Okay I admit it, I’m having a bit of fun with the blog post title this week. I did not preach on the age-old question of how we are like we are; I do not take one side over the other when it comes to nature and nurture as I think it is as much a mug’s game as “picking” between predestination and free will.*
The sermons this week take their theme from one of the longest sentences ever, namely Ephesians 1:3-14. It is one sentence in Greek I hasten to add, the English equivalent looks like this:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
This is six sentences in English, if I counted the periods correctly, so the next time you have a sympathetic moment, perhaps direct it to translators everywhere.
Anyway, what I was hoping to have us do this week was to look at what it means to have an inheritance. We all too often think of an inheritance as something that we get when someone dies and leaves us property in their will. This is certainly one sort of inheritance but what about the others? We get a genetic inheritance from our biological parents, grandparents, etc. and we get a set of beliefs, traditions, behaviours and such from our caregivers whether they have a biological connection to us or not.
It struck me this Christmas season that we have an inheritance from God that begins with our relationship with him. This is not a new thought really and it isn’t even new to me but the corollary, namely, that we receive the exact same inheritance that Jesus did is new. It struck me that that Jesus has a non-genetic inheritance from God . . . and so do we.
Knox Presbyterian What’s our inheritance?
St. Mark’s Presbyterian What’s our inheritance?
Warm regards and a very Happy New Year!
*those of you who know me are well aware of how long I can go on and on about predestination and free will including a really good remark by Spurgeon, email me or ask in the comments below if you want to know what it is.