Spirit and Inheritance

The history of Israel includes national sins that resulted in her expulsion from the Promised Land. However, God foresaw her failures and determined eons ago to institute a New Covenant that would be energized and characterized by His Spirit, and a people, singular, that would include the Gentile nations. This covenant would culminate in the resurrection of the righteous dead and the arrival of the “New Heavens and the New Earth.”

With his death and resurrection, a new era dawned in Jesus, the “Last Days” and the time of fulfillment. In him, God’s covenant promises began to find their “Yea” and “Amen,” including the New Covenant.

Crocuses - Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash
[Crocuses - Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash]

When Israel repented wholeheartedly, God would gather the tribes of Israel “f
rom among all the peoples where Yahweh your God has scattered you,” “multiply you beyond your fathers, and “circumcise your heart to love Him with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live” - (Deuteronomy 30:3-6).

Thus, God would “multiply Israel beyond her forebears.” The Hebrew term translated as “multiply” is the same one found in the call to Adam to be “fruitful and MULTIPLY,” and in His promise TO MULTIPLY the seed of Abraham - (Genesis 1:28, 17:2).

Moreover, this restoration would occur when Yahweh “circumcised Israel’s heart,” an internal change promised in Scripture and actualized by His Spirit under the “New Covenant” inaugurated by the death of Jesus - (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 11:19-20).

The restoration would be far more expansive than anything Israel had ever experienced or even imagined. In the end, it would be a new creative act that impacted all the nations of the earth - (Isaiah 65:17-18, Romans 8:20-23, Revelation 21:1-3).

The promises are fulfilled in Jesus as God implements His New Covenant through his death, resurrection, and the outpouring of the Spirit, with the latter beginning on the Day of Pentecost and continuing in the life of the Church.

Jesus came to fulfill the “Law and the Prophets.” The Jews who saw him experienced something “greater than Jonah,” “than Solomon,” “than David,” and certainly greater than the Temple in Jerusalem. Through Jesus, God’s kingdom began its inexorable march across the Earth - (Matthew 5:17-21, 12:6, 12:28, 12:41-42).

Having established the “New Covenant,” Jesus commenced building his community based on the “New Covenant in his blood,” one that is formed around and centered on him, not the Land of Canaan or the Temple - (Acts 3:24-26, Acts 10:42-43, 13:18-33).

According to Paul, Jesus ascended on high “that he might fulfill all things.” The jurisdiction of the Torah was only for a limited time, namely, “until Christ came.” Now, all those who place their faith in Jesus become the “children of Abraham” regardless of ethnicity or nationality - (2 Corinthians 1:20, Galatians 3:24, Romans 10:4).

THE GENTILES


Jesus became the Suffering Servant portrayed in the Book of Isaiah, the one who “confirms the promises to the fathers so that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy.” The “blessing for the nations” promised to Abraham is fulfilled in the Son of God; however, he has expanded the Abrahamic covenant far beyond the confines of Palestine or the nation of Israel - (Romans 15:8-9).

Before his death, the Gentiles were “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” However, “those who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” The promises to regather God’s people are fulfilled as Jews and Gentiles respond to the Gospel. God’s purpose was always “to sum up all things in Christ in the fullness of the times” - (Ephesians 1:10, 2:11-13).

When referring to the Promised Land, the Hebrew Bible employs the terms “inheritance,” “inherit,” “heir,” and “promise.” In the New Testament, the same terms are applied to what God is accomplishing through His Son for His people. He is the heir of all things, and his “brethren” become his “coheirs” - (Matthew 21:38, 28:18, John 13:3, Colossians 1:12-13, 1 Peter 1:3-5).

The Gift of the Spirit confirms the status of believers. They are the “children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.” Anyone who receives the Spirit becomes part of this community regardless of nationality. The salvation provided by Jesus is a universal offer of life to all men, women, and children.

Jesus is the true “Seed of Abraham,” and therefore his disciples become “heirs according to promise.” The Spirit is the “earnest of our inheritance for the redemption of the possession” - (Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 1:13-14).

The Messiah implemented the New Covenant by becoming the heir; consequently, all those who are “in Christ” become coheirs who will receive the same inheritance - (Romans 8:1-23, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, Hebrews 8:6-13, 9:15).

His bodily resurrection was an act of new creation.  God did not resuscitate a corpse but replaced it with a glorious new body, one no longer subject to death. His resurrection inaugurated the promised New Creation though there is an overlap between the existing and coming ages - (1 Corinthians 15:42-50, 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Since his disciples are his coheirs, their hope will be realized in the bodily resurrection when he returns. At present, the creation itself is “sighing and travailing in birth pangs, ardently awaiting the revelation of the sons of God.”

Rainbow Panorama - Photo by Andi Kleeli on Unsplash
[Photo by Andi Kleeli on Unsplash]

All living creatures remain subject to death due to Adam’s “
transgression,” but God will reverse the curse when His sons receive the redemption of their bodies. In the interim, they have the Spirit as the “First Fruits” of the resurrection - (Romans 8:17-23).

The New Creation is the true and final inheritance of the saints. According to his promise, “We look for the New Heavens and the New Earth wherein dwells righteousness” - (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1-7).

Thus, the “New Covenant” and the “New Creation” both began with the death and resurrection of Jesus, a process that will culminate in the resurrection of the righteous dead and the appearance of the “New Heavens and the New Earth” when Jesus “arrives on the clouds of Heaven.”



RELATED POSTS:
  • Redemption - (Central to the biblical doctrine of salvation is the promise of redemption. God will not abandon what He first created)
  • Abolishing Death - (Jesus nullified Death by his resurrection and laid the foundation of our future bodily resurrection)
  • Redemption of our Body - (Paul links our salvation to the inheritance of Christ and the coming resurrection and the redemption of the creation itself)

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