My dear friend Jim and I are journeying together through the book, The Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in All of Me by Major W. Ian Thomas. Last week, as I prepared for our weekly discussion on chapter 6 ‘When Doing Right Is Wrong’ of the book, I felt led off on a tangent by the last half of the two verses the chapter focused on…
You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 12:8-9 (NASB)
While on the surface, Moses is talking about the inheritance of the Promised Land they will receive when they cross the Jordan … and the rest they will finally find from their enemies in the new land…
When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security … Deuteronomy 12:10 (NASB).
Yet at a deeper level, Moses, perhaps unwittingly, is also speaking more prophetically of the rest and inheritance believers will one day find IN Christ Jesus.
His word on rest immediately reminded me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 … also Hebrews 4.
But the words I was really drawn to were inherit and inheritance…
How is the word inherit defined?
- something received from a person that dies
- the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring
- the acquisition of a possession, condition from past generations
Let me challenge you to take just a moment to consider how those definitions might apply to your God-given inheritance.
How does our inheritance work biblically?
Have you ever really stopped to consider the name Promised Land? To whom was it originally promised by God? Abraham … yet he never received that land … so his descendants inherited the land promised to Abraham.
Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice. Genesis 22:17-18 (NASB)
It might be worth your while to reread and think on the closing words of that verse … ‘because you have obeyed My voice’.
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. Galatians 3:16-18 (NASB)
So the inheritance promised by God and received by the Hebrews came to them through the death of Abraham. And the inheritance promised by God and to be received by Christians comes to us not only through the death of Abraham but also through the death of his seed … Christ Jesus. And yet at the same time … we are joint heirs with Christ … the living Christ … only God … only God …
And it becomes even more paradoxical. From a world viewpoint, when a person dies, his or her descendents typically inherit his belongings. Think about it from a Christian perspective … when Abraham died, he bestowed an inheritance … when Jesus died, He bestowed an inheritance … when a lost person dies to self, he receives an inheritance … when a believer dies a physical death, he receives an inheritance … when Jesus returns, we receive an inheritance … after the Great White Throne judgment, we receive an inheritance … yet we are joint heirs with Jesus, Abraham and so many other saints through the ages … divinely paradoxical.
Are you confused? Or amazed?
What does our God-given inheritance encompass?
A quick word search on inherit brings back a pretty awe inspiring … yet definitely incomplete list … especially regarding our inheritance in the here and now …
- the earth (Matt. 5:5)
- eternal life (Matt 19:29)
- our salvation/redemption (Eph. 1:13-14)
- the promises of God (Heb. 6:12)
- indwelling of Jesus (now) (Eph. 1:9-14)
- indwelling of Holy Spirit – the seal of the promise (now) (Eph. 1:9-14)
- the kingdom of heaven (Matt 25:34, 1 Cor. 6:9-10)
- resurrected and imperishable body (1 Cor. 15:50-55)
- the water of life (Rev. 21:6)
- new heaven, new earth (Rev. 21:1)
- dwelling with God (future) (Rev. 21:3)
- no more tears, death, mourning, pain (Rev. 21:4)
Praise God for His promises – what a inheritance!
P.S. Thanks Jim for encouraging me to write this post based on the notes I made in my book!