CNNMoney reported, “American retirees expect to leave an average inheritance of almost $177,000 to their heirs.” This ranks sixth in the world, but this number does not apply to all Americans, however, since only 56 percent expect to leave any inheritance at all to their children.
To receive an inheritance can be a nice financial windfall. Even better than money, of course, is our spiritual inheritance in Christ (v. 29). We are heirs of the gospel! This is an extension of Paul’s metaphor: After the “childhood” period with the Law as guardian, Christ came. As a result, believers have now been adopted as full members of God’s family, reaching, as it were, the legal age for adult rights and full inheritance (v. 26).
This new status is symbolized by baptism, in which a person publicly professes faith in Christ (v. 27). Metaphorically, believers are by faith “clothed” or united with Christ. Whereas a works mentality had led to spiritual competition—as seen, for instance, in the Pharisees’ attitude in the Gospels—divine grace and unity in Christ means that all God’s children possess equal standing in His family (v. 28; 1 Cor. 12:13). Jew, Gentile, slave, free, male, and female were socially significant categories, but God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34–35). This didn’t mean that these differences disappeared, of course, but rather that God’s love and salvation are freely available equally to all.
These verses make it abundantly clear that it’s all about Christ! We’re God’s children “in Christ Jesus.” We’ve been baptized “into Christ.” We’re clothed “with Christ.” All believers are “one in Christ Jesus.” We “belong to Christ” and thanks to Him we’re spiritual descendants of Abraham and heirs of salvation (cf. Rom. 8:14–17).
Apply the Word
Reflecting on verse 28, commentator Timothy George observed: “Each of these spheres of human creativity [race, money, sex] has become degraded and soiled through the perversity of sin.” Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any pride, greed, or lust in your life and to transform you through the power of the gospel.