Summary: This first message in the series introduces the topic of my book, "Our Spiritual Inheritance" by giving an overview of what the Bible teaches about all that we inherit because we belong to God. Ten Bible principles are presented briefly.
Our Glorious Inheritance:
Sermon 1: What is our Spiritual Inheritance?
Text: Romans 8: 16-17
Many years back when our family moved to San Antonio we lived, for about six months, in a rented condominium. We picked our temporary lodging primarily because it was economical and close to the church I serve as pastor. We moved in knowing about the covered parking for my two cars, and about the three outside storage closets which we filled with our belongings. But because we hadn’t actually talked to the owner of the condo, there were other amenities we were not aware of, and didn’t take advantage of for the first three months of living there.
Every week my wife would head out with the family laundry to a coin operated Laundromat. Two hours and several stacks of coins later, she would come home lamenting the loss of the use of her own washer and dryer, which were parked in the aforementioned storage areas. As the weather warmed up, we looked for places where the kids could swim, and paid to use public pools. About three months into our time at the condo, the little girl next door invited our girls to go swimming with her at the condo pool. Condo Pool? We had never heard anything about a pool at our condo, but about two blocks away, there it was, and it was ours to use freely.
A week went by, and when walking through our kitchen, I took another look at what I assumed was a hook up for an apartment sized washer. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed before, but it certainly looked like a normal washer hook up, and when I got out a yardstick to measure things, it appeared to be the right size for our washer. Yep, it was a place to hook up our washer all right. We quickly retrieved our machine from storage and hooked it up. Viola! Then when we looked around for a way to string up a clothesline, surprise! There was a 220 hookup for a dryer in a location nearby.
Our reasonably priced condo had amenities we were not aware of, and therefore, did not enjoy for several months, but once we learned about the pool and hooked up our washing machine and dryer it became a terrific palace. We were glad to learn about the extras, but we wished we had known about them from the day we moved in.
Why Study about our Inheritance?
When we become Christians we inherit a wonderful new home in Christ. This home comes with all kinds of extras, much more exciting than a washer hook-up or a pool. All we need to do is consult the owner to start enjoying them. Unfortunately, many believers are not aware of all that is included in their inheritance. Some become Christians merely to escape the fires of hell. There is so much more to our life with God, than just taking out fire insurance against infernal damages. Like our discoveries while living in our condo, believers who take the time to look beyond just the joys of heaven can discover many other features of our eternal inheritance. Our walk with God can go beyond “nice” to “glorious.”
I have chosen to use the word “inheritance” to describe the wonderful blessings God has showered upon us because we belong to him. The words “inheritance,” “inherit,” and “heirs” are used thirty seven times in the New Testament to explain what God has promised and provided to those who are His. This series of messages will uncover, the rich and glorious inheritance God has in store for his people. My hope is that those of you who learn about what God has promised and is providing will grow in your love for God, will dedicate yourselves more fully to his service, will abide in Christ more intimately, and will allow Jesus to live his life within you daily.
Romans 8:16-17 qualifies as a key text to provide a foundation for all that will be covered in this series. We read there, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”(NIV) In all the ways that we have been connected with Christ we have also been granted the privilege to share in his inheritance. And what is included in this inheritance? There is so much that one week end sermon series could hardly cover it all, but we will attempt to introduce the beginnings of the glories that will be revealed to us through our union with Christ.
Furthermore, lest we get sidetracked into thinking that the inheritance we receive involves just the acquisition of goodies from God’s storehouse, we need to comprehend that our greatest inheritance is our connection to God himself. This is what God told Aaron, the high priest concerning his inheritance. In Numbers 18:20 he told Aaron that He (God) was Aaron’s inheritance. To Abraham God said he was his shield and exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1). If there were no other benefits to be gained from our union with God, it would be enough for him to be our inheritance and great reward.