TIME TO READ THE WILL
"At that time, the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? 'Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share the inheritance with the free woman's son.' Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman." Galatians 4:29-31.
When a family member dies, the surviving members can't wait for the reading of the will, especially if the deceased was a wealthy father or grandfather. "Who gets what?" they want to know. God also made a will, and when the testator died, His heirs inherited His estate. Paul declared that, because we are God's sons and daughters through faith in Jesus, we are His heirs and co-heirs with His Son.
How here's a twist in the tale. Jesus is God. Because He died we, God's children, all receive our inheritance but, because He lives and He is God's Son, He is also God's heir and we are co-heirs with Him.
"In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son whom He appointed heir of all things and through whom also He made the universe." Hebrews 1:1-2.
God appointed Jesus to be heir of "all things", that is, all things.
"The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
"And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood shed on the cross." Colossians 1:15-20.
Paul was talking about Jesus, the incarnate Son of God. In His humanity and because of His perfection as God's Son who came to earth in the flesh and lived and died as a human being, He earned the right to the position and authority God gave Him - the highest name, the highest place and the highest authority in heaven and on earth (Philippians 2:6-11). He inherited "all things".
Because of God's mercy, He reconciled us to Himself through Jesus, restored us to our position as sons and daughters and placed us "in Christ". Because of that, we share everything He has and owns because we are co-heirs with Him.
What do we share with Jesus?
1. Just as we share our human father's nature - the sin nature of Adam - so, in Christ, we share our heavenly Father's nature.
"Through these (His own glory and goodness) He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." 2 Peter 1:4.
2. We share in the "all things" which are Jesus' inheritance
"He who did not spare His own son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also along with Him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32.
That means that, as God's children, we have access to everything we need here in this earthly life, to live godly lives.
"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3.
How do we access these resources? Through faith in His promises. "We do not want you to be lazy, but to imitate those who, through faith and patience, inherit what has been promised." Hebrews 6:12.
3. The outcome of appropriating God's promises for power to live a godly life and the resources to do so, is eternal life.
"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." Romans 6:22.
The will has been read. The inheritance is ours. It's time to possess what we already own.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.