Inheritance in Hebrews Requires Obedience -- By: René A. López

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 23:45 (Autumn 2010)
Article: Inheritance in Hebrews Requires Obedience
Author: René A. López


Inheritance in Hebrews Requires Obedience

René A. López

I. Introduction

Each year at the same time, the State Fair of Texas comes to Dallas. To many this is like a temporary heaven on earth. Good food, clean fun, and a great family time are available to those who have a ticket to get in. Often individuals and organizations will purchase a block of tickets to give away to others for free. Those who receive a free ticket are aware that even though the ticket cost them nothing, the giver has paid the cost.

There are many things to do once a person enters the fair: games, animal shows, rides, food, etc. All these activities are available to any ticket holder, though some of them are not covered by the entry ticket and must be purchased. Let’s say a man named Joe has received a free ticket to the fair. He is assured entry to the fair and to participation in many of the activities in the fair. But whether or not Joe is able to participate in activities not covered by his free ticket is up to him. If he wants food, beverage, souvenirs, etc., he must purchase those things himself. Therefore, Joe must have earned his own money in order to participate in extra activities not covered by the free ticket.1

Eternal life is like a free ticket to enter the Fair. Eternal life is available to those who believe in Jesus for it. Although the ticket to receive eternal life is free, it cost Jesus His life. One is guaranteed free entrance into the Kingdom by simple faith in Christ. However, the amount

that a Christian is able to enjoy once in the Kingdom will depend on the amount of work done while on earth prior to entrance. In other words, although Kingdom entrance comes as a free gift to all who simply believe in Jesus for eternal life, inheritance in the Kingdom to rule with Christ and receive other blessings depends on perseverance in obedience now. This seems to be how the writer of Hebrews uses the concept of inheritance.

The terms klēronomos, klēronomeō, or klēronomia appear nine times in the Book of Hebrews.2 Unlike other passages (e.g., Mark 10:17; Acts 20:32 and 26:18), Hebrews predicates obedience as a condition to qualify as an “heir” or to “inherit.”3 This paper will examine five areas related to this use of inheritance: Jesus’ obedience ...

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