Your True Inheritance
In a previous post, I mentioned how Jesus is our true retirement—our true Sabbath rest that awaits us. As you think about riches, bank accounts, 401(k)s, and your finances in general, we need to remember that only what we have in Christ is truly imperishable. Again, there is nothing wrong with wise savings, but even in your saving money, don’t lose sight of your true inheritance. We may not build bigger barns for our riches like the man in the gospels did, but we often open more bank accounts and investments. We think we can plan our safety net for the future when in reality our true safety net is in the LORD alone. He may allow you to have a little nest egg, but that too is his good grace that you dedicate to him.
1Pet. 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
How do I respond to the good grace of God and recognize my true inheritance?
(1) Bless God the Father who has set up your inheritance for you. A few years back, we had our wills done. If something unexpected happens to us, our kids won’t get rich but there will be a little provision for them. I know my one daughter will be very thankful that at some point [hopefully a long way off] she inherits my comic book collection. When our parents make provisions for us and even think of our future (like maybe saving for a wedding or college), as children we are grateful. So too, are you grateful to God? What is the depth of your gratefulness? The depth of your gratefulness will be proportional to the depth of your understanding of the value and the cost of your inheritance. Give thanks and bless God for what you have coming to you as an inheritance.
1 Pet. 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!”
(2) Recognize the action of the Father to bring you to the inheritance. “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again.” When we wrote our wills a couple years ago, we were seeking to make provision for our kids and their future. My children did not write what they wanted, we were the ones who apportioned where assets should go to take care of our children.
The same is true with God. You bless him because He has caused you to be born again. You were not the first cause or the initiator of the inheritance. You did not walk up to God and say “yes, give me what is mine.” God caused you to be born again. God set forth Christ. God established the plan and then executed the will in the work of Christ. Your inheritance is secure because of His work not because of your reception of it.
John 1:12-13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
(3) Look at the inheritance that you have been born for. It is not a natural birth that gives you your eternal inheritance but a supernatural birth. “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Your hope is a living hope because Christ is alive. Your hope is secure because Christ lives and has inherited in His resurrected glorified humanity all the riches and majesty of heaven. Peter focuses not on the cross here, although certainly the cross secures our inheritance, but he focuses on the resurrection. The resurrection secures your inheritance in just an equally powerful way as the cross. You cannot have one without the other in the accomplishment of redemption. It is through Christ’s resurrection that you and I come to new life in the Lord Jesus Christ! That is our inheritance.
(4) Consider the quality of your inheritance. “to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” When it comes to inheritances there is no bank more secure and impenetrable than heaven itself. There is no banker who can guarantee an investment more surely than Christ can guarantee His blood. Christ is not only the “banker” holding the invested inheritance but he is the purchaser of it. He invested His own blood in securing your inheritance and His investment will not fail but will indeed accomplish what He intended. Not one ounce of blood that Christ has shed will drop to the ground and fail in its purchase of a people unto an inheritance.
Your inheritance is not earthly but heavenly. Since it is of such high quality and it came at such a price, it is “is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” We don’t typically use coinage like the ancient word but I’m sure we’ve all seen a dirty faded dimming ugly penny. We’ve all had dirty and torn money, maybe some that is no good. Consider how a country might collapse and its money worthless—oil rich countries like Venezuela have paper money not worth the paper it’s printed on; or if you had lived in the south during the Civil War consider how absolutely worthless its money quickly became with its demise. Men and countries cannot guarantee the value of what they issue. Christ absolutely and unfailingly guarantees the value of the inheritance that is yours in him. Christ is guarding you by God’s power:
1Pet. 1:5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Consider this then: whatever you are going through, you can actually rejoice. Turn your eyes heavenward and look at your inheritance. Hold fast to your faith because Christ has guaranteed your inheritance, all of these riches are yours in Him:
1Pet. 1:6-7 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Everything now, even if it lasts for decades or a lifetime, is really only just “for a little while”. Let whatever happens to you and is happening to you result in praise, glory, and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what Peter starts with “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” and so should we.
Tim Bertolet is a graduate of Lancaster Bible College and Westminster Theological Seminary. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is an ordained pastor in the Bible Fellowship Church. He is a husband and father of four daughters. You can follow him on Twitter @tim_bertolet.