HIS LOVE’S PURPOSES (benefits of His love)
God’s love at work in us invites us to faith in Jesus and living with the PROMISE OF INHERITANCE in our hearts!
His love invites us to a place of inner freedom and light as we live our daily lives, no matter the external circumstances. We are no longer held back from running into the relief, joy, strength, confidence and reassurance of our Father’s arms. Jesus has freed us from the spiritual condition we were born into that kept us out in the dark, unaware of what was available for us inside His household. Because of His love, we’re now in the family of the ones who have been bought back (redeemed).
GALATIANS, THE BOOK ABOUT THE NEW WAY
Now that we are in His family, God has GIVEN TO US the Spirit of His Son, that says “Daddy” to Him. “My Father”. Jesus and us saying “OUR Father in Heaven”! Our loving Father. THIS is our inheritance! This is what is available to all who take up God’s invitation, all who believe. (Galatians 4:6)
Most of the book of Galatians is Paul explaining to the Christians in Galatia (Jews and others) that the days of being under the Law of Moses are over. Now, there is a new way: an open invitation for EVERYONE to enter and live in and share with God all the gloriousness of living in His household… where the new and only “law” is loving one another. Loving our neighbour as our self.
Mostly, the book’s message is this: The Law of Moses given by God to the Hebrew people long ago was out of necessity, in response to them continually living un-righteously (essentially meaning, not loving God or each other). It was only a temporary fix. Centuries before that, He had already given to them a promise that, once fulfilled, would lead to a new way that would be so much better than trying to adhere to this Law of Moses. And, just as a law is a fixed, established thing, so THE PROMISE was fixed and established, certain and sure to happen in the future. Paul was saying to his audience, It’s never been possible to fulfil the good laws God gave to Moses! Now, you can stop trying! And stop demanding that others fulfil them! Instead, love your neighbour as yourself, because that is actually what the Law of Moses is all about!
LIVING IN OUR PROMISED INHERITANCE
Understanding what the main message of Galatians is all about, helps us to understand what the Scriptures mean about the INHERITANCE God has made available to us personally and to all people, because of His love for us.
Galatians 3:17: Which came first? The Law, or faith? Faith (which is, in a sense, living in the ‘Spirit of Promise’)! The promise and Abraham’s faith had already happened. The Law came much later in the timeline, as a temporary response to the need. It was helpful for a time, until it wasn’t needed anymore.
Galatians 3:18: Laws couldn’t bring about or lead us to living in His inheritance, making us able to love God and each other! It was THE PROMISE that led to our spirits being made alive so that all of this could happen. All who believe in Jesus can partake of the benefits, because He and what He achieved by His coming to earth, was the fulfilment of the promise.
Our living hope and expectation is for the ever-present promise of the inheritance: Everything that is in God. Everything that is in His house, His family, His Kingdom. FAITH EXPECTS the inheritance. Faith in Him is living in the absolute, established certainty of what we have available when we are in Him.
NO SEPARATION ANYMORE
1 Cor 15:21-22: The promise: the “second Adam” came, making it possible for the whole world to come into and partake of the inheritance the Father has waiting for them, which is Spiritual Life, relationship with the Father.
Colossians Chapter 1: Paul is talking about us being in Christ, one with the Father, in His family, no separation anymore that was caused by the fall. The “second Adam” has come, cancelling the devastating result of the first Adam’s fall.
We are now in relationship with our Creator-Father. The inheritance we have as family members is all about being in the kingdom of the Son whom the Father loves, no longer shut out in the darkness. We are knit together in love. We have hope, and abound in thanksgiving. We don’t have our attention on earthly things.
Knowing (by both our new status and by personal experience) the richness of the gloriousness of Christ, is available not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles. There are no favourites, there’s no special race or gender or place in society or any other criteria for qualifying.
We are strengthened with Christ’s power, patient and long suffering with His joy, bearing fruit in every good work, being constantly filled with the knowledge of His will.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT OUR INHERITANCE MEANS
In our world here and now, the word ‘inheritance’ is most often used in connection with financial or material assets being passed on to children from their parents (usually at the time of their death). When we hear the word, we normally think of money, land, houses and cars. Dollar signs immediately flash in front of our eyes!
But it’s crystal clear that what Paul was thinking and talking about in the whole of Colossians Chapter 1 wasn’t at all related to money or things. Most of the people Paul was talking to would never be wealthy. Some would even be martyred. Their way was to share what they had with each other. Paul said he personally knew how to have plenty, and how to have hardly anything, he was contented either way.
There’s no mention here of material wealth or material gain. It doesn’t talk about perfect living conditions (actually, in this chapter Paul rejoices in his sufferings).
Philippians 4:19: “My God will meet everything you need”. We often claim this as part of our inheritance (and, it is). But, who were these words addressed to? Would all of these people Paul was addressing suddenly or one day in the future become wealthy? No. Paul wasn’t thinking about great wealth. The context was normal people with normal human needs.
Living in our inheritance in Christ is not at all about getting what we want, or getting ourselves ever-richer in assets. We and our societies are so materialistic, so focused on our own gain and what we think is important for life. But, what really is most important? What is most valuable?
Jesus’ response to the excitement of His seventy disciples when they returned from a mission is so interesting (Luke 10:1). He had sent them out, and they had returned full of what they had seen and been able to do. Such amazing things had happened! They had seen demons driven out in His Name! But Jesus moved the focus of their attention away from what they were remembering and feeling, to where it all begins: “RATHER, INSTEAD… rejoice that your names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” This is what is most precious! THIS is the thing to appreciate and value and be overjoyed about. This is the ultimate benefit of His love!
God’s love has invited us into an amazing inheritance that’s like no other! There is no comparison with this. For this life and eternally, we are in His family sharing all of the benefits, no longer on the outer but in the gloriousness of the new way.