In these articles, we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism, published in the 17th Century. Recently, we’ve been looking at the mediation Christ brings to the church. We saw that part of Christ’s mediation involves adoption, which is an act of God’s free grace whereby God’s name is put upon you and you are brought into God’s fatherly care. But what else does adoption involve?
One of the privileges of adoption is that you become an heir within the family. You are entitled to an inheritance!
And it is no different in God’s family. If you become one of his children, you receive an inheritance from God.
The apostle Paul teaches us this truth. In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul reminds the Christians of their adoption and then their inheritance: ‘For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 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. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us’ (Romans 8:15-18).
What is the inheritance that we receive as God’s adopted children? Eternal life in heaven itself. In Paul’s letter to Titus, we read: ‘But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life’ (Titus 3:4-7).
And we don’t just inherit an eternal existence. The Bible also says that we will be richly rewarded in paradise. The apostle Peter wrote: ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Sadly we don’t know all the specifics of what our inheritance will look like. But if you want to see some of the marvellous details we do have, you should read the final chapters of Revelation and Isaiah in the Bible. For now, we trust that our good God is preparing a delightful inheritance for his children, that will continue for all eternity.
But how do you get to be adopted by God and receive an eternal inheritance? The Bible is clear – if we repent of our sins and trust that Jesus Christ died for us, we belong to God and are co-heirs with Christ.
So have you repented of your sins and trusted in Jesus Christ? Are you looking forward to an eternal inheritance from God?