IDENTITY – Who We Are and Why We Are Here –
A Journey of Discovery
By Colleen Donahue
PART 7 – WHAT WE HAVE IN CHRIST- OUR INHERITANCE
WE ARE KING’S KIDS
In a kingdom government, when a king has a son or daughter, they are called a prince or princess. And part of their distinct identity is the fact that they will inherit their father’s kingdom when he dies. Or, he will send them off to a new acquired territory to be the king or queen of that new country. Royalty is in their blood and it is a distinct part of who they are.
- Now that is our situation exactly. We have a father in Heaven who owns it all.
2. When God did all of his creating, He made the earth first so that He had a territory to give men and women when we were created. What was our role to be concerning the earth?
Genesis 1:26,28 / Genesis 2:15
A king can’t be king without territory to rule. God made his children to be kings and queens over their part of this earth. Because of sin, man forfeited their royal privileges to Satan who is now ruler over this world as it presently exists. But that changed when Jesus came to get back our kingdom and restore us to the way that God originally made us.
3. First, God has given to us a new birth and that’s WHO we are now.
2 Corinthians 5:17 / Titus 3:5 / 1 John 5:1
4. Second, God has given us an inheritance and that’s WHAT we now have.
Ephesians 1:11 / Romans 8:16-17
In Romans 8:17 you read that we are co-heirs or joint heirs with Christ. What does this mean? To be an heir means that if a father with four children has 4 acres of land, they would each get one acre of the land. But, if those four children are co-heirs, it means that all four of them own the four acres jointly.
5. To every believer, being a co-heir with Christ means that we get it all. We deserve nothing, but God gives us everything.
John 1:16 / Ephesians 2:6-7 / 1 Timothy 6:17
The first thing that we must understand about our inheritance is that it comes through Jesus.
WE HAVE ACCESS THROUGH JESUS
6. It’s crucial to understand that the distance between God’s purity and holiness and our sinfulness is not subject to change – only to remedy. When Moses wanted to see God’s glorious presence, how did God answer him?
7. “No one may see Me and live.” That’s why we need Jesus. He is the only remedy God has provided for us to be reconciled with Himself.
8. Jesus became the mediator of a new covenant and is the only bridge to span an impossible divide. What does this enable God’s people to do?
9. Without Jesus, we have NOTHING. With Jesus, we have access and authority to EVERYTHING. For God gave Jesus all power and authority over everything in Heaven and on the earth.
10. Access is like getting the keys to the storeroom. And authority is being able to use the key to go in and get what we need. Access and authority are both necessary for getting what God has promised.
Let’s look at what we have access to through Jesus.
WE HAVE ACCESS TO THE KING –GOD THE FATHER
11. Jesus brings us into the family of God having snatched us from the kingdom of darkness.
We have been forgiven, reconciled with God, and clothed with Christ’s own righteousness. Once in the family of God we have been legally adopted and therefore have become one of God’s children. This has made us co-heirs with Jesus to everything.
12. It means that we now have access to the king, our Father God. We can approach his throne of grace at any time – no appointment needed.
Psalm 34:15,17 / Isaiah 65:24
13. Our Heavenly Father always has time for his kids. We have a direct phone to the throne.
Hebrews 4:14-16 / Hebrews 10:19-22
14. This means that we have “God’s ear”. He is listening. Unless we are asking for something wrong or dangerous, we can absolutely know we have the requests asked for. In other words, our prayers get answered.
1 John 5:14-15
15. Having access to the king means we have access to the entire storeroom of Heaven. As we need time, money, help, materials, wisdom, and knowledge to do God’s will, we can ask God for it in Jesus’ name and receive it.
Matthew 21:22 / John 15:7 / John 16:23-24 / 1 John 3:22
16. This access that Jesus provides, enables the Son’s authority to be seen in the world through us.
17. We become God’s “work of possible” amidst what is impossible for natural men and women.
WE HAVE THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN US
18. Not only do we have all-time access to the King through the authority of Jesus, but God decided to give us Himself as part of the riches of our inheritance.
19. We see in verse 13 the phrase “the seal of the promised Holy Spirit”. In ancient times a “seal” was a visible sign that guaranteed a person’s decided action or agreement. It was often applied with a signet ring and when applied, it was irrevocable. Here are two examples:
Esther 3:12 / 8:8 / Daniel 6:12, 17
20. The fact that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit means that while we are on this earth, the Holy Spirit will be our live-in “helper”.
That word “helper” (or advocate) is “paraclete” in Greek and means “another one of the same kind”. Just as Jesus had been an ever-present help to his disciples, so will the Holy Spirit be to us in our circumstances.
21. The Holy Spirit is God’s own Spirit who also filled Jesus.
22. From the platform of our lives, the Holy Spirit strengthens us and gives us the power to obey God and be a witness to Jesus who will lead others to God.
23. The Holy Spirit not only gives us power, but the ability we need to carry out our assignment.
Philippians 2:13 and therefore Philippians 4:13
24. From the start of our new birth to our entrance into Heaven, the Holy Spirit will be doing the work of saving us and keeping us everyday of our lives. Yes, we were saved at a point in time, but there is also a continual saving as Paul writes in:
1 Corinthians 1:18
“to us who are being saved” is written in the continuing present.
25. This enables us to not lose heart on our bad days.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
26. It’s all part of the Holy Spirit transforming us from the inside out to be the reflection of Jesus to the world.
2 Corinthians 3:18
WE HAVE HOPE ON EARTH AND AN ETERNAL HOME IN HEAVEN WHEN THIS PRESENT LIFE IS OVER
The salvation that we as believers experience is one that covers our past, our present, and our future. Our past was “saved” and settled through Christ’s shed blood – forgiving our sins and reconciling us to our Father God. This restored us to our being able to walk in partnership with God throughout our life – developing and ruling over the part of the world where God put us.
27. The salvation we enjoy today is the Holy Spirit within us, enabling us to take our stand victoriously with and for God – in the place where God has put us. We can do this even with the reality that while this first world exists, Satan is the ruler over it (turned over to him by Adam and Eve when they sinned). Satan hates believers in Jesus and does all he can to tear us down and take us out.
John 10:10 / 1 Peter 5:8-9
28. Jesus has already triumphed over Satan’s evil power (Colossians 2:15) but that triumph won’t be fully realized until this present age of grace is over. Why the wait? God wants as many as possible to be saved from this present darkness. He wants as many as will choose, to be reconciled to Him so we can have an eternity together.
2 Peter 3:9, 13
29. Therefore, for all who will allow God to save them through Jesus, we have a clear hope for the future.
A. While we wait for Jesus to return, and for the new heaven and earth that’s promised, we’ll have a home in Heaven with God.
John 14:2-3 / Philippians 3:20 / Titus 1:2
B. Those who have already died in Christ will be raised up by Christ. No one will be forgotten. And we will be with Him forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
C. We will be changed to be like Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:47-49 / Philippians 3:21 / 1 John 3:2
D. There will be a new heaven and earth created where we can start over – ruling and reigning with Jesus. For God made man for the earth and we will one day be back here developing the universe with God’s Spirit.
Isaiah 65:17 / 66:22 / 2 Peter 3:13 / Revelation 21:1
30. How is this hope for the future made real to us?
31. What will this hope be to our souls?
An anchor for a boat holds the boat to some place in a moving body of water. Without the anchor, the boat just bobs and floats off until it finally capsizes. That’s how important hope is to our souls.
32. It takes diligence on our part to cling to these hopes in the midst of day to day living. What do we need to inherit all that we have been promised?
Hebrews 6:11-12 (especially verse 12)
33. Hope helps us to keep everything in perspective.
34. Hope should motivate us to get our lives in order.
Titus 2:12-13 / 1 John 3:3
It’s possible because Christ’s Holy Spirit is within us moving us to walk in God’s truth.
- Our hope for an eternal future with God is as real as our life today is real. God will fulfill all that He has promised. What should our part be right now?
- A big part of staying firmly anchored in hope will be by meeting together with other believers and reminding one another of these truths.
- And when Christ – who is your life now – appears where will you and I be?
- This is our true identity – with Christ and in God by the Holy Spirit.
- The old has passed away and the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17