Guaranteed Heirs :: YouVersion Event
Church Requel
Guaranteed Heirs
So far in Ephesians 1, we have learned that God has blessed us, chosen us, adopted us and redeemed us and makes us insiders. Today we learn that God even provides us a guaranteed inheritance!
Locations & Times
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  • Church Requel
    2 Marion Ave, Mansfield, OH 44903, USA
    Thursday 11:00 AM
Why "Requel?"
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Here at Church Requel we want to celebrate the good news of Jesus in a way that makes sense and relates to every day people. From the songs we sing (contemporary) to the clothes we wear (casual) to the language we use (understandable) we want to be “requel” in our approach. We want to retell the story that has been around for more than 2,000 years in a new, fresh way with a message each week that is straight from the Bible. We invite you to join us as we sing, pray, celebrate and learn from the Word of God.

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Guaranteed Heirs

Isn’t Ephesians 1 the best chapter ever for informing us exactly who we are as followers of Christ? We are blessed beyond believing. We were chosen before the foundation of the world. We are adopted children to Father God Himself. God redeemed us from our sins - bought us back so that we could have a relationship with Him. And He makes us insiders, so that we might know the mystery of His will. Wow! That’s just the first 10 verses. How could there possibly be more? There is!

#1 - We have received an INHERITANCE.

“In Him we have obtained an inheritance… / In Him you also…” Ephesians 1:11a, 13a

For most of us the idea of receiving an inheritance is a foreign idea. If our parents are still alive then we wouldn’t have yet received any inheritance from them. If our parents passed away young, there likely wasn’t much of an inheritance to leave. Honestly, most of us won’t have the financial resources to do more than sustain us, let alone any heirs. The last time I looked, there weren’t any trust fund babies among us here at Church Requel.

Yet, here and in other places in Scripture, God promises us an inheritance. And clearly this is an inheritance that goes way beyond financial! What does the all-powerful, all-knowing, forever living God need money for anyway? Yet God leaves us an inheritance even greater than money! The inheritance is “IN HIM.” We literally receive the kingdom of Christ - Christ Himself - as our inheritance.

It’s important that we see that we have ALREADY obtained this inheritance! We are accustomed to receiving an inheritance after someone’s death. Then there is the reading of the will and then - possibly - a transfer of assets from the estate to us.

AND THAT’S TRUE HERE TOO! The death was that of Jesus Christ! The result of his death AND resurrection is that we have already heard the reading of the will. That’s called the gospel! So we have ALREADY obtained this inheritance. The reason this is important is that we often think of this inheritance as something we receive after we die. No, we receive it now!

When Paul is writing this, he does something interesting he rarely does… but it is to emphasize this point of already receiving the inheritance. In verse 11 he talks about receiving this inheritance in the first person plural pronoun - “WE”. However, he wants to makes certain we know we are also included in that “WE”, so in verse 13, he writes, “In Him you also…”

In my former career, I earned my living by helping people establish trusts. So I have some understanding of how this works. People with financial resources want to make sure that their heirs - either family members or charitable organizations - continue to receive their financial support. So they establish a trust. To have a trust, you need a written document and 3 parties: the grantor, the trustee, and the beneficiary. In these verses we learn about the trust (the inheritance) that God has already established for us.

#2 - God is the GRANTOR of our inheritance.

“… having been predestined according to the purpose of Him Who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Ephesians 1:11b

The grantor of a trust is the person who is responsible for establishing the trust. He or she is the one who thought about the need for it and took the steps necessary to get it started. The grantor is the one who funds the trust, who deposits the assets into the trust. The Bible tells us that we also have a Grantor to our trust, to our inheritance, and this Person is none other than the Lord God Himself!

Once again we see this word predestined. Remember we saw this word back in verse 5. Several weeks ago we talked about how God predestined us for adoption. God didn’t just stop there with our adoption, He took the next legal step and established an inheritance for us also. This whole first phrase of verse 11, “In Him we have obtained an inheritance,” is grammatically placed in the subjective. What happened to make this possible? “… having been predestined according to the purpose of Him.” We could read the second part first to put it in the right order of things. God predestined. We have obtained an inheritance.

I would like you also to note the legality of these words. Perhaps you haven’t thought of it this way before, but you should. We are all familiar with the reading of the will. What does that mean? The formal words at the beginning of a will - “This is the last will and testament…” meaning this is what the deceased wanted. This is his will. The same is true here. This inheritance we obtain is “according to the counsel of His will.” You even have the word “counsel” here, as in when one makes a will, he/she seeks legal counsel of an attorney to draw up the will. The language here could not be more legal / more formal / more official!

#3 - We are the BENEFICIARIES.

“So that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:12

Those who place their hope in Christ are the beneficiaries of God’s predestined will. Christ followers are the ones who have already obtained the inheritance. Literally what this is formally saying is that those who have placed their hope in Christ receive the kingdom of Christ!

This is all according to God’s will, according to God’s purpose. We receive Christ. We live according to Christian principles, sharing, loving, welcoming, helping, healing, giving and in so doing we become the praise of God’s glory. This is another fancy way of saying worship! As beneficiaries, we are worshipers of God as we live for Him! He gives us His inheritance. We give Him our praise. Full circle!

#4 - The legal document: THE GOSPEL.

“… when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him…” Ephesians 1:13b

Paul puts three things togetherthat is vital for understanding and accepting our inheritance as Christians.

(1) Hearing the word of truth. So much packed into such a little phrase. A lot has been made about truth these days. Everyone seems to have “their truth.” You can have your truth. I can have my truth. Today we’re told that my truth and your truth don’t have to be the same. But in that conventional wisdom of the day is another truth. Truth is truth, whether it’s yours or mine… that is, if it’s really the truth. Truth doesn’t change depending on the person or the circumstances. That’s what makes it the truth. In the church we use the words, absolute truth. But the truth is, the “absolute” is unnecessary if the truth is really true. “The word of truth” when it comes from the Word, the God Who became man and telling us how things really are, the real truth… when we hear that - it changes us.

(2) The gospel of your salvation. This is the good news of Jesus Christ. That He died for our sins. That He was resurrected on the third day. That He ascended into Heaven and is seated on the throne of Heaven at the right hand of God the Father. That His perfect sacrifice makes it possible for us to be blessed, to be chosen, to be adopted, to be redeemed, to know God and His will. That’s the gospel. It fills the pages of this Bible, also known as the word of truth, God’s Word! It is the official document that describes our salvation from being on the outside with God to being on the inside with God.

(3) And believed In Him. This is the difference between two people who hear the word of truth, the gospel of salvation. One person chooses to believe. Another chooses not to believe. One persons puts faith and trust into the gospel. Another disregards the gospel. One becomes a Christ follower. Another does not.

When a person receives a gift of real estate through a will or trust, it is necessary to go down to the courthouse with the document in hand and transfer the title of the real estate into the new name. Imagine for a moment that you are the beneficiary of real estate, but you never acted on the document. You never went down to the courthouse and changed the title into your name. The will is still there. The trust is still there. But the title has not changed. It doesn’t have your name on it, because you never took action. You never relied upon it.

The same is true with the gospel. It is there for you. Christ has sacrificed for you. Your inheritance awaits you. But you have to believe it. You have to act upon it. You have to place your trust in it. The title to your heart has to change names. How about you this morning? Have you changed your heart title to Christ follower? Not just in name, but in your actions as well?

You may recall that I told you that with a trust document there are three parties. We’ve talked about the grantor of this inheritance: God the Father. We’ve talked about the beneficiaries of this inheritance: you and me. We’ve even talked about the document itself - the gospel. But what about the trustee of our inheritance. Who is it that manages and keeps our inheritance safe for us? Who is the trustee?

#5 - The trustee of our Inheritance: THE HOLY SPIRIT.

“… were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13b-14

The trustee is the person who manages the assets until the final transfer takes place. God has given us an amazing Trustee - The Holy Spirit! He is described here as the “guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.” What does that mean? I thought in verse 11 we read that we have already obtained our inheritance. Now it looks like we haven’t. What gives?

In a very real sense, we who are Christ-followers are “trust fund kids”. We are the beneficiaries of a great fortune. Yet, we are not yet fully in possession of it. That is yet to come. We possess the trust. We benefit from the trust. But there is still more to come. Like a trust fund kid, we still need the services of the trustee to help us with our inheritance in the here and now.

The NIV uses another word in this verse which I find to be very helpful:

“The promised Holy Spirit, Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.” Ephesians 1:13b-14a NIV

You and I have received the Holy Spirit within us, when we become Christ followers. We have within us that still small voice of Christ, who advises us, Who reminds us of Christ’s teaching, Who guides us in our decisions, Who helps us in our prayers. This Deposit is what guarantees us, affirms us our resolve, keeps us solid in our faith, when we doubt, when we are struggling.

Conclusion: How does this talk about our inheritance from God matter to us today? Sure, it’s good to know. But does it make any difference in how we live? Absolutely! It makes all the difference in the world!

Are you living a rich spiritual life? Knowing that God has blessed you? That God has chosen you? That God has adopted you? That God has redeemed you? That God has made you an insider? That God has given to you an inheritance already fully funded and guaranteed?

Or are you living poorly? Maybe even with the world’s riches of wealth and fame and popularity on the outside, but poor on the inside, where it really counts. It’s possible to be rich on the outside and poor on the inside!

Where is your treasure? Do you know your true treasure in Christ? There is a very good reason why Jesus taught us:

“Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

In today’s Scripture from Ephesians we are taught just how rich we are! We are God’s trust fund children! We are wealthy beyond our comprehension! We have every reason to enjoy life to it’s fullest, no matter what difficulties we face. Because we have God on our side.

More to the point, we are on God’s side. And He watches out for His own! How about you this morning? Do you know your true treasure? Are you focused on your true wealth? On your inheritance from God!?