Jesus' Inheritance and Yours
March 15th, 2016
Jesus’ Inheritance and Yours
Gary North is the name of an author I read a while back… I liked much of what he had to say but didn’t love the “tone” with which he was saying things. Perhaps it’s a few years of front line ministry, or a stronger conviction for the truths we agree on, but I’ve gone back to mine the gold that is Gary North.
Right now I am reading** Liberating Planet Earth**, which is the first volume in his series Biblical Blueprints, and it has been helping me to see how the bible fits together as a whole and how that grand narrative infuses the way we see the world.
One particular point that has been raising my affections since the moment I read it is the reality that “Christ died in order to reclaim our birthright” … which is “dominion over the earth”. This was a revolutionary concept when I first read it in David Chilton’s Paradise Restored, but North has such a powerful way of articulating this. He claims that it is only by firmly standing on this biblical truth that we can “go out into the world preaching the gospel with absolute confidence in the victory purchased by our Savior.”
Here is how North puts it:
Adam was a man. This means that he was made in God’s im-age (Genesis 1:26). So was Eve. This means that Adam was God’s first-born earthly son, the lawful heir to the whole world. God made it for man, and then He placed man over it (Genesis 1:28). All of it. It was man’s lawful possession, so long as man remained faithful to God.
*> But Adam sold his birthright to Satan-not for a mess of pottage (a bowl of stew), the way that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob (Genesis 25:29-34). No, Adam sold it for a lie, or at least a half-truth: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). Eve was deceived in this transaction, though disobedient; Adam knew exactly what he was doing (l Timothy 2:14).
What was God’s response? To disinherit Adam. He threw Adam and Eve out of the garden. But in grace, He clothed them in animal skins (meaning that some animal was first slain by God). He also gave them extra years of temporal life. But from that day forth, they were legally disinherited children. So is every human being at physical birth. Made in God’s image, we are born as disinherited children.
So essentially humanity (through Adam and through what would have still went down if any one of us were ‘in his shoes’) surrendered our birthright, spit in our fathers face, so to speak, and gave up the greatest gift that has ever been given by the greatest father who has ever lived. *
Is there good news? Yes! He made provision for us to get our birthright back, and it’s through the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross.
There is only one way: by submitting to the One who has reclaimed man’s birthright, the perfect man Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who came to earth for a task: to liberate the earth.
It is interesting that in Matthew 4 we see Satan offer the earth to Jesus if he would only bow… an offer that seems, at least in some ways legitimate. Satan was offering Jesus a way to reclaim the birthright without the cross, through idolatry in fact. Jesus stands firm and in obedience and instead goes to the cross. That’s when Satan lost his Adam-given authority – the day Christ died. Christians reinherited it in principle the day Christ rose from the dead.
In Psalm 2 God the Father, speaking to God the Son says “ask of me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your possession.” In Matthew 28, the great commission we all know, Jesus was essentially saying ‘go get me my inheritance’ when he said “go make disciples of all nations.”
***Jesus purchased the earth on the cross and then enlists us to “go get” what he purchased with his blood! ***
This truth, that the victorious risen Christ, the reigning Lord of Lords who has dominion over all of creation has bought back your inheritance and has called you to engage all of the world with the gospel to make disciples should set your soul ablaze!
We should be engaging politics, pop culture, comic books, Hollywood, local government, journalism, and on it goes, infecting them all with God’s truth from bottom to top.
The earth doesn’t belong to the “world system.” Satan no longer has ownership over any part of it, nor do his followers, the atheists, or godless humanists.
It's His world, and because we adopted sons, co-heirs, it belongs to us too!
We shouldn’t be cowering in fear saying “woe is me.” We should be riding hard into the thick of the fray, claiming the victory that already belongs to us.
Now, this doesn’t mean we take the world by force with the sword. No, we do it through preaching of the gospel, persuading the hearts and minds of men that Jesus is the only way to escape the wrath of God then they will be enlisted to get active building the Kingdom of God!