“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” Rom. 8:17a (KJV)
“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29
Observing the impact of the devolution of family and community, I have renewed appreciation for being privileged to be “shaped” in the 50’s and 60’s by a close-knit community in Kansas called Quindaro. The thing that most influenced my development was in understanding the importance of family lineage. As we were introduced to the parents of friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood, the first question we were asked was, “Who are your parents? Whose family do you belong to?” The inquiry continued until they were satisfied that we were “safe” to associate with their children. Our family lineage became an integral part of our inheritance.
Knowledge and appreciation of our spiritual lineage is even more important (than our earthly one) in that it shapes our identity and empowers our ability to accomplish the purposes that God has for our life. It’s been said that a person can never rise above who they think they are. If you think you are talented, you will perform brilliantly; if you think you’re worthless, people will treat you insignificantly. Therefore, it is critical that the believer understand their spiritual lineage. Believers are Abraham’s seed, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. We were “predestined by God into adoption as children by Jesus Christ” (Ep. 1:5) and are “heirs of the promise” (Gal. 3:29). Our spiritual lineage is now an integral part of our inheritance.
As children, heirs and joint heirs of God, we can now experience an intimate, personal relationship with the Father. A joyful existence with God is ours because of His great love for us (1 John 4:9-10). We can enjoy divine access to God who is all powerful, all knowing, and ever present (Ps. 145:13). Our purpose becomes the channel through which God’s purpose is fulfilled and our destiny is inexplicably connected to heaven where Christ now resides (Ep. 1:10). Our life has eternal value and consequence.
As heirs of the promise, we receive God’s promise of salvation (Is. 55:1-7; Matt. 1:21). This salvation is “realized now” in the deliverance from the penalty and power of sin (Rom. 8:1). Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, we enjoy love, joy and peace regardless of the circumstances we might face (Phil. 4:6; Gal. 5:22-23). This salvation will also be “realized in the future” through eternal life in eternity future with Jesus Christ (Matt. 25:34) when the believer is delivered from the presence of sin. This promise is secured through faith (just like Father Abraham—Rom. 4:16; Heb. 11:8-9) in Jesus Christ.
The believer’s inheritance in Christ is a topic that can be explored without ending. While we cannot address all its many aspects and benefits at this time, let us not negate the importance of valuing our spiritual lineage and inheritance. No higher position or greater wealth can an individual acquire than to become an heir of God through faith in Christ.