Your Salvation and Inheritance Eph. 1:11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Eph 1:11 we see that, once we are saved, we obtain an inheritance as part of our salvation. Some of this inheritance is given to us unconditionally. We don’t have to “do” anything to receive this portion of our inheritance. We obtain it simply because we are in Jesus Christ. For instance, we are guaranteed a place in heaven (Jn 14:1-3). We are also guaranteed a glorified body (Eph 1:14, Phil 3:21).
On the other hand, some of our potential inheritance is conditional. It is only available to us if we meet certain conditions. There are things we must do to obtain this inheritance. And there are other things that we cannot do or else we will lose this inheritance. Though you cannot lose your salvation, you can lose this portion of your potential inheritance.
When you received Jesus Christ as your Savior, you became a son of God. As John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Again we find in 1 John 3:1-2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.”
Becoming a child of God is simply based upon trusting what Christ has already done for you by dying on the cross for your sins. When you put your faith in his finished work on Calvary, you are adopted into God’s family (Eph 1:5). You were put into Christ’s body by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Therefore, the Holy Spirit bears witness that you are a child of God (Romans 8:16).
Our son-ship, therefore, is never based upon what we are doing or have done for Christ. It is based solely upon what Jesus did for us. We simply believe Him by faith and switch from the devil’s family to God’s family (1 John 3:10). The adoption is complete at salvation. We are “sealed” by the Holy Spirit until our bodies are fully redeemed (Eph. 1:13, 4:30). There’s nothing we “do” to obtain this sonship. Jesus did the work for us.
But after becoming a child of God, you are to work for Jesus Christ and serve him with your life. Then when you appear at the judgment seat of Christ, where you will be judged by him for your service (Rom 14:10-12; 2 Cor 5:10), “you shall receive the reward of the inheritance,” (Col 3:23-24). Your inheritance consists of a reward (1 Cor 3:11-14) for building with gold, silver and precious stones upon the foundation of Jesus Christ; crowns for keeping your body in subjection (1 Cor 9:25-27), for loving the Lord’s appearing (2 Tim 4:8), for winning souls (1 Thes 2:19), for feeding the flock of God (1 Pet 5:2-4), and for enduring temptation (Jas 1:12); and authority over cities in Christ’s millennial kingdom (Lk 19:12-26) for being a good servant who is faithful with the Lord’s “pound.”
These rewards for service are conditioned upon several things:
Suffering with Jesus Christ. Romans 8:17 says, “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.” Notice that being a joint-heir with Christ is conditioned upon suffering with Him. In 2 Timothy 2:11-13, the Bible says, “IF we suffer, we shall also reign with him.” Our reign with Christ, therefore, is conditioned upon our suffering with Him. It goes on to say, “if we deny Him (in order to keep from suffering with Him, like Paul could have done if he had simply preached circumcision in Galatians 5:11), He will deny us (a reign).” Notice that verse 13 shows you that He cannot deny your salvation because He cannot deny himself; He is in you.
Building with the right materials. In 1 Cor. 3:13, we find that God checks the quality of a man’s work. If he builds with gold, silver and precious stones, his work survives the fire and he receives a reward. If he builds with wood, hay and stubble, his work doesn’t survive the fire and he suffers loss.
Serving with the right motive. His reward is based upon his heart’s motive (1 Cor. 4:5). In Matthew 6:5, for instance, Jesus pointed out that hypocrites pray to be seen of men. That’s their motive. The result is “they have their reward” down here. Consequently, we are specifically instructed by Paul in Eph. 6:6-7 to do our work as to the Lord and not with eye service, as men pleasers. Like he said, “heartily, as to the Lord,” (Col 3:23).
Staying away from certain sins. In 1 Cor. 6:9-10, men who go back to being fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, or extortioners cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Eph. 5:5 adds whoremongers and unclean persons to the list. In addition to these, the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21 can knock out a person’s inheritance in the Kingdom of God, as well. Like Col 3:25 says, “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
Conclusion: So, when a person gets saved, he becomes a child of God. After that, he is responsible to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. He is rewarded for his service at the judgment seat of Christ. These rewards become a big part of his inheritance in the Kingdom of God. If he does well he gets his reward and if he does wrong, he stands to lose his inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
A classic example of someone who loses all of his inheritance without losing his son-ship is the prodigal son. In Luke 15:13, he “wasted his substance with riotous living.” The substance that he wasted was his inheritance (15:12). When he returned to his father, he said, I “am no more worthy to be called thy son.” However, his father still called him “my son,” (15:24) because his son could throw away his inheritance but he could never lose his son-ship. Likewise, in 1 Cor. 3:14-15, we see that a man can lose all of his rewards at the judgment seat of Christ but not his salvation; “he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved.”