What Does It Mean to be “Co-Heirs with Christ”?

Today, I invite you into the lawyer’s office.  A lawyer who determines the rightful heirs to an estate, who follows the mandates of a written will or trust, and distributes the rightful inheritance of that estate to the legal heirs who are named in that will.

17861521_10155098380251758_7337817374812443420_nIn that light, we can consider the Bible to be “The Will of God” – see what I did there :-).  For the purposes of this message, I have just pulled out a few significant portions and put them together on scroll – here is what it says:

The Will of God

We, The Lord, the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, All-Creating, All-Powerful, Omnipresent – the Everlasting; Beginning and End; Who Was, and Is, and Is to Come – Creator of continents and constellations, of ocean depths and heaven heights – Source of all life and breath – the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness – the I AM that I Am:

Being of sound mind and resurrected body, do hereby declare that the words stated in My Word are true, binding, and eternal, and that it is and has always been My good and perfect will to give the following as an inheritance to My Beloved. (Ephesians 1:5)

What I want to share with you today is what God has to say, in His own words, about the inheritance He promises to His Beloved children.  First to Christ.  And then to all those who are in Christ, by faith, whom Jesus counts as His own brothers and sisters within the family of God.

To My only begotten Son, Jesus, who is God and became man – the Savior of humanity and Redeemer of all creation: to Him, I give everything.

The second verse of Hebrews 1 says “God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance.” Or in another translation: “God appointed His Son to be heir of all things.”(Hebrews 1:2)

According to this verse, what has God given Jesus?  Everything!  What, then, has God withheld from Jesus?  Nothing!

“God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe.  The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command.  When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.” (Hebrew 1:2-3)

And so right away, we get included.  There is no hesitation.  We get included in Christ’s inheritance.  “When He had cleansed us from our sins”.  When He had completed His work – which He completed on our behalf – He sat down in His rightful place of highest honor in heaven.

The next chapter of Hebrews says that…

Jesus is “the Author of salvation”, and He “brings many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).

Ladies, you are not left out.  In Biblical language, “sons” is a generic term that means “children” – all children, both male and female – sons and daughters alike.  So Jesus is “the Author of salvation”, who “brings many sons (and daughters) to glory”.

Hebrews 2 goes on to tell us that…

“So now Jesus and the ones He makes holy have the same Father.”

WHOA.  That is a HUGE statement!  Another translation says,

“Both the One who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.” (Hebrews 2:11)

This beautiful explanation continues!

“That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them His brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 2:11)

Hebrews 2-11WOW!  Are you seeing this?

  1. Jesus is God’s Son and the rightful heir to everything God has.  (God has promised everything to the Son as an inheritance.)
  2. Jesus’ work is to cleanse us from sin and to bring us to glory, making us holy before God.
  3. Those He makes holy are now part of His family – they share the same Father with Him – Jesus shares His sonship with us – and Jesus joyfully calls us His brothers and sisters.

Hebrews 2 continues on:

“Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood.  For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.  Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Flip on over to Hebrews 9:15.

“That is why He (Jesus) is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them.  For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.”  (Hebrews 9:15)

It is amazing to realize all that we inherit from God through Christ Jesus – and we’ve only looked at two brief references in Hebrews!

And so, to my children in Christ, by grace, through faith, I give cleansing, holiness, and glory.  I give inclusion in My eternal family as My own children!  My beloved sons and daughters, whom Jesus is proud to call His brothers and sisters.  I give freedom from the fear of death.  I give freedom from the penalty of sin.

17835051_10155214919441912_8248317229086608784_oSeveral beautiful verses from Romans reinforce these teachings from Hebrews:

Romans 6:7-10 (MSG) – “Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call!  What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in His life-saving resurrection.  We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead, it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end.  Never again will death have the last word.  When Jesus died, He took sin down with Him, but alive, He brings God down to us.”

Romans 8:10-11 – “If Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.  The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.  And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”

Now flip over to Romans 8:14…

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves to fear; rather, you received the Spirit of sonship as God’s adopted children.  And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are His children, then we are His heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:14-17)

Flip forward one more chapter to Romans 9, verse 25.  This verse is actually quoting God’s Word that was spoken hundreds of years before to the prophet Hosea.  It says:

Romans 9-25I’ll call the nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them My Beloved.  In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!”, they are now calling you “God’s beloved children.” (Hosea 1:10, 2:23; Romans 9:25 MSG)

And so, far beyond freedom from fear – far beyond freedom from the penalty of sin – God gives us LIFE through Jesus – eternal and abundant!

To everyone who is in Christ, I give life – eternal and abundant. (Romans 8:10-11)  “I have come that you might have a full, abundant life.” (John 10:10)  Whoever has the Son has life, and life eternal (1 John 5:12; John 3:36).

Let’s consider something together for just a moment: why fatherhood?  Why did God choose to relate to us as Father?  He is unlimited.  His creativity is unlimited.  He literally could have chosen any kind of relationship that He could think of to relate to those rescued & redeemed by Christ, and He chose that of Father & children.

This is no analogy.  This is not a metaphor or a figure-of-speech.  This is literal – this is who He is, and this is who we are.  In the Lord’s Prayer, in Matthew 6, when Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, what did He teach them to call God?  What are the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer?  “Our Father”.

We are given this message to take literally.

“To all who receive Him (Jesus), to those who believe in His Name, He gives the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

By grace, through faith, you have been adopted, by Me, to be My beloved sons and daughters, to be proudly received by My Son as His own brothers and sisters, and as a result, to be counted as My heirs and co-heirs with My Son, including all the rights, status, privileges, and inheritance pertaining thereto.

Co-Heir With ChristIf you have accepted Christ’s free gift of grace and placed your faith in Jesus, then you are an heir to all that God has given to Jesus!  Your name is written on God’s will!  His inheritance is your inheritance!

If you have not accepted Christ’s free gift of grace – if you haven’t yet trusted in Jesus – what’s stopping you?  What is preventing you from taking the step of faith to be included in Christ’s grace, Christ’s family, Christ’s inheritance – which, by the way, He wants to share with you (John 10:10 & 1 Timothy 2:4).  God’s pen sits in His hand – uncapped – eager and poised to add your name to the inheritance of life through Christ!

I’m talking about so much more than heaven or hell!  I’m talking about full, free, abundant life!  I’m talking about a complete status change from spiritual orphan to beloved child.  Redemption from spiritual death; resurrection with Jesus into spiritual life!  Deliverance from the tyranny of unfulfilling desires.  Freedom to walk in the life you were made for.

I’m talking about an eternal inheritance that starts right here, right now.  As Sons.  As Daughters.  As Heirs to the Kingdom of God.  Sharing in all the status, all the rights, all the privileges of His beloved Son, Jesus.

_____________

Here’s some more great stuff on being co-heirs with Christ that you can explore further:

  • Galatians 3:15, 18b-19, 23-27, 29, 4:1-7 (MSG & NIV)
  • Colossians 3:24 (MSG & NIV)
  • Ephesians 5:1 (MSG & NIV)
  • Isaiah 9:6
  • Acts 2:38-39
  • Ephesians 1:3-14
  • 2 Corinthians 1:20-22
  • Luke 15:11-12, 31
  • 1 Peter 1:3-5
  • John 1:12-13
  • John 14:1-3
  • 1 John 3:1
  • 2 Corinthians 6:18

Jesus is the Elder Brother.  In ancient Jewish culture, the elder brother received the largest share of the inheritance.  The younger siblings all received much less than the first-born son.  But not so with Jesus.  Jesus makes us co-heirs together with Himself.  By His generous grace, we get to fully share in the full inheritance that belongs to Him!

One response to “What Does It Mean to be “Co-Heirs with Christ”?

  1. Pingback: Is the Bible to be taken Literally or Figuratively? | LikeTreesPlanted·

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