Our Inheritance, Eph 4:11-18

Last Sunday we studied about the reward that we receive at the judgment seat of Christ.  We are rewarded with good and bad depending on whether what we did in our bodies was good or bad [2 Cor 5:10].  Tonight we will study our inheritance with Jesus Christ.  

First, it is important to understand that our inheritance is not to be confused with Israel’s inheritance through the promise that God made to Abraham.  Their inheritance has to do with the kingdom of heaven, over which Jesus will rule during his millennial reign.  And Israel will get their inheritance.  The church doesn’t replace Israel in this promise.

In Rom 4:13, we read that Abraham is the heir of the world [Gen 17:5-8].  Therefore, the place to which the righteous went at their death, before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is called Abraham’s bosom [Lk 16:22].  Because Abraham is heir of the world, therefore, Israel inherits their promised land in the millennium [Ezek 37:1-14; 47:13-48:29].  And those nations who support Christ’s “brethren” inherit the kingdom prepared for them in Matt 25:31-40.  The other nations who don’t support them get everlasting fire [Matt 25:41].

Now let’s discuss our inheritance.  When we get saved, we are adopted as God’s children and, thus, we call God, Father, and we become an heir of God through Christ [Gal 4:8]. . 

Through Jesus, we inherit eternal life [Matt 19:29; Mk 10:17].  This is the inheritance of Eph 1:11-14, which we have obtained through the gospel of salvation by trusting in Christ.  All children of God get this inheritance and it is not conditional on anything we do.  As we see in 1 Cor 15:50, while we are in flesh and blood, we cannot inherit the kingdom of God.  But when our bodies are glorified, we inherit incorruption.  

But there is more according to Eph 1:18, Acts 20:32, and Col 3:24.  There is a reward of the inheritance.  And it is so glorious that Paul could only say a little bit about it [1 Cor 2:9-10; 2 Cor 12:4].  He prayed that the Ephesians would know “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”

Jesus Christ is the heir of the Kingdom of God according to Matt 21:33-43. See particularly verses 38 and 43.   As a matter of fact, according to Heb 1:2, Jesus is the heir of all things. And we are joint-heirs with him [Rom 8:14-17].  However, to receive our inheritance with him we must meet certain conditions.  

We must suffer with him – Rom 8:15-18.  When we suffer with him, we will reign with him [2 Tim 2:10-13; Rev 1:5-6, 5:9-10].  If we deny him (to keep from suffering), he will deny us a reign; yet, he cannot deny himself.  We are eternally secure.

We must not spend up our inheritance on the works of the flesh – Eph 5:5; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21.  This is what the prodigal son did in Lk 15:11-12.  Though he was welcomed home with a nice celebration, a robe, nice shoes and a ring, he had forfeited his inheritance and his elder brother was the sole heir [Lk 15:31].  You might remember that Lot ended up in Sodom and Gomorrah and all of his possessions burned up. 

We must abide in the doctrine of Christ – 2 Jn 7-11.  A full reward can be lost if we don’t abide in the doctrine of Christ.  You have seen many churches and preachers who have become partakers with the evil deeds of deceivers.  We mustn’t do this.

We also stand to inherit a blessing [1 Pet 3:8-12].  But this appears to be conditional on doing the things that are in the context of verse 9.  Compare what happened to Esau in Heb 12:16-17.  “When he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected.”

Conclusion: from this study you see that every saved believer in Christ receives the inheritance of eternal life, whereby we live for ever in a glorified body.  However, to receive our inheritance as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, we must suffer with him and abide in the doctrine of Christ, and we must not do the works of the flesh.