Our Eternal Inheritance
1 Peter 1:4 “To an inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not
away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:”
1. Reserved in Heaven
2. Kept By The Power
3. Rejoicing Though Tried
1. Reserved in Heaven
Verse four: “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you …”
There is something that is called “the law of first mention” when studying the Bible.
[Note: this BOOK is a self-defining book!]
The first mention [or instance] of a word [within its context] almost always provides the meaning of the word.
Thus it is here with the word: “inheritance”.
The first instance of the word: “inheritance” appears in Genesis chapter thirty-one in verse fourteen. “And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?” [Genesis 31:14]
Notice the phrase: “portion or inheritance.”
We see that an inheritance is a portion of something to be given of the fathers to the children.
The portion, or inheritance, for Israel, according to the Bible, is all the land of Canaan.
We see this thing shown in Exodus chapter fifteen, verse seventeen. “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.” [Exodus 15:17]
Now, it gets better than this. During the millennial [one-thousand-year] reign of Jesus Christ on this earth, Israel will have has an additional inheritance: both the heathen “and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”
The Bible shows us this! Look at this one, in Psalm two, verse eight. “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” [Psalm 2:8]
We need now to notice something here. Israel’s inheritance … is an earthly inheritance at earthly location.
Now, contra wise, the born again believer living in the church age, has a heavenly inheritance with a heavenly destination. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:” [Colossians 1:12]
We are to be made the partakers of a portion which God has “reserved” for us, which will last throughout all eternity.
We are called to “receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
It is the book of Hebrews [in chapter nine, verse fifteen] that calls it an “eternal inheritance”.
Friend, we cannot even begin to grasp it!
Eternity and eternal life! Amen! “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” [Hebrews 9:15]
We are a heavenly people, and will receive a heavenly inheritance. “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,” [Hebrews 12:22].
This is the New Jerusalem. Heaven will come down to the new Earth. Amen! You can see it coming down in Revelation twenty-one. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” [Revelation 21:2]
• Israel’s inheritance … has an earthly inheritance.
• The body of Christ … the church … has a heavenly inheritance.
2. Kept By The Power
Verse five: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
One of the most basic - basic truths of the Bible is that the God of Bible is an all powerful God.
You cannot escape this fact of life if you read the BOOK. This theme runs as a common thread throughout the BOOK!
Turn with me to First Chronicles chapter twenty-nine, verse eleven and twelve, for Holy Spirit’s emphatic authoritative statement of this fact. “Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” [1 Chronicles 29:11-12]
Who had more power than God? It is by the power God that the heavens and the earth were made, and all that is in it.
God KEEPS it held together or it would instantly blow apart at the very minute He quits “upholding” it.
Read with me with what the BOOK says in Hebrews chapter one, verse three: “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” [Hebrews 1:3]
Do you see it? God upholds all things by the word of His power.
Now, let me build on this. One of the most powerful facts that can be established by the believer in Jesus Christ in this age [when he or she studies the word of God] is this.
Once a person has put their trust into Jesus Christ for their salvation, their salvation is made sure.
In this way, the Church age saints differ from the Old Testament saints. Only those saved in this age of grace have this promise. They have the promise that God will KEEP them, and not lose them. God literally KEEPS the born-again, bought by the blood, believer by the “power of God”.
My friend let the Scripture attest to you, the very sureness of the believer’s eternal salvation in the SON of GOD.
Open your Bible to John six, thirty-nine and forty, and we will see the power of God to carry us through to the last day: “And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:39-40]
3. Rejoicing Though Tried
Verse six: “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:”
Now, that we have this so great salvation we need to understand something from the BOOK.
We need to realize that it will be “no bed of roses” for us in this life, even though we are … become the adopted sons of God.
According to the book of Philippians chapter one, verse twenty-nine we will suffer here on this earth till Jesus comes for us. Paul by the Holy Ghost said: “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.” [Philippians 1:29-30]
I promise you this. We [as born-again believers in Jesus Christ] will … in this life … face many strong temptations … in an all out attempt to lead us from the sure path of God … to our own hurt.
Yea, it is our old flesh that so willingly conspires to “play into” those temptations offered by this old world, and the god of this world [the Devil]. This is why we are so often drawn away from the things that are spiritual ... the things of God. It is spiritual warfare that we are involved in this Christian life on this earth.
Now, what did the Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul [in Ephesians chapter six, verses ten through thirteen] say about this war we are in?
He said this about it: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” [Ephesians 6:10-13]
Now, do you see the importance of understanding where these temptations come from, and if we obey these temptations, where they will take us?
Now, you understand why we will all experience along the path our lives, a “heaviness”, as our text here in First Peter tells us about.
Now, here is the solution to the problem. God has a remedy for this old festering problem about temptations. Are you ready?
In Corinthians chapter ten, verse thirteen, God tells us that He will provide a way of escape from the temptations that will come our way. Let me read from there. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [1 Corinthians 10:13]
The “manifold temptations” in this life will come hard, and in fury for us all, but God is ready to show us the way to victory and bring us through to the end of the race so that we might please HIM. Amen!
Let me close this study here by reading Hebrews chapter twelve, verses one through three: “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]