(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
A legacy can either be what we inherit from others who have gone before, or what we leave for others coming after us! We began in the last Gem to look at what we as Christians inherit especially from the One who has gone before us, Jesus Christ! The legacy that our Lord left us is that we be more and more transformed into His image as we live our Christian life! (see Romans 8:29; II Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:10-14) and in heaven with all its glories, “…we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (I John 3:2 – see also I Corinthians 15:42-54; Philippians 3:20, 21).
But let’s look at some other things that we, as Christians, inherit here and now!
- We inherit the abiding presence of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
✞ Matthew 28:20 – “...I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” ✞ John 14:18 and 20 – “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you....At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” ✞ Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me....” ✞ Ephesians 3:16 through 19: ...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be fill- ed with all the fullness of God. ✞ Colossians 1:27 – “...Christ in you, the hope of glory.” ✞ Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ✞ I John 3:24 – “...he who keeps His commandments abides in Him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by His Spirit whom He has given us.”
- We inherit the opportunity to escape a wasted life, and enter into abundant life! As it says in John 10:9 and 10:
Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
- We inherit the ability to manifest the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22 and 23 (International Standard Version) – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
The alternative to the fruit of the Spirit is the works of the flesh! These works are listed in Galatians 5:19 through 21 (see also Romans 1:24-32): ...the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idol- atry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.... So, which list do you want your life to manifest, the fruit of the Spirit or the works of the flesh? We can choose either one. But by the legacy Christ has left us, isn’t it preferable to choose the former and shun the latter?
- We inherit victory! In my Junior year of high school, the varsity football squad [of which I was a lineman both on offence and defence] only triumphed in one game! That win was toward the end of the season, but, Wow! Did that victory feel great! What if we could constantly live a victorious life? We can, according to…
✞ ...I Corinthians 15:57 – “...thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ✞ ...Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ✞ ...I John 5:4 – “...whatever is born of God over- comes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.”
- We inherit God’s promises to supply our needs!
✞ Matthew 6:31 through 33 (Modern King James Version): Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? For the [heathen] nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. ✞ Philippians 4:19 – “...my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ✞ II Peter 1:3 and 4: His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the cor- ruption that is in the world through lust.
- We inherit the Lord’s promise to hear and answer our prayers!
✡ Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to Me, and I will an- swer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” ✞ Luke 11:9 and 10: “And I [Jesus] say to you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” ✞ Hebrews 4:14 through 16: Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ✞ I Peter 3:12 (quoting Psalm 34:15) – “...the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.”
Of course, the best part of God’s legacy that He has given us, is salvation through faith in Jesus Christ dying to pay for our sins, and raised to life again so we also can also live eternally!
- John 5:24:
“Most assuredly I [Jesus] say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has ever- lasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed [already] from death to life.”
- I John 5:11 through 13:
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life....”
There is so much more that those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ possess, it would take many additional pages to begin to enumerate all the benefits! I suggest, and the Word of God commands it, to read and study your Bible to discern all the wonderful parts of the legacy (the inheritance) that God has given us in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ!
As it says in…
- …Colossians 3:16 – “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly….”
- …II Timothy 2:15 (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible) – “Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
- …Hebrews 4:12:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So get to it! And make it a daily habit!