A Rich Inheritance
The very essence of the life of Christ, what we call the eternal life, is given to you and to me to enjoy now and as our inheritance throughout all eternity
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, sure, I pause to see what you say. I like to have you answer back and lots of you do I know from what you tell me. I trust everything’s going alright at your house, bless your heart. Nice to be back with you. This is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m speaking with you as usual from the little room at the end of the hall on the second floor of the big white house.
We’ve been looking at the first chapter of Ephesians and we got as far as Verse 10, I think, the last time we got together: God’s purpose, “the good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.” What’s His purpose? It says, “That in the dispensation of the fulness 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.” God’s purpose is to restore the fractured universe. The entrance of sin into our world caused by the disobedience of Adam and of Eve, concerning which Paul the Apostle says, “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.”
Concerning which he says in another place, in Romans 8, “the whole creation,” that would be a word denoting our universe, “the whole universe groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now waiting for the adoption,” and that is the redemption of our body. God’s overwriting plan is not only to counteract the results of sin, which He does. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Death is swallowed up in victory. Thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The effects of sin are counteracted and nullified because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done and does do for us.
Hallelujah for that. However, God’s purpose is far greater. “The good pleasure which he hath purposed,” it says, “in himself that in the fulness of time, he might gather together in one all things.” Who is the one of whom it speaks? That’s the Lord Jesus Christ. “Gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him,” to restore I say the fractured universe which happened because of sin, where even lower orders of life seem to be pitted against each other and where the normal course of daily life for human beings is fraught with danger and tragedy, with disappointment and heartbreak, and where hanging over it all is the specter of ultimate death and dissolution so that those without faith in God are reduced to the gloomy prospect of live while you live and then die and be done with it. That is all that they have to look forward to.
Thank God, I say, dear friend, that you and I have a higher and better horizon than that. When God is finished with you and with me and with His universe, it will be restored and the effects of sin will be forever gone and the Lord Jesus Christ will be the center, the glorious, glorified center of it all.
Now not only is this true, but now we go on into Verse 11 of Ephesians, Chapter 1, and Paul says “in whom,” and you could use the definite pronoun there, the personal pronoun, “in him,” in him Christ, in Christ also, “we have obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the council of his own will that we should be to the praise of his glory who trusted in Christ.” We have obtained an inheritance. Paul says in Romans 8 that “we are the sons or children of God and if sons,” then says he, “we are heirs, joint-heirs with Christ.”
Let me read that passage for us: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father,” Papa God. “The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. If so be that we suffer with him that we may be also glorified together.” We have obtained an inheritance. He has made us worthy. Paul says in Colossians to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
Wonderful truth concerning the inheritance of the children of God. “If you be Christ,” Paul says in Galatians 3:29, “then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” “In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,” God said to Abraham, and Paul says when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, you get in on that promise, heirs according to the promise. Paul says in Titus 3:7, “that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” This is the facet of our inheritance that has to do with the quality of life. In the 1960s, especially and partially in the ’70s, there was great emphasis laid by popular groups on the quality of life, and so the ecological movement began and emphasis was laid upon purifying the atmosphere and in conserving our natural resources of one sort and another.
Still today there is I think a very wholesome emphasis laid upon improving the quality of our environment. There’s something far greater than that for the Christian, however, and I’m glad. Aren’t you? He says heirs according to the hope of eternal life, heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Our inheritance through the Lord Jesus, who makes us a member of God’s family, our inheritance through the Lord Jesus ensures the fact that we will be the possessors of eternal life. This is not simply duration forever and forever and forever, which is true of course, but this is quality, the life of God given to us. The secret Paul says of the Gospel we preach is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
He says in another place, “When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” The very essence of the life of Christ, what we call eternal life, is given to you and to me to enjoy now and as our inheritance throughout all eternity. In another place in Hebrews 1:14, we’re called the heirs of salvation, and in Hebrews 6:17, we are called the heirs of promise. All of the promises of God are lumped together in our inheritance because of the Lord Jesus Christ. Isn’t that beautiful? Inheritance. We have an inheritance in Christ. Paul the psalmist says in Psalm 61:5, “For thou O God hast heard my vows. Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”
This is one of the great Christian education verses. Many a Christian school is called the “Heritage School,” and it’s derived I’m sure from the truth that is found here in Psalm 119:111, “Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever, for they’re the rejoicing of my heart.” The Word of God is part of your inheritance. Have you thought of that? Just behind me on a shelf in the wall of books that lines part of this little 9 x 9 room in which I’m seated and talking with you, just behind me on a shelf there is a Bible which is now very old and very fragile, and I treat it with extreme care because it is the Bible out of which I learned to read, and the Bible that was owned by my sainted mother while she lived and was used as her resource book for Sunday school teaching and for her own personal devotions.
When I was about four, something like that, my father said to me, “Boy, would you like to have your mother’s Bible?” And he held it out, this huge teacher’s edition of the Bible, 3 1/2 inches thick, something like that, and bound with leather, and I said, “Oh, yes, Pop, I would like that.” Well, he said, “You learn some verses.” I think he specified 50 Bible verses, and he said, “I’ll give you the Bible for your very own,” my mother’s Bible. Well, first of all, I began looking at it, and I marked very carefully some of the little words that I could pick out, “it” and “at” and “he” and “she” and “go” and “yes” and “no” and so on.
And I began to pick out words that I could identify. And then before long, I was actually reading the word of God from that volume of the Bible, my mother’s Bible. That’s very precious to me. But something far beyond that kind of a heritage is indicated in this verse from Psalm 119: The heritage of the Word of God is that you and I are included in its truth and in its promises. Because of the Lord Jesus Christ, you and I can look at the Bible and say, “That is mine.” Isn’t that beautiful? As the psalmist said, “Let the Scriptures become the rejoicing of your heart.”
Dear Father, today, help us to cash in on that great inheritance in Jesus’ 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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