Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXVI: Applying The Truth That Believers Are God's Inheritance
(Ephesians 1:18 et al.)
  1. Introduction
    1. A great challenge to our happiness that arises from living in an industrialized society is the threat of depersonalization: institutions increasingly identify us as that nine-digit Social Security number we are assigned from the cradle to the grave. Then, in the workplace, machines persistently encroach upon the work we used to do, yielding more cost effective products to the constant threat of our jobs.
    2. With this impersonalization comes the temptation to devalue our existence. People have even committed suicide for thinking they are a useless burden to society in general and to their associates around them.
    3. To counter this temptation to assume the individual is useless, we need only understand and apply one of the 33 positional truths that become our possession the moment we accept Christ as Savior, the truth that we are God's inheritance, cf. Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, volume III, "Soteriology," p. 261.
  2. Applying The Truth That Believers Are God's Inheritance, Ephesians 1:18 et al.
    1. When Paul wrote his Epistle to the Ephesians, he arranged for its first 3 chapters to contain doctrine and the last three chapters the application of that doctrine to life; for this reason, Dr. Ryrie titles the first three chapters in his outline of the Epistle as "The Position of Believers" and (roughly) the last three chapters as "The Practice of Believers," cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., p. 1672, "Outline of Ephesians."
    2. Paul shifted from doctrine to application at Eph. 4:1, so, in that verse, he implied he had written the first 3 chapters of Ephesians to spur his readers to walk worthy of the vocation to which God had called them.
    3. To appreciate what Paul thus implied was such an important, WORTHY vocation, we focus on just one of the doctrinal truths he taught in the first half of Ephesians, what Paul revealed in Ephesians 1:18c:
      1. Paul wanted his readers to be motivated to live a godly life (Ephesians 4:1) in part through their insight being activated to understand some important doctrinal truths, cf. Ephesians 1:18a. To this end, he prayed for his Ephesian readers' growth into such doctrinal insight, cf. Ephesians 1:15-17.
      2. One of the doctrines Paul desired his readers grasp that would motivate them to live such a godly life was that they comprised what God the Father would inherit, and that to His great glory, Eph . 1:18d:
        1. That God the Father might "inherit" anything seems almost incorrect; since He made all things (cf. Revelation 4:1-3, 8-11), the idea that He would inherit anything seems to be almost illogical.
        2. Yet, the individual CHRISTIAN is an entity God the Father inherits according to Eph. 1:18d, an entity of such value to HIM that the Christian is the only entity we are ever told HE INHERITS!
        3. Other Scriptures give us a glimpse as to why and how the Father views the Christian as an object of great value that He will inherit: (a) In John 17:22, Romans 8:30 and Colossians 3:4, we Christians are said to be glorified in and with Christ, a reference to our being so justified and cleansed from sin and its effects that we will share in Christ's own heavenly glory, cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:14. (b) Then, Ephesians 1:4-6 reveals we will not only lose our sin natures, but even have the sins of our past lives so eradicated by God's work at the Bema Seat of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 3:13-15) that we will be blameless, holy and in love in God's heavenly presence, and all to the glory of God's unmerited favor unto us. (c) This glory of God's grace will be so great that we will exist eternally as trophies of His grace and kindness to us, cf. Ephesians 2:7. (d) Thus, as Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote: "Each child of God will serve as a medium or material by which the Shekinah glory of God [the glory that was revealed in the temple in the Old Testament] will be seen." (Ibid.)
      3. As each Christian is a one-of-a-kind trophy of God's grace, each ought to be motivated to LIVE as such an invaluable trophy of God's grace: he should not even consider suicide or self-pity as an "out" from trials he faces in this life, but live worthy of his LOFTY and WORTHY vocation!
Lesson: So much of God's grace is invested in us Christians that EACH of US is a ONE-OF-A-KIND, ETERNAL TROPHY of God's GRACE, the ONLY entity that God the Father is ever said to INHERIT!

Application: If we ever feel WORTHLESS for some reason, may we recall that GOD the FATHER will INHERIT US INDIVIDUALLY as a PRICELESS, ONE-OF-A-KIND TROPHY of His GRACE to us in Christ. Armed with this awareness, may we keep plodding in life with a spring in our plod!