While God receives us as His sons and daughters, He also makes us His servants. However, we are more than God’s servants — we also are His friends. This week, we add that we also are His heirs; therefore, we are joint heirs with Christ, His incarnate and now glorified Son.
Hebrews 1:2 tells us that Christ, as God’s Son, has been “appointed heir of all things.” When believers are joined to Christ in saving faith, we also are joined with Him in His eternal inheritance.
After asserting that Christians are children of God as attested by the witness of God’s Spirit with our spirits, Romans 8:16–17 continues the thought with, “And if children then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” As Christ’s joint heirs, we stand to share in His heavenly and eternal inheritance.
This same truth is further attested by Ephesians 1:11: “In Him [Christ] also we have obtained an inheritance.” The overflow of this fact should be gratitude to God “who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12).
This gratitude is deeply rooted in divine grace, not human deserving.
This important reminder was part of the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the leaders of the Ephesian church recorded in Acts 20:32: “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
We are God’s heirs based on His saving grace, not our merit.
What is included in this inheritance? For one thing, Christians receive a heavenly home. This aspect of being heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ is mirrored or foreshadowed by the earthly counterpart in which heirs often receive the family residence as their own.
At best, this is an inadequate comparison — the earthly heir receives a residence that has been used and possibly shows age. The heavenly home that awaits God’s family will be newly furnished by His Son, who has gone to prepare a place for us.
Also included in the heavenly inheritance is riches untold. To the extent it may exist, the family wealth usually passes to the legal heirs. What accountant could ever calculate the heavenly riches awaiting God’s heirs?
Editor’s Note – Jerry Batson is a retired Alabama Baptist pastor who also has served as associate dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University and professor of several schools of religion during his career.