Embracing God’s love for me
7. God’s inheritance or ours?
Ephesians 1:9-11 “God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: at the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ — everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God [which may be translated ‘we have become God’s inheritance’], for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan …. the good news [is] that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. … I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called — his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance [which could be translated ‘… those he called, and the rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his holy people.’]“(NLT)
I find it very interesting that this passage speaks of the inheritance that we have as part of God’s adopted family. The fact of an inheritance is mentioned three times in this passage. Some scholars believe that in at least two of those references, the inheritance mentioned might not be what we are going to receive, but rather that God considers believers to be an inheritance he is giving himself. My favorite commentator on Ephesians, Peter T. O’Brien*, makes a compelling argument from these passages that both thoughts are included. We who belong to Jesus, His dear Son, are part of an inheritance that God has given Himself, to His glory. And God has given us an inheritance of eternal life, which has started already through the Holy Spirit being within us and working in and through us.
This opens some very interesting thoughts. The Bible clearly teaches that believers in Christ are going to inherit eternal life in heaven (as well as many other spiritual blessings). Is it also possible that God sees me as part of His inheritance that He is giving Himself? God loves us so much that He considers our relationship with Him to be a gift? This is a topic I want to explore, looking at other biblical passages, but for now I need to move on in Ephesians.
Father, thank You for the inheritance You have prepared for those who believe in Christ. And thank You for loving me so much that You want me to spend eternity with You. I want to be a shiny, sparkling, joyful part of the inheritance You give to Yourself. Amen.
*O’Brien, Peter T (1999). The Letter to the Ephesians. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans.