With this post we will wrap up our meditation on the preposition “IN” in the series, “Prepositional Realities: The Church in Relation to Christ”. So far we have looked at the words, “Intimacy“, “Incorporation” and “Identity” in relation to this immense little preposition “IN”. We will now consider one last word, “Inheritance.”
A Three-Way Inheritance
This little word “IN” represents a profound covenantal reality in Christ. The Church “IN” Christ, and Christ “IN” the Church are two sides of an irrevocable covenant that brings with it a mutual belonging to and a reciprocal possessing of one another and all that each other has. Because we are “in” Him, all that He is and all that He has belong to us. Because He is “in” us, all that we are and all that we have belong to Him. We have an inheritance in Him, and He has an inheritance in us.
Now, as if that is not enough, there is a third dimension of this covenantal union that is a part of our inheritance in Christ. Because of the irrevocable union we have with Christ, and He with us, we are also brought into covenantal union with one another. Since we all belong to Christ, and all that belongs to Christ belongs to us as well, we, consequently, all belong to each other. His inheritance in us, therefore, becomes our inheritance in us as well.
So then, this preposition “IN” represents a three-way covenantal relationship where, 1) we have an inheritance in Christ, 2) He has and inheritance in us, and, 3) we have an inheritance in one another.
Our Inheritance “IN” Christ
Because we are “IN” Him, and He is “IN” us, we have become joint-partakers of all that He is and all that He has. Such an inheritance is exceedingly far beyond our ability to comprehend. It is infinitely vast, unsearchably rich and unspeakably glorious.
Consider carefully just the following three verses in regards to this:
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ.” Col. 2:9-10 (How infinitely vast is this?)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Eph. 1:3 (How unsearchably rich is this?)
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” Rom. 8:17 (How unspeakably glorious is this?)
All the infinite fullness that eternally resides in the Person of Christ is our present inheritance simply because we are “IN” Him and He is “IN” us. Nothing is held back. Our account is full, complete, and boundless. We ought never to ask or beg for God to give us anything more…ever! He won’t… because He can’t! If we personally lack anything, it is only because we have not yet experientially possessed what we already have been given.
Not only have we been given the unsearchable riches of all that is in Christ’s Person, we have also been made co-heirs of all that He owns and possesses. He is ordained of the Father as, “heir of all things” (Heb. 1:2) Since we mutually indwell one another in covenantal union, all that He possesses we are the beneficiaries of as well. This is the Father’s great desire for us being “IN” Christ.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Rom. 8:32
No greater inheritance could God conceive of than what He has already given us “IN” His Son. All Who Christ is, and all that Christ possesses, have been given to us as our immediate and everlasting possession. It is impossible to be more enriched and endowed than we presently are! …IMPOSSIBLE!
In order to experience, enjoy and employ all that God has given us, we must now press into Christ to practically possess all that is ours “IN” Him. All of these riches are in this One Man. We do not seek individual, isolated things; we seek Him, and in Him we find all things. The more we know of Christ, the more we know of our inheritance, for He Himself is our Inheritance. This is why Paul said, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ…I want to know Christ…I press on…I press on…” Philippians 3:8,10,12,14
Christ’s Inheritance “IN” Us
Because we are “IN” Him, and He is “IN” us, conversely, Christ has become a joint-partaker of all that we are and all that we have as well. This is His inheritance in us and it, likewise, is unfathomably vast, unsearchably rich and unspeakably glorious.
Paul told the Ephesian believers, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened that you may know…the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:19 This is something we need the eyes of our heart enlightened in order to “know.”
Have you ever considered that you are Christ’s inheritance, and that you are of inestimable worth to Him?
Have you considered, likewise, that your brothers and sisters in Christ are His glorious inheritance, for which He has given His very life to possess?
Our hearts are darkened and dull to this reality, but the heart of Christ is fully enlightened and alive to it. When Christ looks on us, He does not see us as we see ourselves, but He sees His most glorious and treasured possession. He sees His Bride, His beloved, eternal Companion; He sees His Body, flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone; He sees His brothers and sisters, His family, His friends; He sees His dwelling place, His habitation, His home; He sees the reward of His sufferings, the joy set before Him, His glorious inheritance. All that we are and all that we possess are His great and glorious treasure.
Even as we are pressing into Christ to more fully possess our glorious inheritance in Him, so Christ is pressing into us to more fully possess His glorious inheritance in us. He does not take or wrest His inheritance from us, but lovingly presses in deeper and deeper into our hearts that we may willingly and lovingly yield all that we are and all that we have to Him. He has bought us with a price, and He greatly desires to possess and enjoy all that is rightfully His. The greatest treasure He is after is the one buried most deeply in our hearts, our unconditional love for Him. This is the gold. This is His “pearl of great price”, His “treasure hidden in a field”, for which He has sold everything in order to possess.
Our possessing the riches of our inheritance in Christ, and His possessing of the riches of His inheritance in us is a mutually-dependent, reciprocal process. The more we press in to possess our inheritance in Him, the more we, in response, yield ourselves to Him that He may possess His inheritance in us. Likewise, the more He presses in to possess His inheritance in us, the more He yields Himself to us that we may possess our inheritance in Him. This is the divine work of Love as the Spirit draws us deeper and deeper into one another’s hearts.
Our Inheritance “IN” Us
Finally, there is a third dimension to this glorious inheritance that we have in Christ: our inheritance in us!
Now, this may come as a bit of a surprise, but I believe that of the three dimensions of this “three-way inheritance”, this is the most vast, rich and glorious of them all. The reason this is so is that the other two dimensions come together in this one, so that it becomes comprehensive of both.
Concerning our inheritance in Christ, the first dimension, we quoted earlier: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ.” (Col. 2:9-10) Scripture also speaks of, “the church which is His body, the fullness of Him…” (Eph. 1:22,23) In other words, the Church is the fullness of Christ’s Body, which contains the fullness of the Deity. Or even more simply put, all the Divine fullness that is in Christ, is in us, His Body.
We each bear a measure of this fullness, and we supply that portion of Christ that is ours to the Body through our life, relationships, giftings, ministry and service. When we begin to possess our inheritance in one another, therefore, we begin to possess the measure of Christ that is resident within one another. This is how Christ mediates and dispenses Himself through and to His Body, so that He is increased in the Church.
Do we want a greater measure of Christ, then? We should seek it where the Body is supplying and receiving Christ to and from one another. Do we want to more fully possess our inheritance in Christ? We should seek to more fully possess our inheritance in one another, for that is the place where our inheritance in Christ is most abundantly found and supplied.
Not only so, but the second dimension, Christ’s inheritance in us, is brought into this third aspect through our possessing the richness and blessing of all that we are as members of Christ’s Body. Not only do we inherit all that Christ is in and through relationship with one another, we also inherit all that we are in and through relationship with one another. There are boundless riches inherent in the members of the Body of Christ in who they are and what they possess. Consider all the wisdom, knowledge, experience, skill, talent, gifting, strength, energy, resources, relationships, encouragement, love, counsel, riches, possessions, and the like that are resident in the Body of Christ. All of these, when surrendered to Christ, and freely offered to the Body, become a vast storehouse of spiritual and natural riches that become “our inheritance in us.”
It says of the early church that, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…There were no needy persons among them.” Acts 4:32,34 This is just a small glimpse of the Church possessing their inheritance in one another, even to the sharing of all their earthly possessions. “No needy persons among them”, then, ought to be the testimony of all of God’s people as they share all that they are, and everything that they have, with one another in covenantal love “IN” Christ Jesus.
Even as there is a “pressing in” that is needed in order for there to be an experiential possessing of the first two aspects of this “three-way inheritance”, so there is a pressing in that is needed within the Body to fully possess this third aspect of “our inheritance in us”. We must purposefully pursue relationship with one another if we are to lay hold of “the glorious riches of His (and our) inheritance in the saints.” The treasure is there, buried in the field. On the surface it may look like a lot of “wood, hay and stubble”, but under the surface there is an abundance of “gold, silver and precious stones.” (1 Cor. 3:12) This is our inheritance, and will become our true possession, if we will but sell all and “buy the field” of one another. The riches of Christ, and the riches of us are there for the taking.
This three-fold reality of “inheritance” is just one facet of this sublime, little preposition “IN”. Taken together with the other aspects of intimacy, incorporation and identity, it is arguably the most profound “prepositional reality” that exists in the Church’s relation to Christ.
May we continue to think on, and press into these simple, yet profound truths, that we may come into all that God has for us as His people “IN” Christ Jesus.
Related posts and pages:
Audio Series: “Prepositional Realities – the Church in Relation to Christ” (Audio recordings and links to posts of this series to date – 5 posts)
Joints of Supply
“We’re Going Up” – lyrics by David Bolton