Understanding Your Inheritance
- Part 2
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, WHO HATH BLESSED US with all SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in heavenly places IN CHRIST:
4 According as he hath chosen us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we should be HOLY AND WITHOUT BLAME BEFORE HIM LOVE:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
7 IN WHOM we have REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the FORGIVENESS OF SINS, according to THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE;
9 Having made KNOWN unto us THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
In my first lesson entitled "Understanding Your Inheritance - Pt. 1", I defined what the inheritance is and that it must be received by revelation of the Holy Spirit, and appropriated by faith. Your inheritance includes things that accompany your salvation. It's interesting how uninformed Christians are always trying to talk other Christians out of their inheritance. That's the same thing as trying to talk someone out of a natural inheritance they are entitled to by virtue of a legal will. Your spiritual inheritance was bought and paid for by the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The blood He shed on Calvary's cross and sprinkled on the mercy seat of God after His ascension into heaven, signed, sealed, and delivered your redemption for eternity. It established a covenant between you and God that's the most solemnly binding agreement in existence. Your spiritual inheritance is far more superior than any earthly inheritance, because it is backed up by the written guarantee of the Word of the living God. And remember, my friend, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). You can't get anymore legal than that!
In this lesson, we are going to look at some of the benefits of our inheritance. The very first benefit we need to look at is salvation. It is probably safe to say that a good majority of Christians in the Body of Christ use the words "salvation" and "born again" interchangeably. However, they are not one and the same. When a person is born again they are reconciled to God and cleansed of their sins through the process of regeneration. In fact, the same Greek word in the New Testament for the phrase "born again" is the same Greek word for "regeneration". Look at Titus chapter three:
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy
he saved us, by THE WASHING OF REGENERATION, and RENEWING OF THE HOLY
GHOST... - Titus 3:4-5
Notice that verse five says we are saved by God's mercy through the "...WASHING OF REGENERATION, and RENEWING OF THE HOLY GHOST." The Holy Spirit changes our nature from sin to righteousness when we experience cleansing through the washing of regeneration. There is a very important word within the word "regeneration". It is the word gene. When we become born again, we are "re-gene-arated". In other words, we received a new set of genes. What kind? Spiritual genes! The old genes were corrupt because we were born in sin through Adam (Psalm 51:5 / Romans 5:12). However, we received our new spiritual genes when we were born again by confessing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (John 3:3-7).
This process is what makes us the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. It is also what makes us covenant people of God the Father with special benefits, or what the Bible refers to as "the blessing of Abraham". Salvation is one of those blessings. The greek word for "salvation" is sozo and carries a five-fold meaning which is soundness, wholeness, safety, deliverance, and preservation. Some of the things that we are saved from are our enemies (Luke 1:71), sickness and disease (Luke 7:50), condemnation (John 3:17), wrath (Romans 5:9), death (Romans 5:10), and destruction (I Peter 3:20 / II Peter 2:5), just to name a few.
The next benefit which I want to deal with has also been mistaken for salvation; that benefit is eternal life. They are not one and the same. Again, we receive eternal life in the same manner as salvation; when we are born again. We must not get eternal life confused with endless life. Even the unsaved will experience endless life. If they do not accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, they will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15 / 21:8). The distinction between eternal life and endless life, is that eternal life is spiritual life. It is the life which God has. God is referred to as the "living God" (Deuteronomy 5:26 / Psalm 42:2 / 1 Thessalonians 1:9 / 1 Timothy 3:15). He is the self-existent one, the source of all life.
Another aspect of eternal life is that it is uninterrupted by death (John 11:25-26). Death is part of the curse of the law. And we have been redeemed from that curse as the seed of Abraham. Sin, sickness and disease, poverty and lack, and spiritual death all came riding into this world on the coat tails of sin. Romans 8:1 says "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The Law of the Spirit of Life is a law that operates from the kingdom of God. Just as there are natural laws that govern this earth, there are also spiritual laws that govern the kingdom of God. Anything that is associated with the curse of death cannot affect us if we are living by faith in our covenant inheritance. Sickness and disease are not only part of the curse of the law, but usually the cause of physical death. That's why the Bible says in 1 Peter 2:24 that by Jesus' stripes we were healed.
The Law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ Jesus has liberated us from sickness and disease. If we as Christians are experiencing any kind of sickness or disease in our lives, it is because we are not living the abundant life Jesus came to give us. Abundant life is eternal life. It is the life which God has and has given unto the Son to have within Himself. Well, God has also imparted that life in us through the new birth (John 1:4). You don't have to wait to live eternal life when you get to heaven. You're living it now! Start appropriating the benefit of it today.
The next benefit of our inheritance I want us to look at is righteousness. One of the most important truths in the Word of God is the doctrine of righteousness. Satan has fought this revelation from the beginning of time because he knows without an understanding of it, we as Christians will live in condemnation and defeat. It is extremely difficult to develop a relationship with God, pray effectively, and fulfill your purpose as a child of God unless you are walking in this truth. Sin consciousness is one of Satan's greatest tools to keep God's people in bondage and immobilized. Yet, pastors and preachers alike all over the world continue to play the devil's advocate by preaching sin consciousness to their congregations. That is a travesty of God's justice! God did not ask His only begotten Son, Jesus, to identify with our sin and die a criminal's death on the cross, then suffer three more days and nights in hell, so that we can turn around and disgrace His sacrifice for us by walking in condemnation and guilt.
God's purpose in allowing Jesus to identify with our sin was to reconcile us back to Himself. However, He first had to cleanse us from sin by the blood of Jesus in order to justify us by His grace so that we could be made righteous. Only then could we obtain access into His presence. Only then could we begin to develop a relationship with Him that's based on His unconditional love for us (Romans 5:1-5 / Hebrews 4:14-16). In Romans chapter seven, the Apostle Paul bears his soul in what seems to be a monologue of frustration. He says in verse eighteen that the desire to do what is right is at his disposal, but he has a problem on how to carry out that task. He comes to a crescendo at the end of the chapter with a provocative question in verse twenty four. He says "...who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" The answer is found in verse twenty five where he says "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord..."
How would Jesus deliver Paul and the rest of us from such a condition? Romans 8:1 tells us how. It says "There is therefore NOW no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." The Bible says here that there is no condemnation to us who are in Christ Jesus. Why? Because we have been born again! We are no longer living our lives in the flesh, but in the Spirit. That's how God sees us NOW! That's how YOU need to see yourself. However, without a revelation of your righteousness in Christ Jesus, you never will. Every day you need to confess "I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus". That will build a righteousness consciousness in you. It will also build faith in your heart to believe it, because faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Let's look at a Scripture that deals with how righteousness affects your life as a child of God:
And the work of righteousness shall be PEACE; and the effect of
righteousness QUIETNESS and ASSURANCE for ever. - Isaiah 32:17
Notice what righteousness produces: peace, quietness, and assurance. Romans 5:1 says "Therefore being JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, we have PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ..." Glory to God! When you got born again, you were immediately justified by faith. In other words, you were made righteous by believing! Believing in what? Believing in Jesus Christ as your Savior. Then when you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you were able to experience peace with God. The blood of Jesus has broken down the wall of partition between you and God.
Righteousness also produces quietness. Have you ever begun to pray when all of a sudden your mind is bombarded with thoughts of condemnation and guilt about something you did a week ago? You already repented of it, but the devil is trying to remind you of it. Well, if you're walking in righteousness you should be able to run the devil right out of your house by confessing the Word of God about your righteousness! (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21) Glory to God, he has no business condemning you about sin anyway. Righteousness helps you get your mind quiet so you can tend to the business of prayer and Bible study. Finally, righteousness produces assurance. Let's look at a Scripture that deals directly with this:
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
- 1 John 3:19-21
Assurance is just another word for confidence. And the Bible tells us in these verses that when we're walking in truth our hearts will be confident towards God. Why does your heart condemn you? I'll tell you why; because you're dwelling on sin consciousness. God didn't intend for you to get saved, washed by the blood of Jesus, and get your sins forgiven, just so that you could walk in condemnation. No, bless God, He intended for you to meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 21 until they become a part of your spirit. Remember, faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
If you're constantly confessing "how guilty I feel", "I'm a sinner saved by grace", and all of that nonsense, then of course your heart is going to condemn you. But if you are confessing "I am a new creation" and "I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus", then your heart is going to be assured before God and you are going to have confidence toward Him. That's how you begin to develop an effective prayer life. You have to make sure you put on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:10-18).
The next benefit of your inheritance I want to deal with is sonship. The doctrine of sonship is equally as important as the doctrine of righteousness. As a matter of fact, when you develop in your revelation of righteousness it will help you in establishing your understanding of sonship. I want to first of all say that the word "son" in the Bible has a variety of meanings. The Hebrew word ben generally refers to a human offspring, regardless of sexual gender. That's why the Bible says there is neither male or female in Christ. So when the Bible speaks of "sons", depending upon the context, it is generally speaking of mankind. Let's begin by looking at what I believe to be the classic Scripture on sonship:
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... - John 1:12
Notice that this verse says whoever receives Jesus as their Savior, also receives the "...power..." to become a son of God. The Greek word for power is the word exousia, and it means "authority". In other words, God has given those that received Jesus as Savior, the authority or the right to become a son of God. Let me tell you why that's important. One of the most blessed privileges of sonship is that we are not only heirs of God, but joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. We have been adopted into the family of God through the redemption that is in Jesus (Hebrews 2:9-12).
It is crucial that you understand this truth, because it will help you establish your relationship with God as your heavenly Father. In John chapter 17, Jesus is praying to the Father for us in verse 23, and this is what He says: "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and HAST LOVED THEM, AS THOU HAST LOVED ME." Wow! You need to meditate on that Scripture until it becomes ingrained in your mind and indelible in your spirit.
God wants you to know that He loves you as much as He loves His only begotten Son, Jesus. The Bible also says in 1 John 3:1 "Behold, WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HATH BESTOWED UPON US, that we should be called the SONS OF GOD..." That's hard for the religious mind to grasp. Well, the thing is you can not grasp it unless your mind is renewed to that revelation and your spirit believes it. Only the Spirit of God can reveal it to you (Ephesians 3:14-20). Let's look at one more scripture concerning sonship:
16 ...for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them,
and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people...
18 And will be a FATHER unto you, and ye shall be my SONS AND DAUGHTERS,
Whether you believe it or not, God calls you his sons and daughters. Hallelujah! The world is waiting for a manifestation of the sons and the daughters of God. It's time for us to build on this foundation of sonship so that we can build our faith in God the Father. He has a job for us to do.
CONFESSION OF FAITH:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the precious blood of Jesus which has cleansed me of my sins and given me life everlasting. There is therefore now no condemnation to me, because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. I am forgiven and I stand before You as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Thank You that Your righteousness has made me a son of God and has given me access into Your presence by faith. Therefore, I come into Your presence without shame to obtain mercy and find grace to help in my time of need. Hallelujah!