THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 11-18-12
LESSON TITLE: “THE HEIR WITH CHRIST.”
Paul told the Thessalonians, “in everything give thanks!” Are we truly a thankful people a Thanksgiving Day approaches?
Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for The Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week. And I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.
As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible’s handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let’s begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
Well, it’s time to again to sing praises to God with the congregation in our songs of praise. So won’t you join in the hymn, “To God Be The Glory.”
(SONG # 1)
We have so much to be thankful for in this life. In fact, this should remind us of just how great and mighty our God is. In the first verse of the Bible, Moses emphatically introduces us to the God of all creation as he proclaimed, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In this important statement we are not only introduced to the creator of all, but here we also see the origin of all things.
In fact, Moses answers many questions for us as he uses the same proofs that many of our scientists would use today. First he clarifies the “time” this event happened,” by stating in the beginning.” He then answers the, “Who” of the matter, when He says God. Next, he tells us what God did in the verb, “Created.” And finally he confirms for us what God created by saying, “the heavens and the earth.”
However, Moses is not alone in this thought, notice what the Psalmist so elegantly wrote in chapter 90, verses 1 & 2, of his book. There it says, “LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
Furthermore, remember what John said in John 1:1-4. There we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
Finally, notice what Paul said in Ephesians 3:8-9, concerning his ministry for God. The Bible says, “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;”
The fact is the Bible and it’s inspired authors readily confirm the fact there is a God and that He is the creator and giver of all. But still, many today reject God and choose not to obey Him or follow His will!
We are happy to again have brother Brent Green with us today as our speaker of the morning. Brother Brent is an instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us.
Today, we will be continuing our series of study concerning the question, “What Is Man.” Our specific lesson today will deal with, “The Heir With Christ.” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together our guest speaker of the day will return with this study from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn, “This World Is Not My Home!”
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
The title for this series of lessons is, “What is Man?” and the answer to that question for this lesson is that man is an heir with Christ. So to focus on the fact that we look at the Bible and they will see that as God describes man, that is the children of God, that he describes them as being heirs, heirs to an inheritance. Let’s consider if you would 1Peter 3 as we begin to consider what the scripture says concerning here being an heir. There in 1Peter 3:7, Peter uses this terminology, “…being heirs together of the grace of life…” and just a couple verses later there in chapter 3:9 he also goes on to say, “…knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” Peter starts to talk about the fact that we are heirs, the fact that man here will inherit a blessing. It is kind of interesting as you look at 1Peter 3 that it is actually first dealing there in the first six verses with wives and their responsibility, their God given role in the home. Then in verse 7 he begins to talk about husbands and as Peter writes to these two specific groups of Christians, to wives and to husbands as he considers there the family as a whole, he reminds these two groups of Christians that together they are heirs. They are heirs of a blessing, they are heirs to inherit a great reward from God, they are heirs ultimately as he says there again in verse 7 as the grace of life.
As you think about an inheritance there are some in this world that will receive an earthly inheritance and although someone has to die that is the mother, father, or both to leave on that inheritance whether it be money or an estate those that receive that inheritance are probably pretty happy about at least that part of it. Not that they would lose their loved ones but that their loved ones have thought of them enough and have established themselves in such a way so as to be able to leave something behind for that future generation. It is that future generation who might receive that inheritance would be blessed by that, that physical blessing of receiving an estate or receiving that wealth or that money. Well, even the New Testament there was one who thought to receive his inheritance even before the father died. Remember there the prodigal son, of course he is called the prodigal son because what did he ultimately do without an inheritance; well he went out and squandered it. So we may receive an inheritance physically in this world and what great thing that would be but in the end even if we used it wisely or even if we wasted it what is going to happen to that earthly inheritance, it is not going to last, it will fade away, it will be used up. Well, the rust will corrode it, it will go back to the dust, there is nothing on this earth that will survive through all eternity. That is fortunately not the type of inheritance that we are speaking about. If you will turn to the same book there in 1Peter, if you will turn back to chapter 1, Peter actually describes this inheritance. There in 1Peter 1 as he begins this epistle here to these Christians, in verse 3 he says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” He begins to speak about the fact that we have been begotten, we have been born again there by the power of Christ, there concerning even the resurrection that he speaks of. Without the resurrection of Christ it would not be possible that we could overcome spiritual death but with that fact look at what he goes on to say there in verse 4, he continues and says that we have been resurrected or we have been begotten again to a what, “To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
Well when Peter was speaking about that being heirs together, the grace of life, in chapter 3 being those who would inherit a blessing there in chapter 3:9, what inheritance is he speaking about? What are we heirs to as Christians? Well, go back to chapter 1:3-4 because we have been begotten again we are God’s children, he says we have this inheritance that is incorruptible, it doesn’t fade away. It is interesting there the word doesn’t fade away actually comes from an original word there indicating a flower that never loses its bloom. Well, you can see the contrast between a flower and an earthly flower, one that is you cut it and you put it in the vase and you put it on the table and it is beautiful for a time and then what happens to it? It fades away. Our inheritance isn’t like that, this is a flower that does not fade away, it does not lose its glory, it does not lose its value, and it does not lose all that goes with it. Our inheritance does not fade away it is incorruptible and so what is man? He is an heir to this reward; he is an heir to inherit this blessing with Christ Jesus in heaven some day. What a great blessing that is. You see Peter also isn’t the only one to speak of such a blessing, there are other places of course in the New Testament that speak of this and insight that we can gain from looking at those verses.
Again if you have your Bible turn with me to Romans 8, Paul as he writes to the brethren there in Rome reminds them of this same fact that they also as Christians were heirs to this grace of life. Romans 8:16 beginning says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Just like Peter spoke about being begotten again according to a living Hope. Here Paul talks about being those who are children of God now. Well as children of God now and as Christians what does he go on to say? Read with me there in verse 17 he says, “and if children, then…” what? “…heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Well, as Christians we are heirs through that inheritance that we have spoken of. But not just heirs by ourselves he says heirs with Christ. In other words when we return to our Father in Heaven as a faithful Child of God, as His Children some day, we will be there with Christ and we will be heirs of those mansions Jesus Christ went to prepare for us. What great thought it is as Peter wrote about it, as Paul wrote about it here to the Romans that we are joint heirs together. You know Peter talked about husbands and wives, how they were heirs together, well also here Paul was incorporating that same idea all of us as Christians are heirs. What is man again? He is an heir with Christ of this reward.
Again it wasn’t just exclusive here to Romans but Paul would also write to the brethren there in Ephesus. Let’s turn over to Ephesians 3; there we can also see a similar idea here conveyed in similar words about being heirs to this blessing. Ephesians 3:6, this would also help to show us that this being an heir as the child of God isn’t limited to one group of people. Here it says, “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel.” It wasn’t just the Jews any longer as it was according to the Old Law there, the Law of Moses, that were Children of God. When Christ came to this earth, when He died on the cross for our sins He put to death or abolished that Old Law having nailed it there to the cross. Having removed that separation there between Jew and Gentile and in doing such the Gentiles also became what? Well, as the verse indicates here in verse 6, that they should become fellow heirs of the same body. So now the Gentiles along with the Jews, those who become Christians, it didn’t matter your form of background, it didn’t matter if you were Jew or Gentile now you can be of the same body and heirs of that same blessing and of that same inheritance God has to offer that is Heaven itself someday. How do you become a partaker of this? It says there of His promise in Christ through the Gospel, the only way to be an heir again is to be a child of God. Through your obedience to the Gospel you become a son of God, a child of God, and thus you become one who has that inheritance awaiting you, Jew and Gentile alike.
Well not just in Romans, not just here in Ephesians, but also look at James. There are many passages in James that give us very practical lesson, James has often been called that book or that epistle of practical Christian living. One of those verses as it pertains to being an heir is found in James 2:5. No longer was it just Jew and Gentile now there would be no division, it wouldn’t matter if you were rich or poor, it wouldn’t matter at all because God doesn’t show partiality He doesn’t show favoritism. Therefore what do we learn? Well read with me here in James 2:5, James said, “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to those who love Him.” Does it matter if you are rich or poor? It really doesn’t matter in anyway, what you have physically and what you do not have. It doesn’t matter what color you are, it doesn’t matter what language you speak, it doesn’t matter where you are born what matters is if you are a child of God, James says you become an heir here in verse 5 and those who become rich in faith. You think about those Biblical examples like that poor widow who went in and gave her two mites, all that she had, and Jesus said she put in more than all those who put in out of their abundance. Why, because of her faith she gave back to God as she knew she needed to, she sacrificed. Those who may be very poor in this world can still have riches above measure and how can they have those riches? They can have them spiritually because they are heirs with Christ. What is man as a child of God? Man again is an heir with Christ for that great spiritual reward one day in Heaven.
Look with me also in Galatians 3, another verse that would help to further indicate what I mean again to be and hear and who is an heir in this world. Galatians 3:29, as you move to that chapter Paul writes to the brethren in Galatia where he talks about faith and the purpose of the law, then as you move down to verse 29 even before that verse let’s read verse 26 and following, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Again why? Those who are sons of God. And again how? Through faith. So those who are children of God, listen to what He says you have verse 27, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Who is one? Who is it that is able to come together here and share in all this? He says it doesn’t matter whether you are Jew or Greek, slave or free, there is nothing like that, that matters. What matters he says again there as we read the verse in verse 27, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ…” Those who just like in the likeness of Jesus Christ, Christ died, He was buried, and He rose again the third day. Well, in that same likeness we must die to sin. We must be buried with Christ in baptism and when we arise out of those waters, Romans 6:4 we arise to walk in newness of life having put on Christ as we just read in this verse and when we do that we become what? We become a child of God, God washes away our sins there in the waters of baptism, and God adds us to His church Acts 2:47 which is the body of the saved, Christians. Those who have followed God’s plan as we read here in Galatians 3 have become Children of God and as Children what are they, they have become those who are heirs to that inheritance. Read with me then verse 29, the last verse of chapter 3 in Galatians he says, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” You see what really matters is being a child of God because as children of God man is indeed and heir to this great promise that Jesus Christ has made.
Think about verses like John 14, Jesus said I go there to prepare a place for you, a place of what, a mansion. Think about some of those last chapters there in the book of Revelation that describes there what Heaven will be like. A place with no tears and a place with a street of gold and a pearly gate images that describe for us just how wonderful that place will be. No tears, no sadness, no death, no dying, a place of mansions, a place of rejoicing, a place to give God the glory, honor, and praise for all eternity that is the inheritance that doesn’t fade away. The inheritance that belongs to those men and women, those men and women who are Children of God and those who have become heirs because they have followed God’s plan.
Lastly let’s look also at another verse concerning being an heir, Titus 3, as all of these verses begin to show us the same thing but help to emphasize over and over again the fact that indeed we are heirs. Titus 3:7, here as Paul writes to Titus he says, “That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” We have talked about His mansions, we have talked about the street of gold, and we have talked about the inheritance that doesn’t fade away. Here as Paul writes to Titus he clarifies that we are heirs of a spiritual inheritance, we are heirs of something that is eternal there in verse 7 that we have the hope of eternal life. You see in this life we will all return to that dust some day, it is appointed to man once to die and then the judgment (Hebrews). So indeed we know we will all return to the dust unless Jesus Christ comes again while we are still alive but we will all return to that dust but the reality is if we are children of God, if we have lived faithful, we are heirs, we get and inheritance throughout all eternity, eternal life for as long as life continues which is forever there in eternity, it never ends a place with no death. So think about the fact that we are heirs and what it means to be a man/woman before God as a Christian we stand before God as just that.
Let us go back to 1Peter 3 as we consider again what it means to be an heir. We started there in 1 Peter 3 and in verse 7 as he wrote the wives and then the husbands he says this, “That we are heirs together of the grace of life.” Then again inverse 9, “that you may inherit the blessing. When we go back to this idea as we have read all of those verses there in the New Testament that again we clarify for us that we are heirs to that eternal life. To be an heir we must emphasize again that you have to be a child of God. You have to follow God’s saving plan to hear that word of God(Romans 10:17), to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God to believe that He came here to the earth to die on the cross for our sins to believe in the word that he left for us to follow. Hebrews 11:6, without faith or belief it is impossible to please Him. Upon believing you repent and turn away from sin, 2Corinthians 7:10, “For Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation,” that is what you must do as the next step. To confess the name of Christ with the mouth confession is made unto salvation and then to be buried with your savior in baptism as we read there in Galatians 3:26-27. When you do that, when you are baptized you become what again? You become a child of God, a Christian according to the plan that Christ gave in His New Testament. Those who become Christians, whether they be husbands or wives, you see if you go back to 1Peter 3, it says there in verse 8, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.” He begins to talk about all Christians it doesn’t matter who you are, if you are a child of God according to His plan you are an heir an heir of the promise of eternal life. Praise be to God!
(SONG # 3 - “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus!”)
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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Are you a faithful child of God and thus a recipient of the great reward awaiting a true heir of God? Make sure today that you are right with your God, as a real child of the King.