...also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, Ephesians 1:11(NSAB)
As people who God has placed in Christ we have an inheritance coming. Part of our inheritance is that we are “in Christ” to begin with, that God has graciously placed us there in eternity past.
The greater part of our inheritance is in the future when we leave this earth through death (or rapture) and enter into His presence. We often struggle with really grasping these things because we are so temporally oriented. We do tend to live in today, and since we have never experienced anything like “eternal life” before we struggle to put it into a context we can understand. Our ability is limited to the best earthly things we can think of. We have never experienced sinless, so how can we relate to that? One day we will experience that though, it is a part of our inheritance!
We will also inherit
- Eternal salvation “so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to thehope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7
- Eternal glory – “through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2
- The universe- “in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” Hebrews 1:2
- The eternal presence of God Himself- “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them…” Revelation 21:3
Our limited understanding does not allow us to fully understand what any of these things are going to be like, to even try makes my head hurt! Faith is required to accept that these things are ours and are certain.
I cannot emphasize enough that the reason we are given these things is by grace alone! You and I did nothing to earn or merit this special favor from God; it was by His own goodness and mercy that we have been placed in Christ. According to Eph 1:13 you received it after hearing the “the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation…”
And “having also believed…”
Hearing the gospel and believing it are both required to obtain salvation. Many people have heard the gospel through evangelistic messages but not all have believed. According to Ephesians 1, all those who God has chosen will believe! This is a great comfort to me when I think of loved ones who as of yet have not been saved. I can rest in God’s plan for their lives knowing that it is not up to me that they be saved. I do not have to cajole, manipulate, beg or plead with them; I only have to clearly and correctly deliver the message of truth. I then pray for their heart to be open and soft to receive the Word.
Once we believe, the Bible says we are “sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
I love this! The Holy Spirit of God living in us is the guarantee that we belong to God! The Holy Spirit indwells us from the moment we believe, and He makes God’s Word understandable to us, He causes us to desire God, desire to pray, and desire to know God more.
The Holy Spirit is also a deposit by God – literally earnest money – that He intends to take us home to be with Him one fine day. If you have ever purchased a home you are familiar with the term “earnest money.” When you find the home you want to purchase you give something that proves you intend to come back to claim it. The Holy Spirit residing within us is God’s earnest money for our redemption. He intends to come for us and proves that by leaving a part of Himself with us! It is His mark on us, and it says, “You belong to Me and to no other. I claim you, and no one can take you away from Me.” Jesus said this much better:
“…I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:28-29