Our Inheritance

Scripture: Ephesians 1:11-14

In verse 11, Paul claims that we have obtained an inheritance in Christ, yet later in verse 14, he claims that the Holy Spirit is the guarantee or down-payment for our coming inheritance. The idea of obtaining something but not being able to take possession of it until a later time sounds like the essence or nature of the Christian struggle. Someone told me that this idea is called liminality, or the place between two realities.

To redeem something means to return the original value to that thing. God created all things as valuable and important to his kingdom, but when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, we distorted all that God had accomplished. Certain things were not valuable anymore because we had decided to rule all things on our own, which ultimately has led to our present reality. When Jesus came, though, he created a way for God to begin redeeming all things, not only humans. In verse 11, Paul is talking about how he and others have experienced this redemption, which is their inheritance, and not only Paul and other’s inheritance but the inheritance of all people who have experienced God’s redemption personally. In verse 14, the Holy Spirit is our guarantee that God will continue to redeem all things and that he will ask us to join him in this redemption. In terms of liminality, we have experienced redemption and continue to experience it as God works in us, but we also know that all things are not yet redeemed because of the suffering in the world, so we are also awaiting redemption for all things. Right now, how can we join God in redeeming all things in our classrooms, homes, and relationships?

Ntate Neo

Other notes and concerns:

When Paul talks about those predestined in this chapter, is he talking about the Jews, chosen by God to be the ethnicity through which the savior of the world has come? Then in verse 11, Paul is speaking of how the Jews have received their inheritance or the fulfillment of the promise in Jesus Christ, but now for the gentiles, who were not a part of the promise originally with Abram, they have the Holy Spirit, who is a down-payment for the coming inheritance of an eternity with God.

Within liminality, we have the inheritance, but we are still waiting for it too. Maybe Paul is talking about the promise that God originally gave to Abram in Genesis about all of the nations of the earth being blessed through his offspring. Jesus, being a descendant of Abram and also being the savior of the world, has become the fulfillment of this promise. Simply then, our inheritance is life in right relationship with God through Jesus that will result in our spending eternity in God’s presence in heaven.  We have obtained this inheritance because we have been made right with God through Jesus, but the Holy Spirit guarantees that we will obtain the rest of this inheritance, which is spending eternity with God after this life. What else could Paul be talking about when he says “our inheritance”? Feel free to comment with other thoughts and ideas if you have any.

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~ by randallkoehler on February 7, 2012.

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