Once upon a time, there was a young man about to graduate from high school. Knowing his father was a man of means and a man of his word, he hinted that he wanted a sports car as a graduation gift. When the day came, the father presented his son with a beautifully wrapped box. The father was excited as he watched his son examine the box. The son could hardly contain his enthusiasm as he ripped open the paper and opened the box to find…
…A beautiful leather-bound Bible.
The son was furious. He felt he worked hard and asked for something great, only to receive something he esteemed useless. He threw the Bible on his father’s desk and vowed never to speak to his father again.
A promise deferred is a promise denied is what we’re taught to think. Many times, though, the promise is not deferred at all; rather it is that the promise either did not come in the way that we thought or that we misunderstood how to appropriate the promise.
But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. (Galatians 3:22)
It may surprise you to know what your inheritance really is. Then, again, it may not.
What is surprising is how you get it.
See, we need to understand that there are three parts to the equation.
The first is God’s Grace. Grace is getting something good when you deserved something bad. We are all born in sin but God made His grace available through Jesus – because Jesus IS Grace and Truth. Grace is God’s part. He’s done it. It is finished. And it is eternal and everlasting.
The second is our faith. Faith is what activates God’s grace in our lives. God has done His part by making the power available. Faith connects His power to our lives.
The third is hope. Hope is what puts the power to work. God has provided the power. Faith makes the connection. But it is up to us to flip the switch.
One of the things we need to know about an inheritance is that we don’t have to do anything to get it except receive it. It is the testator of the covenant that has either done the work or passed on the wealth. And inheritance has nothing to do with your behavior but it has everything to do with who you’re connected to.
One of my favorite examples of this is the character of Tom Hagan, played by Robert Duvall, in “The Godfather.” Hagan was “adopted” into the Corleone family by his relationship with Sonny. Because he was grafted into this family, he was able to act with the power of Don Corleone, himself.
We have it even better, we have access to the power of God, The Father, which is far greater than the power of the Godfather!
Speaking of inheritance, there is a member of the DuPont family who is at the center of a criminal investigation. By every account, this guy does not seem to be a good person. In fact, the crime he is accused of is child molestation. But, because he is a member of the DuPont family, he has an inheritance.
If we had to do anything to earn an inheritance, it would come by law and not by promise (the relationship with God by Grace):
For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. (Galatians 3:18)
The rich young ruler had a case of mixed metaphors when he asked “what must I DO to INHERIT eternal life?” (Matthew 18:18)
Psalm 37 talks about inheritance by righteousness. To fully partake of the inheritance you must be aware that you have already met the condition of the inheritance because you were made righteous in the New Birth (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Our inheritance is even greater, though, than anything earthly.
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:18-23)
The Bible tells us clearly who cannot receive the inheritance (1 Corinthians 6:9-10),
9) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10) nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
But Paul makes it clear those passages refer the PAST state of a believer, not his CURRENT state:
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Did you catch that – PAST TENSE! WERE washed! WERE sanctified. Done and Done!
And here’s the awesome part – these promises weren’t made to YOU, they were made to Abraham and to Jesus:
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)
The promise wasn’t made to you but you get to partake of it because you’re in Christ! You BECOME an heir because of your relationship with the Father through Jesus!
Back to our story, the young man leaves home in disgust and goes on to be highly successful. Out of bitterness, he never speaks to his father again. One day, he gets word that his father is dying and he rushes to visit with him.
He had no words for his father but the father lovingly asked his son to take his hand one last time. The son obliged.
The father uttered his last words to his son, “I love you. Open your Bible.”
“That Bible, again…” the son thought in disgust. Couldn’t his father have said something more meaningful?
Upon the reading of the will, the son learned that he was the sole heir of his father’s fortune. The son went into his father’s study and found the Bible his father had given him so many years ago, still in the box.
He pulled out the bible and opened it. At 2 Corinthians 1:20, there was an envelope and the passage of Scripture was highlighted:
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
Inside the envelope were the keys to a brand new Corvette – he found the car in his father’s garage, undriven and perfectly preserved.
The son fell to his knees and wept.
God has so many promises for us…
But we will miss them all if we fail to appropriate them!
© 2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)