That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory…
Among men there is possession and inheritance, in beings as in things. The husband has a portion in his wife, and parents have a portion in their children. "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord." And, according to the text, God has His inheritance in the saints. He who is the first cause of all things owns all things, and all things are His inheritance, and as part of this vast possession, living beings are God's peculiar treasure. That God has an inheritance in the things which He has made, is a fact asserted sometimes by Himself (Psalm 50:10-12; Psalm 127:3; Exodus 19:5; Haggai 2:8; Job 41:11, etc.) The redeemed of mankind — men, women, children — are God's estate, His riches, His wealth.
1. God's inheritance in the saints is possession of the highest kind. That which lives is superior to that which is inanimate. That which is moral and religious in its constitution is superior to that which is without moral sensibility. And the highest and best beings are they which are most like to God, possessing His image and wearing His likeness. God's inheritance in the worlds upon worlds which He has made is inferior to His inheritance in the saints.
2. God's inheritance in the saints is His own original possession. It is underived from any ancestor. He never was heir to it; He holds it in no succession. The saints are His from the beginning, and His alone.
3. While the saints are God's inheritance naturally, He has a second or double title to the possession (Exodus 15:16; Psalm 74:2; Ephesians 1:14; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, etc.). The sick child lifted up from the gates of death is a special inheritance to the mother who has fondly nursed it. The prodigal son restored to his father is a special inheritance to the parent, whose life was a blank until the lost one was found. A forgiven transgressor, an ungodly man justified, a bad man regenerated, a man in a second sense God's child, is His peculiar treasure.
4. This inheritance, looked at from the God side and from the heaven side, is a rich and glorious inheritance. Considered from the human and earthly side, the possession is very poor. What can we see in ourselves that can make God rich? But God considers Himself rich and exalted and renowned, in being able to say of His saints, "They are mine." The state of God's heart toward His inheritance makes it appear to Himself as rich and glorious. We have seen that God has a rich and glorious inheritance in the saints.Upon this fact we proceed to make a few practical observations.
1. If God have a rich and glorious inheritance in the saints, He will claim it. He will not leave it alone, as though it did not belong to Him, or as though it were worthless. And God does claim it. He claims it by the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking in the hearts of the saints. He claims it by the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God. He claims His inheritance by His work upon it. He claims it by His providence over it. He claims it by His conduct, when this inheritance is defiled or given to another. He claims it by frequently reminding His saints that they are not their own.
2. If God have a rich and glorious inheritance in His saints, He will take care of His possession. All the looking to and attention and regard and oversight, which it requires for its safety and prosperity, cannot but be bestowed. And this care will partake of all the qualities of His own nature. It will be independent care, almighty care, righteous care, loving care, sufficient care, perfect care.
3. If God have a rich and glorious inheritance in His saints, He will make use of that inheritance. The little in God's hand shall produce more, and the more much, and the much a greater abundance. Christians are not senseless ornaments in God's house, but servants.
4. If God have a rich and glorious inheritance in His saints, He must take pleasure in it. Although this delight may be disturbed by sin and by sorrow, without doubt it exists with no variableness or the shadow of turning.
5. If God have a rich and glorious inheritance in His saints, He will not forsake it. His natural and His special title to it, His having claimed it, His use of it, and care for it, and delight in it, are all so many reasons for retaining it. And He has the capacity and ability to retain it. The inheritance which husbands and wives have in each other, is an inheritance which by reason of death fades away. The inheritance which parents have in children, is one which by reason of death in some cases, of removal from home in other cases, and of other circumstances, either partially or entirely fades away. But in this case the heritor lives, and the inheritance itself is everlasting. And while He lives He changes not.
6. If God have a rich and glorious inheritance in His saints, and if He claim His inheritance, care for it, make use of it, and take pleasure in it, and if He will not forsake it, the saints themselves should think and feel and speak and act and live in harmony with this position. They who come suddenly into a fortune, or rise unexpectedly to a high social position, do not at first see and understand all that is required of them. And thus the appreciation of their position by the saints is a gradual experience.
7. If God have His inheritance in the saints, we ought to esteem it highly, and to cherish a living and loving care for it. Christians should care for themselves, because they are not their own, and should care for themselves for God's sake. To defile or degrade or debase themselves, or to waste their energies, is to defile and debase and waste the inheritance of God. What motives are here to the cherishing of purity and righteousness and Christ-likeness! And how careful should saints be of each other!
(S. Martin, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: