All things in heaven and on the earth were created by Jesus Christ. He is before all things as the Creator, and in Him all things exist and are maintained by His power. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is the Son and therefore the appointed heir of all which He created (Heb. 1:2). The inheritance is of all things, visible or invisible: thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers. It is all destined to be His.
Sin entered in and by it all creation became defiled. Whether it was the sin of Satan or that of Adam, defilement reached into the heavens, approaching the very throne of God. A reconciliation was needed, one that would be pure and perfect, and would appease the righteous and holy God. The reconciliation of all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, was through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
But this alone would not satisfy all the counsel of God. The Father would have a body for His glorified Son. He desired that there would be many children, many sons in His household. He would have a bride for His Son, an Eve to present to the second Adam after He awoke in glory.
The Reconciliation of the Body of Christ
This body, of necessity, would need to be redeemed and reconciled. Man’s disobedience in the garden was the cause of the corruption that spread upon all things (Rom. 8:19-21), but it also brought sin into man’s flesh and death by its presence (Rom. 5:12). Man was lost and in ruin. He was alienated from God his Creator. He was banished from paradise, removed from the presence of God. By birth and by nature, man was a child of wrath. Redemption and reconciliation were desperately needed.
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.”
It is true that all mankind was alienated and enemies of God, and that reconciliation for man must necessarily come through man, and so by the death of the Son of Man. This is a principle and understanding of great importance. Jesus was in the form of God and equal with God, for He was God. Yet He made Himself of no reputation, and came in the likeness of men. This allowed Him to be able to humble Himself to the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8). So the redemption of man comes through the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.
Certain scriptural truths proceed from this death. It should be abundantly clear it was the Son of Man that God raised from the dead (Matt. 17:9), and that a Man has now entered the glory of God (Luke 22:69, Heb. 10:12). Having said all this brings out this scriptural understanding – none of these things occurred for Him, for His personal benefit, or to further His own personal glory. All these things happened because He takes up the title of the Son of Man, and came and took on human flesh. Not for Him, but for us. We are men, and so it had to be. Now this reconciliation would not be universal to all mankind, but a certain body of men would be redeemed and reconciled. This is the church, the body of Christ.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
In all things Jesus Christ has the preeminence, the first place, and headship. As we have seen He is the head of all creation as the Creator. Here we see He is the Head of the body because the Son of Man is the firstborn from the dead. His death and shed blood is the means of the redemption of the believer/church (Col. 1:14). He goes into the glory first, as the forerunner, so that His body, the church, will follow. He goes into the Presence as the glorified Man, providing the means by which other men, His brethren, will go with Him later.
The Sons of God are the Heirs of the Father
The inheritance is now associated with this Man, for He has reconciled all things in the heavens and earth, things visible and invisible, back to God through His blood (Col. 1:20). But if we look closely we should be able to see that the inheritance is not given in this manner. It is not an inheritance given from God to man – in principle this doesn’t make any sense. Rather, it is an inheritance given from Father to Son. The inheritance is a family thing. The Father will give it to the Son, who is appointed by Him as heir of all things (Heb. 1:2).
The believer is an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17, Gal. 4:7). But how is this? It is not because we are now redeemed men, having our sins forgiven, and finally at peace with God (Col. 1:14, Rom. 5:1). This is a blessed first truth concerning our justification, but it does not explain why we are heirs. Also the church will eventually enter into the Presence behind the veil because the glorified Man has gone there already – by this, man will not fall short of the glory of God (Heb. 6:19-20, Rom. 3:23). Again, this is blessed truth, but it does not fully explain the inheritance of the saints. How is it that we are heirs?
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
We are heirs because we are now children. Previously we were not children, certainly not children of God. All we could scripturally say about our previous position is that we were by nature children of the first Adam, and by consequence of his disobedience, children of the devil (John 8:34-44). By nature, we were children of wrath and sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:1-3).
But now we are heirs of God because we are children of God. And it should benefit all believers if we could trace the development of these thoughts from the truths and realities of our redemption in Christ. How is it that the believer is now a child of God? Is it because your sins have been forgiven? This is not the reason. As a believer, Christ bore your sins on the tree and now they are gone. Guilt is associated with sins and so, for the believer all guilt should be gone. The believer now has peace with God (Rom. 5:1). This is your justification. But if the forgiveness of sins is all there is to your redemption, then God has left you in your original position – in Adam and in the flesh, and still with no potential to please God (Rom. 8:8-9).
The Believer’s new position – in Christ, the Second Adam
God hasn’t just forgiven our sins and justified us. He did not leave us as the old man in Adam. God has done far more than this. He has changed our state, our position. By redemption we are no longer in the first Adam, but now in Christ, the second Adam. We are born of God.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Most of this verse is a contrast with being born in the first Adam – born of blood, of the will of the flesh, and of the will of man. However, the believer is now on the other side of the contrast and quite the opposite. We are born of God. By this birth we are children of God. By the Holy Spirit sent down to the earth, the Father is gathering a family, the body of Christ. The Father’s family is centered in and around His Son, Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are all sons of God (Gal. 3:26).
Death ended the Believer’s relationship with the First Adam
We were crucified with Christ, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him (Gal. 2:20, Rom. 6:6). This is the death of your life in the first Adam. As a believer you died with Christ (Rom. 6:8). Your position and relationship to the first Adam was put to an end. But if we died with Christ, then we were also raised with Him (Col. 3:1, Rom. 6:4, 6:8, Eph. 2:5).
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection…”
The New Creation of the Second Adam
This is the new creation of God that we are in Jesus Christ (Gal. 6:15, II Cor. 5:17). This is the new position of the believer. It is the resurrection life of Christ (Col. 2:12). It is out of Adam and into the second Adam. It is the believer ‘in Christ.’ And it is the new creation of God because it is born of God. By this we are the children of God as sons. And we know, “…if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Gal. 4:7)
And because we are now sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” The Father places in the believer His seal of authenticity, the seal of the Spirit (Eph. 1:13). He is given the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of sonship (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6). The relationship established is the Father with the sons of God. We are born of God as children. “…and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” (Rom. 8:17)
The Father’s children receive the Inheritance
“…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
It is the Father who gives the inheritance. It is the Son who is the appointed heir of all things. But we are now fellow heirs with the Son. We not only share in the glory of the Son of Man glorified (John 17:22), but we are the brethren of the Son (John 17:22), and equal heirs with Him in all He inherits (Of course He does not inherit His divinity or divine attributes. We do not share in this, except that the new creation is a partaking of the divine nature in relationship with God – II Pet. 1:4). The same inheritance Christ will be given is the one we will share in. It is an inheritance of all things created. It is the inheritance of the saints.
We are in Christ and He in us (John 14:20). The only life we have is the resurrected Christ living in us. As many of us as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). The body of Christ is the fullness of Him (Eph. 1:23). All the members of that one body, being many, are one body – so also is Christ (I Cor. 12:12). Both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb. 2:11). Those who are joined to the Lord are one Spirit with Him (I Cor.6:17).
The Rapture gathers the children of God for the Inheritance
The Son of Man has been exalted into the glory of God and sits at the right hand of God. But as we’ve previously taught, none of these events were for Him personally, but all for us. There will be given by the Father the inheritance of the saints. It is given to Christ and those in union with Him, His fellow brethren and heirs. But the Father will not give this inheritance until all the heirs are present. All the sons will have to be there.
And so, it is the rapture of the church that is the Lord gathering His brethren and returning to the Father. It is the entire body being taken from this earth. It is not a progression of individual deaths of believers from the day of Pentecost on. It is in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. And it is all by the sovereign power of God, this resurrection and change. The Father will have His sons with Him. He will unite the body to the Head. It is not in the counsels of God for the Father to give an inheritance to a bodiless Head. The inheritance of all things must wait until all the sons are glorified. Jesus assured us that He will come for us all. And His coming is not the death of believers, but rather their resurrection and life. This is the blessed hope of the church.
Chapter 5: Endnotes
 Adam and Eve, before their fall in sin, are a remarkable type of Christ and the church. Adam is put to sleep and Eve is formed from out of him and then presented to him after he wakens. In fulfillment of this type, after the death of the second Adam, He awakes in resurrection and glory to have His bride presented to Him in glory. The church is formed out of Him. It is a church in glory and not on the earth. How else will it be a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, holy without blemish? This can only come to pass for the church by the sovereign power of God. For the church to be presented in glory, and to be holy and without blemish, it can only be the sovereign work of God (Eph. 5:27). And this type teaches more. Everything Adam says after the presentation of Eve, and what God says concerning this relationship and marriage has a greater reality and substance in Christ and the church. For Christ and the church, the two will be one, and this will be eternally. Here we haven’t even touched on the dominion given to Adam, and Eve as his help-meet. As I said, it is a most remarkable type and full of spiritual instruction (Eph. 5:32).
 Jesus Christ, being in the form of God and equal to God, took on human flesh. Only God could have done this. It was a change of state. All of the creation of God was confined to its present state, and for all of it there was no possibility of change. All of creation became defiled and corrupted by the disobedience of Adam – the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but in hope (Rom. 8:20). But this change of state for the second person of the Godhead only God could do, and it was necessary, even in a sense demanded. Without it all would be universally lost concerning the destiny of man.
Jesus Christ took on flesh. His change of state we often call His humiliation; by it He lowered Himself below the angels of a time. Truly He did this for the soul reason of suffering death and completing a redemptive work by that death. The believer was crucified with Christ. Our previous state in Adam is done with by this death. We are now a new creation in Christ. This is our new state. It is in the second Adam. It is born of God. It is a son of God. It is a new state and a new position. But it was all God’s work. Only God could have done this.
 The Scriptures tell us, “For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren…” God takes up the cause of man. He does not redeem angels. This adds further to our understanding of the necessity of the work of the Son of Man and that presently there is a Man in glory, sitting at the right hand of God. He had to be made like His brethren – not universal redemption of mankind, but that of His brethren.
 Unfortunately, many Christians continue to live in guilt, not believing that all their sins are forgiven or can be forgiven. They do not have peace with God, nor do they have any true sense of security in their salvation. Their eternal life is not so eternal, and they live under the fear of possible judgment from God. This is a sad condition, and at the root of this type of unscriptural faith is the Arminian leaven. They must do certain things to secure the eternalness of their salvation, as well as avoiding other things. Jesus isn’t the Captain of their salvation, but rather they are, and they are responsible for maintaining it. It is not as Jesus said, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29, 6:37-40, 17:11-12) It is not an understanding that God sees fit to keep His sovereign work, but instead, man being responsible for keeping himself. When the scriptures ask, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” they quickly add that they themselves can, if certain things happen. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Well, they say, you are the only one who can be, and you will lose your salvation if you aren’t careful to do things right.
This type of thinking never gives peace and will never bring one to peace with God. It is always a fearful looking for judgment and for the appointed day of their death. But this is the portion of all unbelievers (Heb. 9:27). For the believer, Christ has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26) and was offered once to bear the sins of many (Heb. 9:28) – so then, we are those who eagerly wait for Him to appear for us a second time, apart from sin and judgment, for the end of our salvation, the glorifying of our bodies. Obviously, His first coming was on account of sin and to bear the sins of many. It was for God to judge sin in the flesh and to righteously deal with sins (Heb. 9:26, 28). He will come again for those who eagerly wait for Him. This second time He does not come for the judgment of sin or to bear sins, but clearly apart from sin and for salvation – for those eagerly waiting (the believer/church). This second appearing is so different in character from the first, which was for the judgment of sin for them. The second appearing is for sin to be removed from their flesh by the glorifying of their bodies. He will come again for the consummation of their salvation. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).