A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with God, and He said to me, “Pete you think sons/daughters and heirs are the same thing, don’t you?” I agreed, but I also knew that God wasn’t asking me the question to establish that He agreed with my perspective! “That isn’t true” He responded, which led me to start to think about the subject, and study it in more detail.
Romans 8:17 says “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” So, it is clear that children of God become heirs of God. However, God was showing me that there is more to this subject than that simple belief and he has been leading me to an understanding about what being an heir means that I need to grasp.
A verse in Galatians chapter 5 has also been intriguing me lately: “For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.”My understanding of the Bible is that when someone is born again they immediately become righteous, which leads me to wonder what exactly are we waiting for? It would appear that righteousness is not a static state of existence, but something to enter into and explore more fully.
As I studied both these passages, I came to the conclusion that these ideas of inheritance and righteousness are, in fact, linked to each other in an important way, and a further scripture from Romans chapter 4 was particularly influential to my thinking: “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”
Righteousness is the manner by which the promise of inheritance is acquired and put into practice. Later on in Romans 4 we are told that the promise to Abraham has been passed on and guaranteed to all those enter into the Christian faith. The promise of God to Abraham basically was “I will bless you and through you I will bless all the nations of the world.” So what does it meanto be an heir of the world? This has really got my brain buzzing and my thoughts developing. I am learning that with Inheritance comes responsibility to steward resources, use them wisely, cause them to grow, and to pass on that increased inheritance to future generations. Receiving an inheritance requires maturity in learning how to manage greater resources – not just money – but also influence, trust, opportunities and relationships.
Remember the parable of the Prodigal son, which teaches us two wrong approaches towards inheritance: the younger son was selfish and reckless with his inheritance, whilst the older son denied that he had received an inheritance, lived in resentment, and regarded himself as a poor slave rather than a true son. My current thinking is that Righteousness is a journey of increasing maturity in godliness that enables access to resources in God’s kingdom which we haven’t experienced as yet. Children need to mature in Righteousness so that they know how to manage inheritance well.
The description of a journey into Christianity in Psalm 65:1-5 has helped me in my understanding and thinking: Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, God our Saviour, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
By accepting God’s forgiveness of our sin, we are born again and drawn close to God as children who live in His house. We get to enjoy the good things of His house and the resources of heaven.
Our righteousness opens up for us a lifestyle of awesome deeds that will touch the ends of the earth. This is the outcome of righteousness we are waiting for and eagerly expecting. Not only us, but also “all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” (Romans 8:19)
It is time for the sons and daughters of God to mature into the fullness of their inheritance, take responsibility for the world around them, and use the resources given to them to release more of Heaven on Earth.
Heaven in Healthcare
Before we go…..a quick reminder to save the date!
Remember to keep 1 & 2 October 2021 free for our Autumn HiH Conference! We’ll be sending you more details about this in due course.