I. IN WHOM WE HAVE AN INHERITANCE.
A. Through Jesus Christ you have become a child of God, and thus an heir of God.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.
1. We have a glorious inheritance.
a. When I was a child my aunt was a housekeeper for a very wealthy family in Montecito. During the summer, the family would be in Europe and I would go up and spend a week with my cousin in the mansion.
b. I used to fantasize being an heir to a rich family.
c. Bless God, I am an heir to the richest family, the family of God, and not of riches that will perish with time, but eternal riches of His kingdom.
2. Peter speaks of our inheritance and declares that it is incorruptible, and undefiled, and fades not away and is reserved in heaven for us who are being kept by the power of God through faith. 1Pet. 1:4
3. Psalms tells us that the inheritance shall be forever.
The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
B. The certainty of the inheritance.
1. God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit as an earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.
2. God has sworn with an oath to confirm the promise.
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath:
That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
C. On what basis do I become an heir?
1. Relationship, through Jesus Christ I have become a son of God. "But as many as received Him to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even as many as believed on His name." And if sons then heirs.
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
a. To be sanctified to be set apart or separated for service. The vessels that were used in the Temple service were not to be used for any other purpose.
b. Our lives should be set apart for service for the Lord, we are not to serve any other masters.
c. We are sanctified through faith.
To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Sanctified through faith in Jesus.
3. Through justification.
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
4. The promise of the kingdom is to those who love Him.
Harken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
D. This inheritance is the sustaining hope of the believer. In a world that is so disdainful of purity and holiness, and Jesus Christ, the Christian finds himself the odd man out. We are as aliens here. Without a hope, we would surely falter, and fall into the pattern of the world.
1. Hebrews speaks of this hope being the anchor to the soul.
2. In Paul's prayer in verse 18 he asked the Lord to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that their eyes of understanding being enlightened, they might know what is the hope of their calling.
3. Paul's desire was that they might know just what God has in store for those who love Him. If they only knew the things that God has in store for those that love Him.
4. Paul had an opportunity to visit the third heaven and declared that it would be a crime to try to describe the glorious things that he had heard.
5. It is so important that we catch the eternal perspective.
II. "ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIM THAT WORKETH EVERYTHING AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL."
A. Here again we come face to face with the sovereignty of God.
1. He works out His purposes after the counsel of His own will.
2. I must say that the thought of the sovereignty of God could terrify me if I did not know God.
B. What is His purpose?
1. He is not willing that any should perish, but that they should come to a knowledge of Him.
2. He has purposed that you should be conformed to the image of His Son.
3. He has purposed that you should inherit the kingdom.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
C. The certainty of His purposes.
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
1. As a child and an heir of the kingdom of God that should give you all kinds of comfort and joy, knowing that the purposes of God shall stand.
2. I am thrilled when I think what God has purposed for me, for my future. For I know that He is going to do His good pleasure.
III. WHAT HAS GOD FURTHER PURPOSED FOR US? THAT WE SHOULD BE TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY.
A. In verse 6 Paul speaks of the praise of the glory of His grace. It is the understanding and receiving the grace that leads to spontaneous praise.
B. God wants and has purposed that you should be to the praise of His glory.
1. I believe that God wants you to live so that people will praise Him as they see His work in and through your life.
a. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that when they see your good works, they will glorify your Father which is in heaven."
b. The prophet Isaiah said,
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
2. Paul speaks to the Galatians of the people glorifying God in Him.
3. In his letter to the Thessalonians he speaks of Christ coming to be glorified in His saints.
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power:
That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. How often do we see in the ministry of Jesus how that after He had done miracles among the people that they glorified God.
5. Peter wrote,
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.