The Inheritance of the Saints & the Tearing Down of Division

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Ephesian saints. More specifically today’s passage begins with the seventeenth verse of the fourth chapter and continues through to the fourteenth verse of the fifth chapter. “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:17-24).

 

            “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that ye may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:25-32).

 

            “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger,  nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:1-14).

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the apostle Paul continuing in his encouragement and admonishment of the Ephesian saints. I have to admit that the more I read the words which are found in this particular epistle the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the inheritance the saints of God have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as directly opposed to their previous and former lives in the world. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found in this epistle and not encounter the tremendous testimony of the saints of God—those who have been redeemed and purchased by the blood of the Lord Jesus. As you read the words which are found in the epistle written unto the Ephesians you will find language that appears to be somewhat different although altogether similar to that which he had previously written in the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome. If you turn and direct your attention to the eighth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome you will find the apostle Paul writing and speaking of this tremendous war and conflict which exists between the flesh and the Spirit. Within this particular portion of the epistle, however, the apostle Paul calls and draws our attention to the wonderful truth concerning the adoption we have as sons and daughters of the living God. There is something truly wonderful about the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture—particularly and especially when you consider it in light of what is find in the epistle written unto the saints which were at Ephesus.

 

            I have to admit that the more I read the words which are found in the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints the more I am brought face to face with the reality that the apostle Paul sought to demonstrate and show them the vast difference between the lives which they used to live as Gentiles. The apostle Paul sought to clearly demonstrate the strong contrast and dichotomy that exists between the former manner in which the Gentiles walked with was after the flesh and not according to the Spirit and that which those who have been redeemed have become after being purchased and redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular reality for within it we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the inheritance the saints of God have in the person of the Lord Jesus—an inheritance which the apostle Paul writes and speaks about in the opening verses of this epistle. As the apostle Paul began this epistle he did so seeking to bring the Ephesian saints face to face with that which God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ had indeed done for them by and through the person, the suffering, the sacrifice and the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this reality for it calls and draws our attention to the same language which was written in the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome. In fact before I delve any further into the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your focus to the words the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Rome beginning with the first verse of the eighth chapter:

 

            “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Go dsending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:1-11).

 

            “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint0heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travialeth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:12-27).

 

            “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifeth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long: we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-39).

 

            It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we not only encounter the tremendous conflict that exists between the flesh and the Spirit but also the wonderful inheritance we have as the adoption of sons and daughters of the living God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding that which the saint of God and believer in Christ has in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact this is the same truth that is found in the first chapter of the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints and believers. The words which are presented in the eighth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome are incredibly powerful when you take the time to think about them for they bring us face to face with the inheritance we have as the adoption of sons as we have been made to be the beloved in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only have we been made to be the adopted in the family of the living God which He had knit together but we have been grafted together as one person and one man in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a great and present need within our hearts and minds to focus on this particular truth for it brings us face to face with the powerful witness that we have from the Spirit that we are indeed sons and daughters of the living God. The apostle Paul was very clear when writing the words found in this passage of Scripture concerning the adoption we have as sons and daughters of the living God and how the Spirit does indeed bear witness within our own spirit that we are the sons and daughters of the living God.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth which the apostle Paul begins this epistle written unto the Ephesian saints with. You cannot read the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints without and apart from coming face to face with the awesome and incredible reality of spiritual blessings which we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of God the Father. The apostle Paul begins and opens the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints by speaking of God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly place. This would immediately be followed by the apostle describing just what those blessings did indeed and did in fact look like—blessings which are not found here upon the earth nor which are secured in the earth but blessings which are found in heaven out of the reach of thieves and robbers and that which corrupts and destroys. The apostle Paul sought to begin and open this epistle with the emphatic declaration concerning the saints of God and the inheritance they have in the Lord Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure and divine will of the Father. One cannot read the opening verses of the first chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Ephesus and not come face to face with the powerful truth surrounding this inheritance which was promised and fore-ordained before the foundation of the world. Oh I can’t help but imagine what this world would indeed look like if each and every saint of God and believer in the Lord Jesus Christ not only knew and believed the inheritance they had in the Lord Jesus Christ but also walked in it. Pausing from that thought for a moment I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the first chapter of this epistle beginning to read with and from the third verse:

 

            “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him that worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:3-14).

 

            Please pay attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within we find the apostle Paul beginning to write unto the Ephesian saints concerning the inheritance they have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the will of the Father. It’s interesting and worth noting the words and language the apostle Paul uses in this passage of Scripture for within it we find the apostle writing of our being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, of our being predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself and accepted in the beloved. Moreover the apostle Paul goes on to write how the living and eternal God has made known unto us the mystery of his will and how in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on the earth—even those who have obtained an inheritance. What’s more is that if you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that it has absolutely nothing to do with our own merit, or our own righteousness, or our own good standing but the good pleasure and divine will of the living God. Consider if you will the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and how the apostle Paul wrote of the good pleasure of his will and to the praise of the glory of His grace. Not only this but the apostle Paul also speaks of the good pleasure according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself and the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will that we should be to the praise of His glory. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for we must needs recognize and pay close attention to it as it can and will help us to understand the rest of the epistle and that which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Ephesian saints.

 

            I presented a question previously in this writing concerning those who began to walk in their inheritance as the sons and daughters of the living God. Imagine what this world would and could look like if each and every saint of God and believer on the Lord Jesus Christ began walking in their inheritance. Moreover imagine what this nation would and could be like if men and women who were the called according to the divine counsel and will of the living God began believing the inheritance they had in the Lord Jesus Christ. In all reality I am absolutely and completely convinced that what is so desperately needed within our culture and society are men and women who not only believe the inheritance they have as the saints of God and as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ but also began walking in it. I am absolutely convinced there always has been a tremendous need for men and women to recognize and understand the inheritance they have in the Lord Jesus Christ according to the beloved. What’s more is there is an even greater need to not only believe the inheritance we have in the beloved but also begin walking in that inheritance. This is precisely what the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were present in Rome for although he spoke about the conflict and struggle which ensues between the flesh and the Spirit he also spoke of the inheritance we have as the adoption of the sons of God. Not only this but the apostle Paul also goes on to write and speak about how creation itself groans in eager expectation and anticipation for the manifestation of the sons of the living God. Thus what we find in this passage of Scripture is an incredibly powerful picture of the inheritance we have in the Lord Jesus Christ and the tremendous need to walk in that inheritance in the earth.

 

            I am absolutely convinced the more we read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the inheritance we have as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps the starting and beginning point of this is recognizing that we even have an inheritance in the beloved and an inheritance in the Lord Jesus Christ. This reality most certainly begins with our recognizing and understanding that we do indeed have an inheritance in the beloved and an inheritance in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous reality that according to the divine counsel and will of the living God we do indeed have an inheritance that has been purchased for us by and through the suffering, the sacrifice and the death of the Lord Jesus and the blood which He shed. There is something absolutely astonishing when we consider the words which are found in the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints for the entire epistle seems to be centered and founded upon the awesome truth of the inheritance we have as the saints of God. What’s more is that this epistle not only brings us face to face with the inheritance we have as the saints of God but the apostle Paul also seeks to call and draw our attention to the tremendous and wonderful truth surrounding our adoption as sons and being made to be one family in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for in order to understand the epistle itself—and not only the epistle but also that which we have been called to—we must needs recognize the reality of inheritance, of body and of family as presented within this epistle.

 

 

            The more I think about and consider the words which are found in the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints the more I am brought face to face with the incredible truth that we have been called to walk in the inheritance we have as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is impossible to read the words which are found in this epistle and not encounter the three main tenants presented and found within it—namely, inheritance and its connection to adoption, family and the body of Christ. If you take the time to truly read the words which are found in this particular epistle you will most certainly be brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding these concepts and how the apostle Paul intrinsically links and connects them all to each other. The apostle Paul wrote unto the Ephesian saints and called their attention to absolutely fantastic truth surrounding these saints and how they desperately needed to know who they were in Christ—and not only know who they were in Christ but also know whose they were in Christ. Oh imagine a world in which the saints of God and disciples of Christ not only knew who they were in Christ but also knew whose they were in the beloved and in the heart and mind of the Father. Imagine what this nation would and could look like if the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ actually knew the inheritance they had in the person of the Lord Jesus and believed it. I am absolutely convinced it is not enough to merely know of and know that we have an inheritance in the person of Jesus but also believe that inheritance according to the divine will of the eternal Father.

 

            The words which are present in the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints are incredibly strong and powerful when you consider them for the apostle Paul sought to convey unto them just how interconnected their lives were—not only with each other but with the saints of God which were present in the earth as well as those saints of God which are present in heaven. It is quite remarkable and astonishing to think about the fact that the family of God does not just include those who are present within and upon the earth right now in this generation but it includes all those who have died in Christ before us. We must needs recognize and understand that the apostle Paul wrote of the fulness of times when God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will gather together in one all things in Christ and mentioned how they were in heaven and which were in the earth. In all reality the family of God not only touches the joining together of Jews with Gentiles but it also touches the joining together of those which are present in the earth and those who have died in Christ before us. What’s more is that the family of God touches those who died believing during the days of the Old Testament and covenant and never saw the promise they believed for. Oh I am absolutely convinced we must needs consider the following words which are found in the eleventh and twelfth chapters of the epistle written unto the Hebrews for within it we are brought face to face with the ancient saints of God who believed and yet never saw the promise they were looking for in this life. All these died in faith having not received the promise and yet continued living their lives according to faith in the One who had given such promises to them. Consider if you will the following words which are found in both the eleventh and twelfth chapters of this New Testament epistle:

 

            “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, and heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:13-16).

 

            “And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in flight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, nor accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:32-40).

 

            “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:1-3).

 

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but think about the absolutely incredible thought—not only of the inheritance we have as the saints of God which can indeed be experienced in this life but also the inheritance we have yet to experience. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that not only do we have an inheritance which is present within the here and the now in this physical realm but there is also an inheritance that we have which can and will be experienced on the other side of time in the realm of eternity. The author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews spoke of all those who died in faith having not received that which was promised unto them—and not only that which was promised unto them but also that which they were looking for and anticipating within their hearts and souls. We must needs recognize that we too are those who groan in eager anticipation and expectation for our inheritance as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is something truly astonishing and powerful about these words and this concept for we as the saints of God have an inheritance in the Lord Jesus Christ which is present in this life. I can’t help but read the words which are found in the epistle written unto the Hebrew saints and consider all that the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints for the apostle Paul sought to convey to these dear saints the inheritance they have in the beloved and in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            With all of this being said I find it absolutely necessary and imperative to call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the words and language that is found in the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints. Not only did the apostle Paul seek to call and draw the Ephesian saints to recognize and understand the inheritance they have as the saints of God and the beloved in Christ but he also sought to demonstrate and show them what walking in that inheritance looked like. In all reality we must needs understand that it is not enough to know and believe our inheritance we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is with our knowing and believing the inheritance we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ a deliberate and intentional walking in that inheritance. I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize the awesome and powerful language that is found in the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which are found in this epistle for directly linked and connected to the inheritance we have in the beloved and the inheritance we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ is our walking in that inheritance. In all reality the inheritance we have in the beloved and the inheritance we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ demands a response and action on our part so long as our lungs draw breath on this spinning planet called earth. We must needs recognize and understand that the inheritance we have in the beloved and the inheritance we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ is such that demands a complete overhaul of our entire lives and how we live and conduct ourselves in this generation.

 

            If you begin reading with and from the fifteenth verse of the first chapter of this epistle you will find the apostle Paul hearing of the faith which these dear saints had in the Lord Jesus and of the love which they had unto all the saints. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this particular truth for when we think about and speak concerning our inheritance in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ we must needs consider how there is a great need to devote ourselves to faith in the Lord Jesus—and not only faith in the Lord Jesus but also love unto all the saints. In all reality I would dare say that faith in the Lord Jesus and love unto all the saints must needs be at the very heart and center of how we live our lives in this earth for we must needs be those who have an unwavering faith in the person of the Lord Jesus. The faith which we must needs have in the person of the Lord Jesus is the same faith which was spoken of in the eleventh chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews when the author declared that without faith it is impossible to please God. With this being said we must needs recognize and understand that faith in the Lord Jesus and love unto all the saints is absolutely critical within our lives as those who recognize and understand that this faith and love is absolutely and incredibly necessary within this life if we are going to truly please the LORD our God. The apostle Paul begins this particular portion of Scripture by writing and speaking of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love unto all the saints and then proceeds to reveal that which he prayed for them. The prayer which the apostle Paul prayed for these dear saints was such which we must needs recognize and pay attention to for that which he prayed directly touched how they lived their lives on the earth in their present generation. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the first chapter beginning with the fifteenth verse:

 

            “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head overall things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:15-23).

 

            Please don’t miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture for within it the apostle Paul calls and draws the attention of the Ephesian saints to that which he prayed for them. What’s more is what we find in this passage is the apostle Paul revealing that which he prayed for these dearly beloved saints concerning their walking upon this earth in their generation according to the inheritance that was found in the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul prayed for them that God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory would give unto them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him that the eyes of their understanding might be enlightened. Moreover the apostle Paul also prayed for them that they might know what is the hope of his calling and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints and what is the greatness of his power to those who believe according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead. The apostle Paul writes in this particular passage of Scripture that which he prayed for the saints of God which were at Ephesus and how he desired that they would be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him who called and chose them. The apostle Paul desired that the eyes of their understand would be enlightened for there was a great need to know what was the hope of their calling and what were the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints and the exceeding greatness of his mighty power to us who believe.

 

            Oh the more I read the words which are found in the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Ephesus the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the inheritance which we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the beloved. With this being said we must needs acknowledge and recognize the direct contrast between the inheritance we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and the lives which we lived as Gentiles and as those who previously walked in darkness according to the lusts and desires of our flesh. In all reality that which we find in this passage of Scripture is incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to consider it for the words found here bring us face to face with how we used to live our lives before we were redeemed and purchased by the Lord Jesus Christ according to His blood and by His sacrifice and offering upon the cross. It is absolutely necessary that when we read the epistle written unto the saints which were at Ephesus that we recognize the truly awesome and powerful truth surrounding the former manner of life in which we used to live as those who were undreamed by the blood of the Lord Jesus. The words which are found in the second chapter of this epistle brings us face to face with the incredible and powerful reality of the way in which we used to live our lives as directly juxtaposed and contrasted with how we live our lives as the saints of God and beloved of God in Christ Jesus. The words which we find in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul seek to call and draw our attention to the incredible work of redemption which we have received in this world in the person of the Lord Jesus. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the second chapter beginning with the first verse:

 

            “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature of the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:1-10).

 

            “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwewalth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:11-22).

 

            I have previously written concerning this epistle how it highlights and undescores the tremendous truth surrounding the broken down wall and the veil being torn and how such are at the very foundation of our inheritance as the saints of the living God. There is a great need for us to recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and this epistle for what we find in the epistle brings us face to face with the broken down wall of separation which was present between Jews and Gentiles. In all reality what we find in this epistle is a strong and powerful picture of how the living and eternal God took that which was previously separated from each other and brought them together in the beloved in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and consider the truth that in the Lord Jesus Christ God the Father has indeed taken that which was previously separated from each other and hath brought them together. It is in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and through His death and sacrifice the living and eternal God took the Jews and the Gentiles who were previously separated from each other and broke down the wall of division and separation which existed between them. Oh this is what is found within the New Testament book of Acts and quite honestly what stands at the very heart of the epistle—namely that the promise of the Holy Ghost was given to both Jews and Gentiles alike.

 

            As we continue reading the epistle written unto the saints which were at Ephesus the more we must needs recognize and understand that in Christ—not only did the living and eternal God destroy the separation which existed between Himself and man but he also destroyed the wall of separation which existed between Jews and Gentiles. With this being said we must needs recognize and understand that at the very heart of the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ is not only that which is symbolized and represented with the veil being torn in two from top to bottom but also that which took place with the wall of division and separation being destroyed in the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The more you read the words which are found in this epistle the more you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the suffering and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ and how in His body both the veil of separation which existed between the eternal God and man as well as the wall which separated Jew from Gentile were destroyed and removed. The eternal and living God desired a family that would be united together in Him in and through the person of His eternal Son Jesus and it would be through the death and offering of His Son this would ultimately take place. When we read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture we encounter the awesome and incredible truth surrounding this family being established first and foremost by that which separated man from God being abolished and done away with. Once this veil which separated man from God was torn and done away with the veil which separated Jew from Gentile would also be done away with.

 

            Once the veil which separated man from God was torn in twain from top to bottom and effectively done away with in the person and body of the Lord Jesus Christ it was then possible for the wall of separation which existed between Jew and Gentile to be destroyed. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture it’s that both the veil and the wall were abolished and done away with that all things might be joined together in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In all reality this is precisely what the apostle Paul wrote in the fourth chapter of this epistle when he spoke of the Lord Jesus giving apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. It would be in the fourth chapter of this epistle the apostle Paul would speak of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ being fitly joined together and compacted that they might be the family of God within and upon the earth. It is in the fourth chapter of this epistle we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the family of God present within the earth and how the living and eternal God desired to establish a family in the earth that was united together in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In all reality we must needs recognize and understand this and how incredible this truly is for when we think and speak about the inheritance we must needs understand that this inheritance is intrinsically linked and connected to us being the family of God and united together as one man in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            I sit here today writing the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the inheritance we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and how it is indeed two-fold. If you look at and examine the concept of inheritance in the Old Testament you will find that the land itself was an inheritance given unto the descendants of Abraham according to promise. When Joshua led the children of Israel into the land of Canaan to dispossess the nations and peoples which were in it that the land might be theirs as an inheritance the land as a whole belonged to the children of Israel. If there is one thing we must needs recognize concerning inheritance it’s that there is an inheritance that is enjoyed by all who are the family of God but there is also an inheritance that is enjoyed as individual members of the body of Christ. In the Old Testament the children of Israel enjoyed the inheritance of the land as a whole and yet even in the midst of that inheritance of the nation was also the individual inheritance belonging to households and families. Lest you think this is somehow incorrect and inaccurate I would invite you to consider the narrative of Jezebel, Ahab and Naboth and how Ahab sought the vineyard of Naboth. Naboth was entirely unwilling to sell the vineyard to Ahab because it was the inheritance of his family for generations. Naboth was unwilling to give up the inheritance of his family to the king during those days—the king who represented the government, authority and power of that day. Oh that we would recognize and understand this and how truly incredible it is for it brings us face to face with the reality and truth surrounding inheritance and how inheritance is not only a corporate reality surrounding the family of God but it is also an individual reality.

 

            As you read the words which are found in this particular epistle it is necessary for us to recognize and pay attention to the corporate manifestation of inheritance among the saints of God as well the individual inheritance of the saints of God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when we read of the reality of inheritance in the epistle written unto the saints which were at Ephesus we not only see the individual manifestation of inheritance in the lives of the saints of God as members of the body of Christ but we also see the corporate manifestation of inheritance as the body of Christ as a whole. Oh there is an inheritance that is demonstrated and manifested unto the corporate body of Christ as a whole and yet there is also the individual inheritance that is present for each of the members of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lest you think this is somehow inaccurate I would invite you to consider the reality that even when the children of Israel entered into the land of Canaan and took possession of it the land itself was divided into twelve different portions. If you examine the narrative of the Old Testament you will find that while the entire land as a whole was indeed the inheritance for the children of Israel each tribe had their own possession within the inheritance. What’s more is that within each tribe’s possession would be each individual household’s possession within the inheritance as well. When we think about the inheritance of the children of Israel we must think of it in terms of the nation as a whole, each of the twelve tribes and each individual family and household which was present within the areas of the tribes. The best way to understand the reality and concept of inheritance in the Old Testament is that of the corporate inheritance of the nation as a whole, the inheritance of the twelve tribes, as well as the inheritance of each of the households within those twelve tribes. The more we think about and consider the reality of inheritance the more we must needs recognize and understand that it is something which is entirely and altogether manifested on different levels.

 

If we are going to read the words which are found in the epistle written unto the saints which were at Ephesus we must needs recognize that there is a corporate inheritance that is presented unto the body of Christ, however, within that corporate inheritance is also an inheritance that is given unto each individual represented as members of the body of Christ. There is something we must needs recognize and understand when we consider this for when you read the words which are found in this epistle you will find how the Lord Jesus Christ quickened and redeemed us who were once slaves to the lusts of our flesh and slaves to our wicked desires and thoughts that we served the flesh and the prince of the power of the air. With this being said, however, we have been quickened together—not only as saints of God but also as individual members of the body of Christ. We have been quickened and redeemed to be the saints of God but we have also been quickened that we might be made members of the body of Christ in the earth. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider this for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful truth surrounding inheritance and how we have been made to partake of an inheritance as the body of Christ but we have also been called to partake of an inheritance as individual members of the body of Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for through the suffering, sacrifice and death of the Lord Jesus the eternal and living God has created and formed a family that is made up of Jews and Gentiles like as the wall of separation which previously divided them has been destroyed. Oh with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the fourth chapter of this epistle beginning with the first verse:

 

            “I therefore, the prisone of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, on efaith, on ebaptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according ot the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the fiath, and of the nkwoledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slieght of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:1-16).

 

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw our attention to the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the passage which is at hand for when we as the saints of God truly walk in the inheritance we have as the saints of God and the body of Christ we completely and entirely distance ourselves from the previous manner of conversation we had in the flesh. You cannot read the words which are found in this epistle and not be brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the inheritance we have in the Lord Jesus Christ and how at the very heart and center of that inheritance is the creation of a new man in Christ—not only a new man which is made up of Jew and Gentile but also a new man as individuals. We as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ have been called to be new creations in Christ as old things have passed away and all things are becoming new. We have indeed been called to be those who commit ourselves to righteousness, to holiness, to purity, to obedience, and to walking in a manner that pleases the living and eternal God. The more we recognize and understand the inheritance we have in the Lord Jesus Christ and the more we walk in that inheritance the more we recognize the need to distance ourselves from the man and/or woman we used to be. We must needs recognize that our old man and our old nature are entirely and altogether incompatible with the inheritance we have in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and we need to be those who are willing to put on the new man which is renewed and fashioned after the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must needs be those who put to death and crucify our old man with its sinful desires and sinful nature that we might put on the new man which is renewed in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Spirit. Oh that we would be men and women who crucify and put to death the old man with its manner of conversation, lusts, desires and wickedness that we might truly walk is those who please, honor and bring glory to the eternal and living God.

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