Heirs of God
Bible Reading: Romans 8
Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
A homeless woman on the streets of Astoria, Oregon, died in January 2020, having never collected a penny of the nearly $900,000 fortune she inherited when her mother passed away in 2016. She died broke and destitute on the streets of Astoria. This, after emails, Facebook messages, newspaper advertisements and a private investigator, failed to track her whereabouts.
That story raises a lot of questions, but especially noteworthy is the contradiction of her manner of life to the reality of her wealth. She’d been amply supplied through her mother’s inheritance to be well provisioned, yet she was walking unawares and died in poverty. Just like that, it is possible for us to act like spiritual paupers, despite the reality of our princely position in Christ.
Having been adopted by God, the child of God is an heir of God and a fellow heir with Christ. This inheritance is “kept in heaven” for us and described to be “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:4). Ephesians 1:3 reminds us we’ve been blessed in Christ “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Later in that passage, we read of how the Spirit is “the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession (Ephesians 1:14).
The Spirit’s presence in us testifies both to our identity as a child of God and the heirship associated with our adoption. He is well able to divert our focus away from what we think we lack, so we would behold instead the glories of that which we even now possess in Christ. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians chapter one reminds us of the strategic role the Spirit of God plays in keeping us mindful of our heavenly blessings. His prayer was, in part, that God might give to us “the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of our hearts enlighted,”… that you may know what are “the glorious inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:17-18). We’ll not hear or know of this glorious inheritance through emails, or Facebook messages, or newspaper advertisements, or the work of a private investigator. We know the truth, having the eyes of our hearts enlightened, as a direct result of the working of the Holy Spirit. How important it is for us then, to stay attentive to the Spirit’s witness through the Word so we will walk according to the reality of who we are and all we possess in Christ.
John MacArthur has noted: “Many of us are heirs of those who have very little to bequeath in earthly possessions, and our human inheritance will amount to little, perhaps nothing. But just as God’s resources are limitless, because, as His fellow heirs, we share in everything that the true Son of God, Jesus Christ, inherits. One day everything on earth will perish and disappear, because the whole earth is defiled and corrupted. By great and marvelous contrast, however, one day every believer will ‘obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for (him)’ (1 Peter 1:4)!” The Spirit works to remind us.
A CHILD OF THE KING
My Father is rich in houses and land,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.
Refrain: I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King,
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.
My Father’s own Son, the Savior of men,
Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;
But now He is reigning for ever on high,
And will give me a home in heav’n by and by. [Refrain]
I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice and an alien by birth;
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown. [Refrain]
A tent or a cottage, why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there;
Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing:
All glory to God, I’m a child of the King. [Refrain]