The inheritance for the Christian begins with eternal life, a transformed body, new heavens and a new earth, and extends literally to all there is. We are co-heirs with Christ, meaning all that Christ has received in his ascension and final victory over evil, we will receive. The realization of all that won’t come until later, yet it is ours. We will reign under him over all the universe! Jesus told his disciples to not be afraid of provisional lack because “God has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”
This inheritance is “imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
Read here what God does to secure this inheritance for us. Notice the large type. This is one long sentence:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has CAUSED US TO BE BORN AGAIN to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are PROTECTED BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).
So what does he do for you to be able to obtain the inheritance?
- You see it, don’t you? He CAUSED US TO BE BORN AGAIN…to obtain an inheritance. That’s the first thing. When our dead souls are made alive we breathe the air of “living hope,” that is, for the first time there is an expectation of something far better than our conniving sin could ever gain for us. Like a newborn baby gulping in his first breaths, we are exhilarated about the lung full of hope we have because Christ was raised from the dead and we are therefore going to be raised “in him” to enjoy our promised inheritance.
- But how can we be sure we will make it from the new birth to the inheritance? Answer: We are PROTECTED BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH for a future salvation ready to be revealed later. New birth is essential, but protection is just as essential.
Nothing is more powerful than God, and he will protect or keep us for the inheritance. But he doesn’t do this without our living faith. Faith will persevere because of his power and promise, but it is faith nonetheless. It is a faith that will be tested and will endure as the following verses make clear. The enduring faith is the saving faith. He powerfully keeps us with this type of faith which fully relies on his strength.
The inheritance is a big deal. It’s not just a “throw in.” In fact, the entire history of the world as recorded in the Bible is all about it. We begin in our “land” Eden, lose it by sin, watch Israel become a “type” all about recovering it (but the “promised land” turns out not to be the real inheritance after all, they discover—see Hebrews 11). We then experience the coming of Christ into history to clear the way for his people to have it through death and resurrection, then see ahead a description of it in the final book of the Bible. That vision shows it to be a much greater thing than the original Eden. So, don’t treat it lightly.
The passage continues with this phrase, “In this you greatly rejoice.”
The last two words are really one word in the original language. It means something like “you jump for joy” concerning it.