In this passage we are told more about the grand and exalted “status quo” of the Church of Jesus Christ as she lives under the Spirit of sanctification.
In our last essay on this chapter we noticed the church stands and praises God in the face of Jesus Christ, since He has begotten her unto a lively hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
It is a fact, an accomplished fact, that the church, believers in Christ are a new creation in Christ.
In the verses 4 and 5 the Apostle tells us more about this. The passage reads as follows: “. . . unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed at the last time.”
Permit us to call your attention to the various important elements in this passage.
It is important, first of all, to notice, that Peter says that we have been begotten again with a hope which is evermore reaching out to the “inheritance”. What we look forward to is that we as heirs of the promise may obtain the inheritance. The Bible simply is replete with information and glad tidings concerning this “inheritance”. Peter is not speaking of something new and unheard in God’s Church. To speak of the “inheritance” is to speak the language of God’s people, and touches the very hope of Israel!
Why is that which awaits us and that unto which we have been begotten an “inheritance”?
It is an inheritance because it is that which God has prepared for His elected sons and heirs simply and merely by sovereign grace. It is ours as sons of adoption and thus legally constituted heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. It is ours by reason of God’s testament, covenant that cannot be broken. For it is confirmed and ratified in the blood and death of Christ and affirmed by His resurrection. Through the death of the testator it is ours; and this testator also became the administrator of the same by the Spirit of sanctification. We, therefore, now already possess this “inheritance” in hope.
It is an inheritance.
The heirs by election and adoption receive it.
Then too it is important to notice this “inheritance” is not some vague ethereal isle of somewhere, but that it is a well-defined possession, which is as real to the reborn child as is the tangible world about us, which we experience with our senses. This “inheritance” shall be ours completely, it is true, in the day of Christ. However, now already we more and more grow into this inheritance—salvation; it is the real life that we live, and wherein we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
The apostle tells us the following wonderful truths concerning this “inheritance”.
In the first place he tells us, that this inheritance is “ready to be revealed in the last day.”
This inheritance is prepared. From a legal viewpoint it is all enacted. The papers of our inheritance have received the seal of God’s throne. The Kingdom of Christ stands and the power of the devil have been outlawed forever. The Son of God very really has been made both Lord and Christ. And it must now be assuredly made known unto Israel that the promise made unto the fathers hath been fulfilled through Christ’s resurrection unto us the children and heirs. Legally it is prepared. And the Testament document of God calls for the end of time when the entire Testament shall be executed forever for and in the elected heirs of the Promise.
It is legally prepared—this “inheritance”!
But it is historically also prepared. We now live in the end of the ages, the last hour. Presently the very heavens shall be rolled away and the new heavens and new earth shall be brought forth in the great Palingenesia (Regeneration). Confer. No other dispensation of history can or need be before this coming. The next great act of God in history is to terminate it; it will be the harvest time. All things now in creation stand on its tiptoes to receive this great inheritance of the saints. And the church sings, Come, Lord Jesus, yea, come quickly, Amen!
Legally and historically prepared.
Why not? Are not all God’s ways those of justice that lead through the holy place? The “uncovering” of the inheritance in the last time is strictest justice. The heirs have a right to it as heirs. Upon this uncovering our eyes are riveted in the hope of receiving that which if rightfully ours in Christ. For we have received a heart to understand, a mind to perceive, eyes to see and ears to hear the wonders of God’s righteousness in Christ. Old things have passed away and all things are now new in hope. Our feet stand on the solid ground of Christ; our faith and hope are anchored sure and steadfast within the veil.
Peter also tells us concerning this “inheritance” that it is incorruptible, undefilable and that it fades not away.
(to be continued)