An Inheritance Incorruptible

THE COMMON BELIEF of mankind in the Christian world is that our natural birth made us sons of God, with an immortal soul, and that at death we all automatically become spirit beings, more alive than ever. This is unscriptural and untrue. Actually we were born in sin, and shapen in iniquity. (Ps.51:5) This made us by nature, children of wrath, subject to death, extinction.

The Scriptures clearly show that it was not until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that the consecrated followers of Jesus could be begotten to a living hope. This hope would be an inheritance incorruptible, immortal, reserved, or preserved, in heaven. As stated by Peter: “Blessed be that God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy, has begotten us to a living hope, (hope of life—Interlinear) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and unfading, preserved in the heavens for you.”—I Pet. 1:3,4, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott


The word ‘inheritance,’ according to the English dictionary, means ‘that portion or blessing that is possessed, or is to be possessed by one, by reason of its being handed down without its having been purchased by the possessor.’ One does not purchase an inheritance.

The richer an earthly estate, the more it excites the malice and diligence of deceitful men to deprive the rightful heir of it. The Apostle Peter comforts the heirs of this great salvation, assuring them that although our inheritance is excellent and precious, it is also certain and safe; ‘laid up’ where it is beyond the reach of all adverse powers—reserved, or preserved, in heaven. Our enemies, including the Adversary himself, cannot possibly attack our inheritance nor can they overrun and destroy us even though we are in their midst, for he who is for us is more than all that can be against us.—Rom. 8:31


The whole groaning creation has been waiting for something—unconsciously, perhaps—and is still waiting. For what? For “the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19) It is waiting for these sons of God until their faithfulness unto death has been proved, and they are all actually in possession of that incorruptible inheritance—the Divine nature.

This Divine family of sons, consisting of our risen Lord and his glorified church, can rightly be termed a New Creation. (II Cor. 5:17) The making, or bringing into being, of this New Creation is a mighty and wonderful work. It is a work of surpassing strength and beauty, bringing into fullest action exhaustless resources of Divine power, sounding the depths of unfathomable wisdom, and compassing eternity in the stupendous purpose of God. This is indeed a Divine family, like unto our Heavenly Father’s own glorious nature, immortal.


Our inheritance is assured, ‘preserved in the heavens for you.’ But we remember our Lord’s words: “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (Matt. 20:22) The Apostle Paul explained, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” And, “if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”—Rom. 6:3,5

This baptism into his death involves the full surrender of our will to him, consecrating our all to follow and obey him even unto death. With this burial, or immersion, of our will into the will of Christ, we are begotten by the Holy Spirit, and by the Word of Truth, to the new nature. As New Creatures in Christ Jesus we now walk in newness of life. As Jesus faithfully bore witness to the Truth, and demonstrated his loyalty in connection with it, so with all his people. As Jesus was faithful during this process (as a New Creature), through sufferings, so with each member of the true church.


Our training as footstep followers of Jesus is to the end that we become like him—conformed to his image—and we are to be proved worthy. At times we may find that growth in Christlikeness is slow and painful, especially when the flesh rebels against our Father’s discipline. It is true that the “flesh lusteth against the Spirit, … and these are contrary the one to the other.”—Gal. 5:17

“If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” And, “if we walk in the light, as he [God] is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” It is our privilege also to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”—I John 1:7; 2:1; Heb. 4:16

Jesus, through the Revelator, has promised, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” (Rev. 3:21) Thrones of earth cannot be compared with this glorious heavenly inheritance with Christ Jesus, our beloved Lord, beyond the veil.


The hope of being with Christ stood out prominently in the zealous Paul’s mind. Looking forward with joyful anticipation to the first resurrection, his earnest desire was to be with him. The prize of joint-heirship with his Lord, and the great privilege of being engaged with him in the future kingdom work, seemed to him worthy of every sacrifice and effort which he could possibly put forth.

Here are some of Paul’s words: “Whatever things were gain to me, these I have, on account of the Anointed one, esteemed as a loss. But then, indeed, I even esteem all things to be a loss, on account of the excellency of the knowledge of the Anointed Jesus my Lord; (on whose account I suffered the loss of all things, and consider them to be vile refuse, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in him), … one thing I do;—even forgetting the things behind, and stretching forth towards the things before, I press along the line [to the goal, or aim, of my earnest desire], towards the prize of the high calling of God by Christ Jesus.”—Phil. 3:7-14, WED


Like the apostle, we must have intensity of aim and purpose for this High Calling, this incorruptible inheritance. We cannot drift into it. We, as with Paul, must give diligence to lay hold on this hope in Christ by growing in Christlikeness, and being active in our Father’s service. This calls for energy and zeal. Picturing athletes running on a racecourse, it should be noted that just as the winner of the contest goes all out, earnestly—yet wisely—expending all available enthusiasm, energy, and zeal to gain the prize so to this same degree of earnestness and intensity of purpose we are exhorted to run.

“Do you not know, that those running in a race-course,—all indeed run, but one receives the prize? Thus run, that you may obtain.” (I Cor. 9:24, WED) The Greek word here translated ‘obtain’ actually means ‘to receive or obtain thoroughly or fully.’ We are, indeed, to obtain in the complete and final sense.


We cannot now fully comprehend what our glorious heavenly inheritance will be. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” (I John 3:2) It is truly an incorruptible inheritance! All the wealth of this world could not buy, nor purchase, our inheritance. Indeed, none of the riches of this world could buy even the Holy Spirit by which we are begotten and sealed, and which is the earnest—assurance, or pledge—of our inheritance. All this is granted to us by Divine grace. “According to his abundant mercy” hath our Father begotten us, who, as stated in I Peter 1:3,5, “are kept [or guarded] by the power of God through faith.”

Continued implicit faith and loyal obedience to God’s Word and will are required. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection … they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Rev. 2:10; 20:6) This Divine family is none other than the “new Jerusalem,” the heavenly city, spiritual Zion, God’s dwelling place forever.—Rev. 21:2

We obtain this inheritance through birth in the first resurrection. “Of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.”—Ps. 87:5

Dawn Bible Students Association
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