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Tag Archives: spiritual inheritance

Don’t Lose Your Inheritance

I’ve been posting about Paul’s view of lawsuits between believers in his first letter to the Corinthians.  He sees it as a sign that they’re living in defeat.  They’re bringing public shame upon the church.

As he continues, Paul shows them that this is part of a much larger issue.  It’s something that we should all be mindful of in our generation.

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11

This is a section of Scripture that self-righteous people use to prove that other church members are going to hell.  But what’s Paul really saying here?

First, let’s look at the context.  He’s talking about bringing lawsuits against fellow believers.  There are two sins in this list that directly apply to this issue.  The word, greedy, means to desire more than the share that should be coming to you.  The word, swindler, means to plunder or carry off by force, which is the goal of a lawsuit.

For these reasons Paul is telling them that they’re living in defeat.  Their flesh is clearly in control of the situation.  But have they lost their salvation over this?

I don’t believe that’s the case.  One reason is that Paul clearly states that they were greedy swindlers.  Now, because they were washed, sanctified, and justified, they’re no longer who they were.  They are simply acting in a way that’s inconsistent with their new nature in Christ.

Another reason that I don’t believe they lost their salvation is that Paul is talking about their inheritance.  He warns them that if they continue to act outside of God’s will, they could lose the kingdom blessings God has set aside for them.

Peter says the same thing in his letters.

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9

Peter uses some of the same words as Paul.  The word insult is the same word translated as slanderer in 1 Corinthians.  The difference is that Peter makes it clear that the inheritance is a blessing, not your salvation.

We have to understand these kingdom truths.  The fact that I lose my inheritance does not mean that I’ve lost my place in the family.  It only means that I haven’t been living a life that’s consistent with the character of my family.

In Christ, we’ve been set free from our past.  We are made new in Him.  If I fall to sin, I can’t say, “That’s just who I am.  I’m a greedy person.”

I’m not a greedy person anymore.  Now I need to clothe myself in Christ – my new nature.  Yes, I can still follow the desires of my flesh, but that should be the exception – not the rule.  I must submit to the Holy Spirit’s life-changing work in me.

This should be a warning to us.  Kingdom blessings are for those who submit to the spiritual processes of the kingdom.

Question: Why are some people so eager to accuse others of losing their salvation?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on March 15, 2019 in Legalism, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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Why Do You Seek God?

That’s an interesting question to ask.  Some may even say that the answer should be obvious.  But is it?  I think it’s important to know if you’re seeking God for the reasons He wants to be sought.

Jesus had a way of getting to these core issues when dealing with people.

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him.  “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Mark 10:17

From the outward appearance, this man was seeking Christ for a changed life.  It’s like we pray sometimes.  “Lord, I’ll do whatever it takes to please you.  Just help me out of this situation I’m facing.”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered.  “No one is good — except God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'”
Mark 10:18-19

Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter.  He asks the man why he’s asking this question.  Does he really know the One he’s seeking help from?

When we seek the Lord, are we seeking Him as Lord?  Or are we just asking Him to give us something or to do something for us?  That makes a difference.

Jesus starts by giving him the primary answer – do what the Scripture tells you to do.  That’s the entrance into the kingdom.  Of course, they were under the Old Covenant so it meant following the Law of Moses.

“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him.  “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”
Mark 10:20-21

Based on the words of Christ, this young man was saved and on his way to Heaven.  He was fulfilling the requirements of the Law.  The problem was that he was still spiritually unfulfilled.  He was longing for a deeper walk.  That’s why he came to Jesus.

There’s something important to understand.  Before Jesus gives him the instructions, we’re told the Lord discerned or looked into him.  Having done that, we’re also told that Jesus loved him.  He knew about the genuine longing in this young man’s heart.

Basically, the Lord tells him that if he wants to progress to the next level, spiritually, he needs to remove all his earthly possessions and start new as a disciple of Christ.

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
Mark 10:22-23

The word picture in this verse is that of a cloud coming over the conversation when Jesus spoke.  The young man was grieved because he had a large estate.  So that’s what this is about; an estate.

The young man had inherited an estate from his family.  Jesus was calling him to give up his earthly inheritance for a heavenly one.  After all, that was his original question.

He was probably well known and respected because of his family’s wealth.  Jesus was calling him to give it all up and to start fresh in the kingdom of God.

When we seek the Lord, are we looking for His counsel and direction or do we simply want Him to give us something?  Attitude makes all the difference.

I’ll continue this thought in my next post.

Question: What should our attitude be in approaching the Lord?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Faith, Prayer, Spiritual Walk

 

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Hope and Our Inheritance

BeamI’ve been posting about the living hope we have in Christ. In my last post I talked about how the Lord’s mercy brings about hope in us.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you…
1 Peter 1:3-4

So far we’ve seen that this hope is birthed by mercy through the resurrection of Christ. But we also need to see that this Living Hope brings us into an inheritance.

The fact is that this hope points to an inheritance that we didn’t deserve. There was nothing we could have done to lay hold of it. It was all a work of Jesus Christ for us.

In the above verse there are three nots associated with this inheritance. First of all, it does not perish or decay. Praise God! That means that my inheritance in Christ is not affected by inflation.

It also says that it will not spoil. That means that it will not become soiled or dirty. It will always remain pure and new to us.

Finally, our inheritance will never fade. That means that it will never be used up or become worthless over time. Nothing on this earth meets those criteria. That’s why our hope, our treasure, is in Christ alone. I can look forward to His blessing in my life.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

It’s because of this hope of the inheritance that we can work for God with all our heart. But there’s more. The above verse from Peter doesn’t end there.

…who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:5

Yes, we are birthed by mercy, through the resurrection, into an inheritance; but this Living Hope shields us by God’s power. I don’t need to remind you about the shield of faith. It keeps us secure in times of trial.

But it’s fed by the living expectation that’s fresh and new every morning. Paul puts it this way…

…a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…
Titus 1:2

Paul mentions both faith and knowledge in this verse. Faith is our trust in God’s Word; while knowledge is what we have once our faith has been proven. It’s through these that we can rest on the hope of eternal life.

…so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:7

It’s this hope of eternal life that gives us joy in the trials that we face. This is because we know that the Lord is going to show up and work on our behalf. Never give up your hope; it will be richly rewarded.

Question: How has God proven Himself in your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2016 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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