An Active Inheritance

In Galatians 3:26-29, Paul addresses the idea that we are heirs – sons of God’s, baptized into Christ, heirs according to promise. We are recipients on an inheritance from God, and Romans 8:16 begins a passage about our adoption by God, making us joint heirs in Christ. Ephesians 3:4-6 reads that Jews and Gentiles alike are heirs to the gospel. What is it that we have inherited from the Lord? Whether physical or spiritual, we do not want to waste something we have inherited. We must understand this inheritance if we are to know what to do with it.

What Have We Inherited?

  • We have received an unfinished task, one started about 2000 years ago. Matthew 28:18-20 contains what we refer to as the Great Commission, given to us as equally as to the twelve. We must read ourselves into this command lest we neglect the mission given to us. I Peter 3:15 calls on us to always be ready to share the hope within us. Like Jesus, we should be looking for daily opportunities to share this hope. Hebrews 5:12 reminds us to be teachers of the word.
  • We have an unchanging message. Hebrews 4:12 assures us God’s word is living and relevant, as much to us as to the disciples of the first century. II Peter 1:3-4 is a reminder that all we need for our lives can be found in God’s unchanging word, and John 12:48-50 has Jesus teaching that His words come by God’s authority and that they will endure until Judgment.
  • We have received an unlimited power. Romans 1:16-17 speaks of God’s power contained in His word, power to save, to touch hearts, to release guilt, to provide peace. In II Timothy 1:6-7, Paul reminds Timothy and us to stir up our spirits, relying on the power of His word, remaining unashamed of that word. We have to put God’s power into practice.
  • We have received an unfailing promise. Back in Matthew 28, when Jesus passes His work to His disciples, He promises to be with them to the end. Likewise, He is with us as we perform His ministry. Philippians 4:13 records Paul saying he can do all things in Christ, writing this even while in prison. Jesus’ presence and support is an unending promise through which we can accomplish much.

Preparing for a Future Inheritance

In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul calls on us to work for the Lord because we look forward to another inheritance. We use our current inheritance, looking forward to a future reward. We use our unfinished task, our unchanging message, power from God, and His promises so we may see Heaven as our final inheritance. I Peter 1:3-5 promises that Heaven is reserved for us, and that it is an imperishable and unfading inheritance. Where the things of this world pass away, we are heirs to something greater. We use the inheritance we have received to prepare ourselves for that which is to come.

lesson by Tim Smelser