This weekend, I led our Sunday School Class through Ephesians 1:13-19. It’s a great passage, but one thing in particular struck me. It’s that in those few short verses Paul uses the word “inheritance” twice. The first occurs in verse 14:
He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.
Paul talks about the Holy Spirit as earnest money. If you’ve ever bought a house, you know that you have to put down some earnest money as part of the contract. The earnest money isn’t the full amount, but it’s the amount of money you have to forfeit if you back out of the account. To Paul, the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence is like earnest money. It’s a deposit given to us by God that makes us sure He will uphold His end of the deal. It makes us sure that He will carry us onto completion, and we will receive our whole inheritance.
So what is that inheritance? We could say it’s heaven, eternity, mansions, streets of gold, no more tears, and all the other stuff heaven brings along with it. But ultimately, I think you have to say the inheritance is the thing which makes heaven so heavenly – our inheritance is God. It’s knowing Him fully and completely. That’s what makes heaven so good, and that is what’s waiting for us. But Paul wasn’t done.
If we skip down to verse 18, this is what we find:
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Do you see the difference? In this verse, “inheritance” isn’t talking about God or heaven; it’s talking about us. We are the inheritance. So who is inheriting us? Who is waiting for us? Who considers us so valuable? It’s God. We are God’s inheritance.
It’s unfathomable to think about what Christ did on the cross, that He bought something for us, but He also bought something for God. Jesus secured both our inheritances, and now God waits in expectation to fully inherit His.
We have that going for us. Not only do we have an inheritance stored up for us, but we are of such value to the Creator that we are stored up for Him to the praise of His glory. This is a good reminder to me as gas prices are high, the economy is down, and jobs are in question… but we are nonetheless rich in God. And maybe He’s rich in us, too.