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Hebrews 1:2 by Robert Dean
Series:Hebrews (2005)
Duration:58 mins 9 secs

 

Hebrews Lesson 9  April 14, 2005

 

NKJ Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

 

We concluded last week looking at the Sonships of Jesus Christ.

 

Hebrews 1:2

 

God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past through the fathers by means of prophets has in these last days spoken to us by means of His Son.

 

We came to the word Son and we were trying to identify the Sonship in view.  So we will do a quick review of the Sonships of Christ.

 

Doctrine of Sonships of Jesus Christ

  1. There are six Sonship titles of Jesus in the Word.
  2. One of the titles describes His undiminished deity. The other 5 Sonships emphasize different aspects of His humanity. 
  3. He is the Son of Abraham.  This emphasizes the fact that He is a descendent of Abraham and relates Him to the Abrahamic Covenant.  Matthew 1:1 It also emphasizes His Jewishness. 
  4. He is the Son of David.  Again this emphasizes His royal descent from David and His relationship to the Davidic covenant.  Jer 23:5, Is 9:6-7
  5. He is the Son of Adam.  It is used in Luke 3:38.  This relates Jesus to true humanity.
  6. He is the Son of Man.  This also emphasizes His humanity. It has an eschatological emphasis coming out of Daniel 7 that demonstrates that He is the ideal man who will return from heaven and fulfill the creation mandate to conquer the world and dominate and rule over all of creation.
  7. He is the Son of Mary.  Mark 6:3. The emphasis is on the virgin conception and the virgin birth through Mary.
  8. He is the Son of God.  The emphasis is on His undiminished deity.  Hebrew 1, Psalm 2, Luke 3:38  He is fully God.

 

Hebrews 1:1-4 sets the stage for the whole book of Hebrews.  We have to think our way through these four verses.  They are loaded.  This is one of the most profound statements in all of the New Testament.  We have to think about each clause and each word.  It is just loaded with implications about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  All of this is designed to lay the foundation and set the stage for what the Lord is doing through Church Age believers in this dispensation.  One of the difficulties that we run into as we get into all of this is that these terms are so pregnant with meaning and most believers today are so biblically ignorant that they read through this and do not get the impact of what the writer is saying.  We don't "feel" the impact of them.  These are extremely powerful statements being made here.  They lay the foundation for everything that is said in subsequent verses.

 

Corrected translation: 

Vs. 1  After God spoke in various forms and in variety of ways in time past to the fathers by means of the prophets

Vs. 2  has in these last days has spoken to us by means of His Son

 

A temporal adverbial participle begins the phrase.  So it is not "God spoke" because it is not the finite verb.  It is a participle.

 

This is written to the Jewish fathers by means of the prophets.  So there is a parallelism between what happened in times past in contrast to today, these last days.  These last days covers the entire Church Age dispensation on into the Tribulation and the Millennial Kingdom.  There is a finality of revelation here indicated in the culminative aorist.

 

The term "last days" does not just refer to the final period or the end times when Jesus is about to return.  It covers the whole period of the Church Age because the return of Jesus at any moment is imminent.  It could happen at any moment.  We are always in the last days. 

 

We are always in the final generation. In fact Satan has no more clue than you or I as to when the Lord will come back.  What does that mean?  It means that in every generation Satan has to have a man on the scene that could be the anti-Christ and someone who could be the False Prophet.  He has got to be ready to pull if off in every generation because he doesn't know when it is going to happen.  That means there is some legitimacy to the speculation that it could have been Charlemagne, Napoleon, Bismarck, Hitler, or Saddam Hussein.  Any of these could have been a potential anti-Christ.  Satan always had to be ready with somebody.  It wasn't foolishness for Christians to look out and say that it was so-and-so. We do not know and we won't know.  We are always in the last days. There is a finality of revelation given to us.  When we looked at the exegesis of this last time we saw that the timing of this is in the last days.  That is in the Church Age. Everything from the ascension of Christ on is covered in this phrase, the last times or the last days.

 

The main verb "has spoken" is the aorist active indicative of laleo.  The culminative aorist emphasizes the completion of the act or culmination of the act.  His speaking is finished.  God does the action of the verb.  It is an indicative mood of reality. 

 

The instrumental dative of huios is by means of Son.  The word "His" is not in the original.  It is by means of Son.  There is no article. It is anartharous meaning without the article.  The emphasis is on the quality or the nature of something.  The emphasis is on the superior quality of Son.  We would say "the Son" and make it extremely definite to communicate the quality and uniqueness of the Son.  We recognize that it has been the role of the Son throughout history to reveal God the Father. 

 

Note the order of these verses.  They are in logical order to build a case.

 

NKJ 1 Timothy 6:16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

 

No one has ever seen God the Father.  No one saw Him in the Old Testament.  Adam did not see God the Father.  Enoch did not see God the Father.  Noah didn't see God the Father.  Moses didn't see God the Father.  No Old Testament person ever saw God the Father.  No human being has ever seen God the Father.

 

NKJ Luke 10:22 "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

 

No one knows who the Father is except the Son.  That is a profound statement because what Jesus is saying is that the knowledge that the Father has of Himself is on the same level as the knowledge He has of the Father.  He has complete and exhaustive knowledge of the Father just as the Father has complete and exhaustive knowledge about Himself.  It is a profound and subtle claim to undiminished deity. He knows God the Father as well as God the Father knows Him. 

 

The point is that it is the Son's role to reveal the Father.  The point here is that the way we know the Father is by knowing the Son.  Let me say that again. It is crucial to understanding the whole aspect of the deity of Christ, a doctrine under such assault today.  You know God because you know the Son.  If you know the Son, you know the Father.  If the Son isn't fully God, then you don't know God.  If you don't know the Son, you do not know the Father.  We are left in a guessing game.

 

NKJ John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

 

The word for "declare" is Greek verb exegeo.  You know the English form as exegesis.  The Son has exegeted the Father for us.  No one has seen God at any time.  It is affirmed again and again in the Scripture.  The only way we can know God is to look at His Son.  The Son is the complete representation of the Father. 

 

NKJ John 5:37 "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

 

This reaffirms once again the principle that no one has seen God at any time.  God is behind the scenes totally.  It was pre-incarnate Christ that walked in the Garden of Eden.  It was the pre-incarnate Christ that walked with Enoch.  It was the pre-incarnate Christ who gave the blueprint of the ark to Noah. It was the pre-incarnate Christ who came to eat dinner with Abram in Genesis.  It was pre-incarnate Christ who appeared to Moses in the burning bush.  It was the pre-incarnate Christ who writes with His finger the Ten Commandments. It was pre-incarnate Christ that appeared as the angel of the Lord.  It was the pre-incarnate Christ that appeared as the Lord of Hosts. That means the Lord of the Armies.  It was always the pre-incarnate Christ.  He absolutely exterminated the armies of Sennacherib as they stood outside the walls of Jerusalem.  God the Father does not appear in the Old Testament.  The Son appears because it is His role in the trinity to reveal the Father.

 

NKJ John 12:45 "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.

 

Do you understand the impact of what Jesus says?  If you see Him, you don't need anything else to inform you about the Father. That is a profound statement.  Flip the statements.  If Christ is not fully God, then we do not know anything about God.  We are still in the dark.  That is one reason that the deity of Christ is so crucial.  This was not something that later Christians decided was a good idea.  They didn't gradually grow and evolve in their worship of this man Jesus and end up at the Council of Nicaea and attach deity to Jesus.  The deity of Christ is embedded profoundly in the New Testament and grows out of the Old Testament. 

 

NAS Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

 

He is the one who comes forth from the everlasting.

 

NAS Micah 5:2 " But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity."

 

So the Messiah is attributed in the Old Testament with full deity.

 

As we get into that we have to understand the importance of the deity of Christ.  The early church recognized the principle that if you tamper at all with the deity of Christ, then you destroy our ability to know God.  If knowing Jesus is not the same as knowing God, then we don't know God.  The Son is no more significant a revelation of God than any other prophet. You reduce Him.  This is what happens in Islam.  If Jesus is just another prophet like Mohammad, then we do not know God.  God becomes unknowable.

 

To help us in our appreciation of this we need to look at some things that happened in the early church.  One of the first attempts to try to explain the relationship of the Son to the Father was called subordinationism or adoptionism.  It is the idea that Jesus was subordinate in His essence to the Father.  He was sort of adopted as deity or infused with deity.  It was the idea of dynamic monarchianism.  Power was infused to Jesus, usually at the time He was baptized by John the Baptist.  It makes the Father God, but the Son and the Holy Spirit are less that God.  They are not fully God.  This is the view of Arianism  The same heresy pops up throughout church history and is manifested today by Jehovah Witnesses.  It is also evident in liberal protestant theology. 

 

In the period of history we have God as eternal. Then at some point in time God infuses the human Jesus with deity.  At that point He becomes the Christ.  So He becomes a derivative God.  He is not fully God.  They say that Christ is generated out of God the Father.  So He is not eternal.  Then sometime later He became incarnate.  That makes Christ just another creature.  If He is just a creature, then we don't know God.  That is what came out of these early discussions in the church.  It is the importance of the deity of Christ.  If we don't have a fully divine Jesus then we can't know God at all.  We are just wandering around in the dark.

 

A second attempt to explain the relationship of the Son to the Father is known as modalism. The easiest way to think of this is masks or different modes of existence. Many have the idea that He sometimes appears as the Son. Sometimes He appears as the Father.  Sometimes He appears as the Holy Spirit.  In real modalism He never appeared as two of them at the same time.  This becomes a problem in Gethsemane. If there is only one person and one essence expressing Himself in different modes, then who was Christ talking to in the garden of Gethsemane? Was He talking to Himself or was He praying to God the Father?  It was a failed attempt to explain the relationship of the Son to the Father. 

 

It wasn't until the Council of Nicaea in 325 that they first clearly articulated a theological definition of the undiminished deity of Jesus Christ. Today people diminish this by saying that Constantine ruled it. They say that Constantine enforced the decision saying he was trying to unify his power in the Roman Empire. That betrays an ignorance of what was going on at that time.  He did call the council because there was so much inner turmoil. Remember that you only had one church. There were no denominations, it was just Christians. But, they were all fighting over whether Jesus had a beginning or not. It caused a major disruption in the kingdom. It was worse than the Democrats in the 1968 Chicago convention. They could not get along at all. They had a council of all the bishops from all over the Roman Empire. They got together with 10% followers of Arius, 10% followers of the bishop Alexander of Alexandria and his student Saponaceous (they were fighting for an orthodox view of Jesus Christ), and in between 80% of the people who never had a clue.  That is true in almost every church meeting.  This is why they are called sheep. It never changes. 

 

They articulated on of the finest doctrinal expressions ever written in history.

 

Nicene Creed

We believe in one God the Father all Governing, creator of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father as only begotten, that is, from the essence of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not created, of the same essence as the Father, through whom all things came into being, both in heaven and on earth; Who for us and for our salvation came down and was incarnate becoming human. He suffered and on the third day He rose, and ascended in to the heavens and He will come to judge both the living and the dead.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit.

 

Note that it starts with the Father and creation.

 

Then we get to the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The idea of begotten isn't birthing.  It means that one is always present in the other.  It is an eternal begotten.  That was the terminology they used.  At some point human language reaches the boundary of being able to explain the eternality and infinity of God. 

 

God from God is the key phrase.  He is not lesser deity.  The Bible clearly affirms His full deity.

 

The politicians of the day favored Arianism because if he was right then it reduced His deity. He is just another creature and that makes room for other gods.  They could make everyone happy and still worship all of the other gods.  Jesus goes on par with them.  There was a political maneuver at the time.  Unbelievers clearly understood the implications.  That is what they were pushing for. It allowed them to skirt around the clear statements of the Bible and the exclusivity of the Scriptural claims. 

 

Arius said that God Himself was unknowable and unexplainable to man.  That means you can't know Him.  He makes Christ a mere creature.  He is not the same in essence.  He is not equal to the Father.  If the Father is invisible to the Son then you can't know the Father.  You can only know the Son but He is just a creature.  Hebrews 1 argues that we start off with fragmentary revelation of the Old Testament, but in the New Testament the Son gives full and complete revelation of God.  This is so powerful!

 

Jesus is to us a full, sufficient, and complete revelation of who God is.  The Bible clearly affirms His deity.

 

NKJ Romans 9:5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

 

NKJ 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

 

"This" should be translated He.  Jesus is fully God.

 

NKJ Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

 

These are important verses.  In the course of the next year you will have the opportunity to witness.  Unbelievers will ask you how you know that Jesus is God.  You can use these passages to show how the Bible claims that He is fully God.

 

  1. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is fully God.
  2. His place in the trinity shows He is the revealer of God the Father.

 

NKJ John 14:7 " If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." 8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.  Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, "Show us the Father"?

 

He has a conversation with Phillip the night before He goes to the cross.  Phillip asks Him how to know the Father.

 

Jesus viewed Himself as completely interchangeable with the Father.  Phillip is a little dense here. 

 

It shows that you can be saved and not know God.  Most evangelicals run around ask if we know Jesus.  They think they are asking if you are saved.  The Bible recognizes that you can be saved just like Phillip was and not know God.  John says that if you know the Father you keep His commandments.  Lordship salvation people come along and say that if you do not keep His commandments you are not saved.  That is not what he is saying.  If you don't keep His commandments, you don't know God.  They had met God.

 

  1. Jesus never left His deity in question.  He always articulated to His listeners that He was God.  Phil 2:10. That would not have created a ripple in India or Greece.  They worship multiple gods.  But, He is talking to strict monotheists in Judea.  When He claims to be God He shakes the rafters. He rattles their cages. From their viewpoint Christ competed with the claims of God the Father. There were to be no other gods before Him according to the first commandment.  He drives home the fact that they don't understand the revelation of the trinity in the Old Testament. They crucified Him because they saw Him as a blasphemer. They clearly understood His claim to be God. 
  2. Both Jesus and the God that is referred to in the Old Testament as YHWH received full and ultimate worship. You get this by comparing Phil 2:10 and Is 45:22.

 

NKJ Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

 

 NKJ Isaiah 45:22 "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. 23 I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath. 

 

That is what Paul is talking about in Phil 2:10.  He didn't generate that phrase out of thin air.  He relates the worship of Jesus to the worship of YHWH in the Old Testament. 

 

We also see that the titles given to Christ are titles of God. One example is given to us in John 18:5.  The Pharisees came to take Jesus to the cross.  The temple guards came out and the Pharisees will arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.  They are confronted by the guards.

 

NKJ John 18:5 They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground.

 

"He" should not be there.  His answer I AM is a statement of being God.  YHWH is from the Hebrew verb hajah which means I AM THAT I AM.  God was known by His name, I AM.  He claims full deity.  He says it with the authority of deity.  It was not loud or jarring but it had the voice of the throne of God. In knocked them all to the ground. This was tremendous expression of His deity.  No one spends any time talking about this.  There was a whole cohort of Roman guards.  Jesus utters these two words and they are knocked out flat on their faces.  They must have wondered what happened. Then they dust themselves off and move to arrest Him.  It must have been a phenomenal situation. He clearly claims to be God.

In the trinity the Son is equal to the Father. There is an equality of essence, but there is also within the Godhead a subordination of role. The Son says He can do nothing unless the Father gives it to Him.  So He is under the position of authority. This gives a framework for understanding two divine institutions in Scripture – the divine institution of marriage and the divine institution of family. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not a family. You don't have the Father and a Mother god. You have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Within that framework there is an equality of person and a distinction of role. 

 

This is foundational to any thinking about society whether the social group is as small as a marriage.  The husband and wife are equal in person. This is why they are enjoined to love one another.  But there is also a subordination of role within the family. The husband is the leader in the home.  The wife is the one who is to follow the leader.  She was created to be an assistant to the man.  The wife's primary responsibility is to enhance the role of the man in the plan of God and God's calling in his life.  She is under the authority of the man. It does not mean that she is inferior to him or any less capable or mentally insufficient. It just means that she just has a different role to play than he does. There is an equality of person because we are in the image and likeness of God.

 

The same thing may happen in the family. You may have children that are very smart. You may have children that are smarter than you are. Unfortunately some children think they are smarter than you are, but they are not. There is an authority role there. But there is also an equality of person because we are all created in the image and likeness of God. 

 

NKJ Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

 

So they are both in the likeness of God.  Understanding the relationship of father and son is a foundation for understanding any social structure.

 

In a nation, the people are equal in freedom.  It is the foundation of this country. We can have equal freedom for every individual.  But there is an authority structure in the nation. You have the authority of government. You have the authority of a police officer. You have the authority of the courts.  You respect the office of authority. It doesn't mean that the person on the bench or in the White House is any smarter than anybody else. We are equally under the law.  It is only on the basis of this Trinitarian framework that we can think in terms of a representative government and true freedom for the individual. 

 

Think about a map and how the world is laid out. Then think about all the nations that developed any concept of freedom of the individual. It wasn't in the Middle East. It wasn't in Asia. It didn't develop in these countries.  It developed in those countries where there was an emphasis on Christianity – Greece and in Europe.  Where did it go from there?  It came to the Western Hemisphere.  In pre-Columbian days you did not have that individual freedom for the average person.  Why?  There is no basis for it in terms of ultimate reality. Only the Bible gives us that.  As Christianity developed after the Protestant Reformation, the greatest expression of consistency was in the English speaking countries. The influence of people like John Knox and other Puritan theologians in England during the 16th and 17the centuries developed.  Out all of this thinking, they laid the foundation for understanding of individual freedom in the English speaking countries. Then you go down in history to the American colonies and the War for Independence.  That is why Americans have the greatest understanding and expression of freedom. Of course it has eroded. The foundation is based on understanding the trinity. That is something never taught in American any history classes.

 

Jesus Christ is fully God.  His deity is reinforced by His position as king. 

 

NKJ Psalm 2:9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.' "

 

When it is realized is in Ps 2:9.  It is the expression of what happens when Jesus comes back and defeats the rebellious nations at the Second Coming. 

 

"You" is Jesus Christ.

 

The rod of iron is His authority.  He will destroy the nations.  That comes from His deity. 

 

Back to Hebrews 1:2. 

 

Corrected translation:  After God spoke in various forms and in various ways in time past to the fathers by means of the prophets has in these last days has spoken to us by means of His Son

 

Now we have a greater understanding of who the Son is and why He speaks through the Son. He is the complete and full expression of who God is. It comes with that authority.  It is not a derivative authority. The subject of the verb is God. The verb is the culminative aorist active indicative of tithemi. The action of appointing Him occurred in the past. There is a difference between an appointment and a realization. Just as Prince Charles is the crown prince but he is not the king.  So Jesus is appointed the heir of all things but He does not take that possession until His return at the Second Coming. The verb means to set in place, to assign a place, to establish or to appoint to a position.

 

So we could translate this as follows.  God has in these last days spoken to us by means of His Son whom He has established or appointed or assigned a position as the heir of all things.

 

What does the word heir mean?  Kleronomos is one designated as a possessor or heir. We have to understand this idea of inheritance. When we think of inheritance we think of someone dying and leaving something. That does not capture the Biblical concept of inheritance. The Biblical concept of inheritance has to do with possession or ownership. 

 

When Jesus Christ is appointed heir of all things, it points to a future reality.  He is now appointed but the inheritance is yet future.  This builds the idea in the reformation church. This was one of many passages the Puritans would go to in order to establish their economic philosophy. Wherever Christianity has gone there is the concept of preparing for the future.  It always produced a culture that saved.  The Puritan ethic of the 17th century England was to save money.  So you build wealth and pass it on from one generation to another by saving money rather than just consume. There was an accumulation of wealth that was used to finance inventors and others that brought on the Industrial Revolution. The fact that the Industrial Revolution came along at the end of the 1700's was not coincidental.  Prior to that the Puritan work ethic developed out of the Bible. The idea was to save for the future.

 

The non-Christian idea is to mortgage the future for the present. You spend today and hopefully somehow things will take care of themselves in the future. You live for the big now. That is what is happening in our culture. You can see the influence of this pagan idea. Just live for the pleasure of the present. 

 

Doctrine of Inheritance as a Possession

 

  1. In the Old Testament inheritance referred to ownership of property especially property passed on in the family from one generation to the next. It was to stay in the tribe or family group.  It was a genuine possession transferred from generation to generation. 
  2. NKJ Numbers 36:2 And they said: "The LORD commanded my lord Moses to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters.   

The property of the father was to go to the daughters because he had no son. Under the Mosaic Law the eldest son inherited.  When there was no son, the daughters got the inheritance. The Hebrew word nahala is the word for inheritance, heritage, or possession.  The Mosaic Law recognized that if a man dies and he had no sons, the ownership of the land passed to the daughters. They could not marry outside the tribe.  In this case the daughters had to marry within the tribe. The idea was imbedded in the Mosaic Law to pass property from one generation to the next. There was no gift or inheritance tax. It is how wealth is built so you can build for the future. This is why Christianity builds a savings oriented community unless they are living like unbelievers because they don't know anything about Proverbs or what the Bible teaches about money. They get themselves in trouble. 

  1. Words for inheritance and property and possession and ownership are interchangeable ideas in the Word.  They are virtually synonymous.
  2. Certain categories of people lived in the land but did not own the land.  They had no inheritance in the land. We would call them illegal aliens or travelers (those who are there for a temporary time).  The Levites had no possession in the land.  Ex 12:48-9, Num 18:20,24.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all lived in the land but never owned the land. That is important because some Church Age believers will live in the millennium but won't have an inheritance in the kingdom because they failed in the Christian life in the Church Age.  That is the application. Heb 11:3, Gen 21:33, 35:27, Ex 12:48

 

NKJ Numbers 18:20 Then the LORD said to Aaron: "You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.

 

  1. In the millennial kingdom there will be people who live there but do not possess an inheritance. This is what happens to believers who continue to live in carnality. There is nothing rewardable at the Judgment Seat of Christ. They have no inheritance.  Gal 5:9-10, I Cor 6 
  2. Inheritance was given positionally or potentially on the basis of grace. It is given to them just as it was given to Israel. Think of the Exodus generation. They never actually owned it because of carnality. It was given in grace but it is experienced on the basis of obedience.  Joshua 14:8-9
  3. The possession of the land was conditioned on obedience. It is merited and could be lost. 

 

NKJ Genesis 17:14 "And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant."

 

NKJ Numbers 14:24 "But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.

  1. The entire Exodus generation had become God's first son but with the exception of Joshua and Caleb they lost their inheritance. They never realized that inheritance. 
  2. Though not all have an inheritance in the land, we all have God as an inheritance and possession.

NKJ Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

 

NKJ Psalm 119:57 You are my portion, O LORD; I have said that I would keep Your words

 

NKJ Psalm 142:5 I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, "You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.

 

  1. For the Church Age, Christ is given ownership of all things. We share in it only as we mature as believers.  We have a joint heirship only if we are obedient. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

The comma coming after Christ makes it look like being heirs of God and joint heirs of Christ is synonymous. But that is punctuation. There is no punctuation in the original Greek. Punctuation is an interpretive decision. 

 

If you are a child of God you will be an heir of God. That is your guaranteed inheritance. And joint heirs with Christ if we suffer with Him. Being an heir of God is part of the grace package at salvation.  It is not dependent on anything. But you are an heir of Christ if you suffer with Him.  You see it is conditioned on something.  It is not just belief in Christ. It is living out your Christian life in the midst of suffering. We will see why it was necessary for Jesus to suffer in the flesh. It lays the foundation for what we go through in the Christian life. Suffering doesn't have to be cosmic. It can be living in the cosmic system with the sin nature. 

 

We suffer with Him if we apply doctrine in the midst of temptation. This lays the foundation for understanding inheritance. It means possession. Christ becomes the heir of all things.  He is designated that but He doesn't become it yet.