When a man and a woman are joined in marriage, all they are and possess are shared with one another. Traditionally the wife takes the husband’s name as a symbol of their union of sharing of all things. His wealth and privileges becomes hers. His affections, devotion, and attention belong to her. And hers to him. So it is in the relationship between the Christian and Christ.
Think about Christ being baptized in the Jordan River by John (Matthew 3:13-17). John preached repentance, and his baptism was a baptism of repentance. Jesus had no sin to repent of, yet he was baptized with this baptism of repentance. John protested because he knew Christ needed no baptism, but Christ responded, “… it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” He spoke as “us” and not just as Himself. He did so because he was identifying with and joining Himself to humanity. He was speaking as the entire Church. His baptism was an act of becoming one with believers.
In the same way, the believer is spiritually baptized, or joined to, and identified with Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3). We completely belong to Him, and He completely belongs to us. Everything He is and everything He owns is given to us without limit or reservation (Romans 8:16-17).
It would be impossible to list the riches we have access to through Christ. They are infinite and unsearchable (Ephesians 3:8). But let’s look at just a few:
We are clothed in His righteousness and reputation. We have a right to stand before God unashamed.
“For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
When we reach the end of our journey and enter through the gates of heaven, there will be no whispers or raised eyebrows among the angelic hosts as we are presented before God. Being joined to Christ, His reputation is reflected in us. His glory is like a robe we wear. When the angels in heaven look at us, there will only be awe. More than that, God Himself will be as pleased with us as He is with Christ.
We are children of God and have the rights and privileges of children 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” (John 1:12:13).
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).
If we have received Him, believed on Him, and walk in obedience to Him, then we have the right to call ourselves children of God. We have been saved by the Firstborn, Christ, and were brought from the courtroom of judgment and into the family room. God is now our loving Father, whereas before He was the offended Judge. He will discipline us when we stray, but we will never have cause to fear condemnation. We don’t have to stand outside the throne room timidly as if we have no right to run up to Him and clamor for His attention. We have every privilege afforded to a child of the King, paid for by the blood of Christ.
We have a hope of everlasting glory, an everlasting inheritance, and uninterrupted fellowship with God and Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).
“… that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).
We as believers live in expectation of glory. Because the blood of Christ seals our inheritance, it cannot be taken away from us or forfeited. It is as sure as Christ Himself. We have a place reserved for us, as a group and individually, before the throne of God. We have a foretaste of that fellowship through His Word and in prayer.
These riches were not earned by our good works or bought by our devotion and worship. These riches are ours only because Christ, God in the flesh, poured out His life and took the punishment of God’s wrath in our place. These are the most expensive gifts. They are infinite and they were paid for by the Infinite God.
These riches of Christ will never expire, be taken away from us, or run out. Again, 1 Peter 1:4 says, “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” We all die and leave our earthly riches behind us. The unbeliever enters into eternity with empty pockets, but the believer finds him or herself an heir to all things, forever, with no end. And the crowning glory of all these riches is Christ Himself, the source of joy and happiness.