense as used in this life. However, there is somewhat of a resemblance or the Holy Spirit would not have used the word to describe the wonderful future of Christians in the world to come. One great similarity between an earthly inheritance and the heavenly inheritance is that both is a gift, a reward. Whatever it includes, it will come to us as a gift out of the goodness of God, and it will produce joy and happiness, similar to that received from a large inheritance in this life.. Everyone loves to get an inheritance, and God's children are going to get one. I think we can say that the word inheritance as used in scripture is a figure of speech for eternal life. That sums up all that is involved in our inheritance. There is more to heaven than everlasting existence, but eternal life well describes the Christian inheritance. Jesus said, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Eternal life is the number one definition of our gloriously rich inheritance.
The apostle Peter revealed some other things about our inheritance in I Peter 1:3,4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” Peter reveals four important things about our inheritance, . which draw a contrast between earthly inheritances and the inheritance promised to Christians. For one thing the inheritance that awaits the faithful children of God is incorruptible. This means it is immortal, imperishable, undying and enduring. Here time, rust, and moth causes everything to decay. We perish and our best possessions perish.. All things earthly have in themselves the seeds of decay. In I John 2:17 we read, “The world is passing away and the lust thereof.” Only the world we inherit from God is incorruptible, for it alone is eternal.
Second, Peter says our inheritance is undefiled. That means pure and chaste. We live in a defiled world. Men's hearts, lives, and conversations bear the taint of evil. The earth has been marred by the sin of man. There is no earthly beauty, free from blemish. The earth shows the scars of the flood. The land of promise, the inheritance of Israel, was defiled. But Revelation 21:27 says of our inheritance, “There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
Third, Peter said, our inheritance will not fade away. Here the grass withers, the flowers fall way and man returns to the ground from which he came. But in he land of fadeless day, the lapse of time does not affect it, for it is timeless and eternal. There is no old age there; it is a place of perpetual youth. The best joys of earth fade into weariness, but there will be no weariness in heaven.
Peter said one more thing about our inheritance. It is reserved in heaven for those in the Lamb's book of life. It's preciousness is shown by its being in heaven, and by its being reserved for God's chosen . He reserves it for them. Therefore, none can take their crown; none can rob them of their reward, for God, who reserved it for them from the foundation of the world, is able to keep it unto that day. Hence, this inheritance is not available in this life. It is not a present possession but a promise, and we will realize it when we make our entrance into the world to come.
I have one more thing to say about our eternal inheritance. This inheritance does not belong to the saved of earth alone. Someone is a joint heir with us. Romans 8:16,17 says that because we are the children of God, we are heirs of God and joint hers with Christ.” Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world is also to share with us this inheritance that was prepared by God from the foundation of the world. At the final day Jesus will say to the saved of earth, “Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Jesus is also God's Son and so it follows we are joint heirs. Jesus who left heaven, walked on earth and returned to heaven has an inheritance. That can't be just eternal life; He has always had eternal life. We wonder what this inheritance is that He is going to receive. That must be something indeed. Whatever inheritance, therefore, that awaits Him awaits Christians, for we are joint heirs with Him. Whatever awaits Him as Son, awaits us as God's children. He was God's Son by nature, and He inherits by virtue of absolute right, but we, being children by adoption, inherit only by courtesy. Of the nature and extent of the inheritance we are heirs, we shall never fully know till we go there and enter upon it.