Summary: Through our inheritance in Christ, we have certain rights that we are free to exercise
“What’s Christmas All About? Claiming Your Inheritance”
The city of Grand Haven was having difficulty with skateboard traffic. skateboarders were everywhere, weaving in and out and over walkers and drivers anywhere, anytime. So the city passed laws prohibiting skateboarding in public areas and then built a special skateboard park, complete with ramps and obstacles, and established an admission fee. But the young people were not happy. So it made the news. Interviewed by a TV reporter, one brash teen said, “It’s my right to skate board wherever I want, whenever I want.”
“It’s my right!” We hear it all the time. Unions strike because of rights; welfare recipients and program directors harp on it constantly. Minorities and majorities shout it powerfully. And certainly we all have some basic rights, but the idea of rights is abused and misused all too frequently. Still we’re going to think today about our rights. Jesus, after all, secured some for us.
In Galatians 4, Paul reminds us that Jesus was sent on a mission - He came into the slave market of our world and purchased us and freed us “that we might receive the full rights of sons.” So we do have some rights through Jesus Christ. And WE CAN EXERCISE OUR RIGHTS BY CLAIMING THE BENEFITS OF OUR INHERITANCE IN CHRIST. According to Paul, there are three significant aspects of our inheritance which, when claimed, give us those rights.
The first aspect is that we have an IDENTITY THROUGH POSITION. “Because you are sons...” We have been given the full rights of a natural born, mature heir. The Roman father had the discretion to determine when a son was “of age” to become the legal heir to his estate. Until that time the son had no more access to the inheritance than a slave. So Paul says God chose the time when Jesus came and gave us our inheritance. He paid the price; through no merit of our own WE HAVE THE FULL RIGHTS of natural born sons. As John wrote (1Jn. 3:1), “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Perhaps you can recall the thrill and honor of being chosen for that starring role, or making the team, or being elected to that key position, or receiving that honor or recognition, or getting that job you so desperately desired; it only pales in comparison with the thrill, honor, and privilege of being chosen by God, of being granted full status, equal with his Son, Jesus. That’s right - equal to the status of Jesus. We are His brothers and sisters!
Think about that. WHATEVER BELONGS TO CHRIST BELONGS TO US! We have the same name, the same inheritance, the same position, the same rights as Jesus! When people all around us are having identity crises, trying to find out who they are, trying to discover their inner selves, searching for their roots, trying to build their sense of self-worth on their achievements - we can be secure in the knowledge that we are children of God the Father, in equal standing with Jesus! It doesn’t get any better than this! As the Living Bible paraphrases verse 7, we have access to “everything God has.” Whatever belongs to Christ belongs to us. We don’t need to earn it, buy it, deserve it - it’s ours!