Our Inheritance in Christ (Part Two)- Hebrews 8:10-12

In Genesis 12, God promises an inheritance to Abraham, to which Christians are also heirs in Christ. This promised inheritance is part of a covenant which God makes with Abraham, which is also valid for those in Christ. This new covenant also contains a three part inheritance given to those who place their faith in Christ. This covenantal inheritance of a people, a homeland and a blessing is described for us in Hebrews chapter one, with our blessing being Jesus, our homeland being heaven and our people being the family of God. We now turn to Hebrews eight to examine three additional blessings given to us as the result of this inheritance, mentioned here in terms of a “new covenant”. God here promises a new covenant with “the house of Israel”. The writer is here quoting an Old Testament passage and applying it to the church, for this OT passage is a promise to be fulfilled at the time of the coming of the messiah, and the House of Israel here is the New Testament church. The promise made in this passage took effect when Jesus (who is the messiah) came, as Jesus himself confirms in Luke 22:20. We are told in Hebrews 8:10, that the Lord declares this promise, so we know we can count on its being fulfilled. He here promises to “put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds”. He uses laws here as an expression of His will, and he has given us a mind to understand His will and a desire (heart) to do it. This is the first facet of the promised inheritance, He has given us a new character, made us a people who desire to do His will and not our own. He then promises us that “I will be their God and they will be my people”, their will be a new relationship between God and His people. They will no longer be servants but children, eager to do their father’s will, to accept what He says as true and live by it, to build His kingdom rather than seek to establish their own. Knowledge of the Lord, in this new covenant, will not be knowledge of a book of laws, but knowledge of a person, a heart knowledge rather than a head knowledge. This is the second facet of the promised inheritance, He has given us a new relationship with Him, as children to a father rather than as slaves to a master. He also promises to forgive our wickedness and remember our sins no more. The word wickedness is a noun here, not a verb, His forgiving not only what we do, but what we are. We become a “new creation”. In this New Covenant, we are given a new identity, no longer sinners but saints. This is the third facet of the promised inheritance, that we are given a new identity, no longer characterized by wickedness, but by righteousness. All of this is also part of our inheritance in Christ, we are not only given a people, homeland and blessing, we are also given a new character, identity and relationship to God. All of this is ours in Christ, and God intends that these new realities would cause us to live a new kind of life, characterized by obedience to His will as children to a father rather than slaves to as master.

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