A Grand Inheritance
We who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption that is the redemption of our body. God isn’t done with us yet.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again my radio friend. How in the world are you? This is your good friend, Bob Cook. You and I are back together again looking at the Word of God. How wonderful it is to look in to this precious book and realize that it’s absolutely true, inerrant, infallible, eternal. You don’t have to have any wobble on the Word of God. You’re going to know that the Word of God is true. It’s our absolute, inspired truth.
I met a man just today at a shop where I was getting some copies made and he was getting just scads of copies made of what look like a manuscript. And he was tall and distinguished-looking, well, he’s probably a writer or a professor or something. And so I said “Hey, that looks like a doctor’s dissertation, or a master’s thesis.” “Well,” he said “not quite.” He said, “Actually, it’s a book I’ve been working on.” “Oh,” I said “what kind of a book is it? Fiction or fact?” He said, “Well, neither,” he said “well, you wouldn’t understand,” he said. (Laughs) “Oh,” I said, “tell me. Let me try.” “Well,” he said “I tell you it’s a history of thought. It’s a book about the history of thought, the way people think.” And he said, “Now, we are in a new era and people are thinking on a different basis.” “Oh,” I said “is that the New Age thinking that you’re talking about?” “No,” he said “the New Age is just old stuff warmed over.” He said, “There’s a new thought coming.”
Well I didn’t have a chance to question him further, but down in my heart I was saying “Well, Hallelujah, dear Lord. I know that we’ve got Your thought.” The mind of Christ that doesn’t change through the centuries, through the millennia. “I am the Lord. I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed,” the Bible says. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever.” When I was a little boy going to the Alliance Church in Cleveland, they use to sing, “Yesterday, today forever, Jesus is the same. All may change but Jesus never, glory to His name.”
Well, yes, the way people think may change from time to time. I suppose that is a possibility, but the absolutes upon which we base our eternal destiny are the Word of God and the God of the Word. “The God who is there,” as Francis Schaeffer said of Him, and you don’t have to have uncertainty or any wobble. That’s what we’re looking at now.
First chapter of Ephesians, “After you trusted Christ” he says in verse 13, “you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is the earnest of our inheritance.” Now in Bible days when a transaction was made, the person who was a party to the transaction would use his seal. It would be sealed. And the basis upon which that seal was applied was the down payment, the earnest money. We still have that custom today when Coreen and I bought this house in which we’re now living. You know, when people say, “Do you own your home?” And I say “Yeah, me and the bank.” (Laughs)
Well, when we bought that back in 1985, we had to put down some earnest money. What is that? That is money that you pay which indicates that you are willing and able to pay the rest of it at a given time, which today, of course, we call closing the deal. Closing the deal. Well the Holy Spirit of God, now the transaction is settled once for all Christ has died and risen again. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, by His stripes we are healed. The work is done, “ye are redeemed,” the Bible says.
And so the transaction is settled but not all that God is going to do in us has yet been done. He said we…we’re…”the whole creation,” Paul says in Romans 8, “groaneth and travaileth together in pain until now waiting for the redemption of the purchased possession.” God isn’t through with us yet. We’re heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” If we’re children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” “Man” he said “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Why, he says, the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain together and until now. And not only the creation but ourselves also, we “who have the firstfruits of the Spirit.” Now there’s another example that he had different form of speech that he uses to describe what the Holy Spirit does.
In our passage in Ephesians, it’s called the earnest, the down payment. Over here in Romans 8 it’s the firstfruits. What are firstfruits? Why, that’s the first indication the fact that you’re going to get a crop. Remember when you planted some radishes? You went out and one day you found out that there were one or two there, that were mature enough to be picked. You bent down and pull them up, and there were those round red delicious-looking radishes and you brought them in to the kitchen and washed off the few grains of soil that remained and cut off the tops and popped them into your mouth and you said, “Haha, we’re going to have a real crop this year.” That’s the firstfruits.
“We who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is the redemption of our body.” God isn’t done with us yet. That’s the point he’s making. And so, he says you got the firstfruits, and you’ve got the earnest money of our inheritance.
We’re going to be like Him, joint heirs with Christ. John the apostle says, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.” You read your Greek New Testament. There’s a phrase there, that the King James doesn’t have it, it says, “And such we are that we should be called the sons of God. And such we are; therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew Him not.” “Now” he says “beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”
God isn’t done with you yet. I’m glad that’s so. I’m glad there’s more to come. James 4:6, “He giveth more grace.” There’s always more, and the inheritance is there. There’s a number of passages of course that deal with inheritance “Thou, oh God hast heard my vows, thou has given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.” You are in a very select company, people who know and love the Lord share in the heritage that you have. And then Psalms 119, “Thy testimonies have I taken,” “thy testimonies,” now, “have I taken as an heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”
In the very real sense, the Word of God is part of what you have as your inheritance in Christ. All the promises that God has made. Paul says, “The promises of God are yea and amen to us by Christ Jesus.” God says yes, they’re all go, all the signals are go. Everything, all green light, the promises of God are part of your heritage. When I was starting out in Christian work, there was a chorus that they used to sing which ran, “Every promise in the book is mine, ever chapter, every verse, ever line, all are tokens of His love divine, every promise in the book is mine.” Remember that one? Well its true isn’t it? You have the heritage of the believer. I have taken thy testimonies as a heritage forever.
And then there’s the inheritance that involves being sanctified, set apart, for God to use. Paul says in Acts chapter 20, “Now, brother, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
The word sanctified means set apart for God to use. Part of your inheritance in Christ is that you are set apart for Him to use. You’re special to God. Over to 2 Timothy, Paul says, “If a man, therefore, cleanse himself from these, he shall be a vessel onto honor, sanctified and meet for the master’s use.” That word meet for the master’s use is Greek word “ukrestos” – easy to use, handy, very home-like term here, a handy instrument for God to use.
Are there’s some things – homemakers, are there some utensils that you always grab for when you’re preparing a meal? You know there are. You have your special stirring spoon, you have special knife that you use for slicing, or a paring knife that fits easily in the palm of your hand. Don’t you? That’s one skillet that you like to use because it doesn’t burn things. (Laughs) That’s right. Handy? Yes.
Well, beloved, part of your inheritance is that God in his infinite grace makes you handy for Him to use. The most delightful thing in the world is to wake up and realize that God is using you in some situation. You didn’t plan it; you didn’t seek it, but He’s using you. Oh that’s great.
I got a letter just today from a physician, a very busy man evidently, I’ve never met him, who practices in San Francisco. And he says that he hears the broadcast as he’s on his way to work in the mornings. The broadcast in that area comes on about 6 o’clock, I guess, and that’s pretty early, but he starts out early so he can avoid the traffic jams that develop as you drive along there in the Bay Area. And so, he listens to the broadcast, and he says by the time he gets to work, having heard this broadcast, I suppose, and others along with it, he feels ready for the day and he is reassured that God is with him for the day. Isn’t that nice? Well, see, I’ve never met the man. I wouldn’t recognize him if I saw him, but I got a beautiful thrill in my heart when I realized that God has used some word that by the miracle of Christian radio and the kindness of those who put it in the air out there, this man a child of God, busy physician, is encouraged on his way.
Oh well, Halleluiah, I’m glad that so, aren’t you? That’s part of the heritage that believers have because you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, Paul talks about, “giving thanks to the Father who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” There’s a group called the saints. That’s you and that includes me and everyone else who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And we have, as Peter says, an inheritance that is laid up for us in heaven that is incorruptible and undefiled and reserved in heaven for you, there’s something with your name on it in heaven. And that’s something that you are going to enjoy as you get there saved by grace through faith, and called by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to “an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God.”
One of these days you’ll be able to cash in on it. Well, hallelujah, it’s all because of our wonderful savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, today make us worthy of that inheritance which Jesus bought with his precious blood. I ask in his name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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