Friday in the First Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 1:11-14

Obtaining an Inheritance

And so we now come to the most wonderful benefit of our election, which is that we have “obtained an inheritance.”  Now the Greek is subtle in this place.  Bruce translates the Greek, “we were claimed by God as his portion” (NICNT, 262), emphasizing the passive voice of the Greek verb; that is, not so much that we have obtained an inheritance but that we have been obtained as an inheritance (portion, heritage) by God.  Imagine that: We are His heritage, His portion.  Thus, whichever translation we choose, the outcome is the same: We have a heavenly inheritance waiting for us, to which we have been predestined as God’s chosen ones.  After all, our Lord said, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).

I once heard an earnest Christian gentleman, who was yet a babe in Christ, say that heaven was just the icing on the cake—that living this life as a Christian was that good.  Well, I confess that I’ve certainly lived a “charmed” life compared to the rest of humanity but to suggest that being with God and beholding His glory for all eternity is simply the topping of a wonderful Christian life on earth is, well…ridiculous.  As Paul said, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19).  And the Christian doesn’t just desire heaven as a wonderful place to be; the Christian desires heaven for God Himself, to behold His glory.  And he desires God’s reign for the vindication of God’s great name.  He desires Christ’s return ruling the nations with a rod of iron that our Lord’s kingship be made manifest for all the nations to see—that they see the One whom they pierced and mourn (Revelation 1:7).  To sum: As the Christian draws closer to God, he desires heaven not so much for his sake, but God’s sake—whose sake then becomes his own.

And we are told again that all of this is “according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”  I take comfort in that.  I would rather be subject to God’s will than man’s will, any day.  For heaven’s sake (literally), I would rather be subject to God’s will than mine own!  And that we may know this, God has been gracious to give us of His Holy Spirit abiding within us, “who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.”  The Christian has the witness in himself that he is a child of God as the Holy Spirit bears such witness within him (Romans 8:16).  As such the Spirit is our “down payment” of heaven, and this “to the praise of His glory.”  It’s all about God’s glory, from beginning to end, from predestination to glorification and everything in between. And all cry “Glory!”

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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