There’s a lot of talk these days about entitlement. The subject is an interesting one, and in the political arena it is becoming a hot topic. We are living in an age of entitlement which is defined as believing we are owed something by someone else—we are owed respect, love, honor, a living, a place to live, an easy comfortable life, happiness, a good marriage, and this list could go on.
Where does this sense of entitlement come from? First it is important to know the meaning of the word. Webster’s defines it as: 1: a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract; 2: a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also: funds supporting or distributed by such a program 3: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges.
So, what are we entitled to here in our country? We cut our teeth on the second section of our Declaration of Independence which reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It has been our belief in this clause that catapulted the United States into world fame and power.
This, as you see, was based on the belief that this is what our Creator has endowed every one of us with, and which are unalienable, which means that they are natural and legal rights. Is this what our Creator actually said? Did God really say that we were created with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Not willing to touch the sacredness of our Declaration of Independence, I would like to look at what some of our inalienable rights are according to scripture. I have compiled at least four pages of these verses (only two of which are listed here) which don’t even touch the tip of this iceberg. I read these out loud whenever I start to think I am not getting my fair share of love, respect, honor, or when I start to murmur and complain that God is not doing enough for me, or not answering my prayers. Even if we lose everything we have enjoyed in our wonderful country we will never lose our inheritance in Christ:
My Inheritance in Christ
John 1:12 I have power to become the child of God. • John 6:32 Jesus is my heavenly bread, my spiritual food. • John 7:38 in Jesus out of my heart will flow rivers of living water. • John 8:12 I now walk in the light; I no longer walk in darkness. • John 10:27-29 I am His sheep and I hear His voice; no one can ever snatch me out of His hand. • John 11:26 in Jesus I will never die. • John 14:1-6 Jesus has gone to prepare a place for me and where He is, I will be with Him. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, there is no other way, truth or life but in Him. • John 14:23 God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have come to me and make their abode in me. • John 14:26 the Holy Spirit will teach me all things. • John 14:27 I have the Peace of Jesus, so that my heart will never be troubled. • John 15 everything I need for sustenance, life, joy, etc. comes from Jesus and flows into me. • John 15:11 His joy remains in me and my joy will be full. • John 15:16 Jesus has chosen me; I can’t undo what He has done. • John 15:15 Jesus calls me His friend. • John 15:22 I will have sorrow in this world, but He promises that I can have His joy and no one can take it from me. • John 17:3 I can know Him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ. • John 17:12 Jesus won’t lose me. • John 17:22 Jesus gives me His glory. • John 17:26 the same love that God has for Jesus is in me.
Acts. 1:8 I have power to witness from the Holy Spirit.
Rom. 5:1-5 I have Peace with God through Jesus; Access by faith into grace; I rejoice in hope; glory in tribulation; He gives me patience; character, hope with no shame. • Rom. 6:3-6 I am baptized into His death and now live in the power of His resurrection. • Rom. 8:1 I am no longer under condemnation in Christ Jesus. • Rom. 8:15 I am no longer in bondage to fear; I call God “Abba”. • Rom. 8:26 the Holy Spirit Himself helps my infirmities (feebleness of mind or body; malady, moral frailty,-disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness). He prays for me. • Rom. 8:31-39 God is for me, no one can be against me. He freely gives me all things; He justifies me; Jesus prays for me; Nothing at all (not even I myself), can separate me from the love of God in Jesus. • Rom. 12:6 I am given supernatural gifts by the Holy Spirit to do the work of God on earth.
1 Cor. 1:5 in everything I am enriched by Jesus in all utterance and knowledge. • 1 Cor. 1:27 even if I feel foolish, all the better because God uses the foolish to confound the wise. • 1 Cor. 2:7 I am able to speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom. • 1 Cor. 2:9 eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into my mind, the things God has prepared for me. • 1 Cor. 2:10-16 the Spirit searches all things, the deep things of God. The Spirit is the Spirit of God, and He teaches me from the Bible, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. In Jesus, I have supernatural discernment. • 1 Cor. 2:16 I have the mind of Christ. • 1 Cor. 3:16 I am now the very temple of God. • 1 Cor. 3:23 I am His and He is God’s. • 1 Cor. 10:13 in every temptation, God provides a way of escape. • 1 Cor. 15:20 because Jesus was raised from the dead, whatever was possible with Him is possible with me. • 1 Cor. 15:51 I have hope because Jesus is coming back
2 Cor. 1:3-7 the God of all comfort comforts me in all my tribulations. Because of this I can comfort others with His comfort. Although I may suffer as a Christian, my consolation is the same consolation Jesus received when He suffered. • 2 Cor. 1:20 all the promises of God in Jesus are Yes! And Amen! • 2 Cor. 1:21:22 Jesus established me, anointed me, sealed me and put a down-payment for me, assuring me that I will go to heaven. • 2 Cor. 2:14 Jesus always causes me to triumph in Him. • 2 Cor. 3:5 my sufficiency is from God. • 2 Cor. 3:6 Jesus makes me a minister of the New Testament. • 2 Cor. 3:17-18 where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. I behold Jesus and am changed into His image. • 2 Cor. 4:8-10 though I may be hard pressed I am not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed because it is His life that is manifested in my body. • 2 Cor. 4:16-17 I don’t lose heart, I am being renewed day by day. All of my afflictions are working for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. • 2 Cor. 5:1 though my outer man is dissolving, my inner man is eternal. • 2 Cor. 5:17 I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. • 2 Cor. 7:6 I have the comfort of Jesus when I am cast down. • 2 Cor. 8:2-5 I have the fellowship of all of Jesus’ other children, His spiritual heirs, and they pray for me and minister to me. • 2 Cor. 9:8 God is able to provide all sufficiency so that I am always able to provide for others. • 2 Cor. 10:4-5 Jesus give me power over the evil forces. • 2 Cor. 12:9-10 His grace is sufficient for everything.
Gal. 2:20 my old sin nature is crucified, I now can live by the same faith that He lived by. • Gal. 4:1-4 I used to be under bondage to the elements of the world, now I am adopted by Jesus and am a son/daughter and heir. • Gal. 5:13, 10 the freedom Jesus gave is not so I can remain in the flesh continuing to do my own will, but so I can serve others.
Eph. 1 all spiritual blessings that Jesus enjoys are my spiritual inheritance: His holiness; His blamelessness; He predestined me to adoption because it pleased Him; I am accepted in the Beloved; redeemed through His blood; forgiven of sins; I have the riches of His grace which He lavished on me in all wisdom; I know the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure; I have obtained an inheritance; I am sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise Who is the down-payment for my future redemption; the eyes of my understanding are enlightened; I know what is the hope of His calling, the riches of His glory, the exceeding greatness of His power (the same power that raised Him from the dead); • Eph. 2 I am now alive; I am raised up together with Jesus and made to sit in heavenly places; I am His workmanship (Greek: Poeima=Poem); I have been created for good works; I was once an alien, now I am in Jesus, having been brought near by His blood; Jesus Himself is my peace; I have access by one Spirit to the Father; I am no longer a stranger and foreigner, but a fellow citizen with the saints and members of God’s household; I am being built along with the saints of old, the apostles and all Christians throughout all the centuries, joined together into His temple, which is His dwelling place. • Eph. 3:5-12 God revealed to me His mysteries, so that I can preach to others the “unsearchable riches of Christ”; these mysteries have been hidden in God from the beginning of the ages, now He has revealed them to me. The reason He reveals them to me is so that I, together with the body of Christ might make known the manifold wisdom of God to the angels, both the angels of God and the fallen angels. I have confident access and boldness in Him. • Eph. 3:16-19 I am given, according to His riches of glory, strength through His Holy Spirit in my inner man, and He dwells in my heart through faith so that I may comprehend with all the saints the width, length, depth and height (all the dimensions of God) and I can know the love of Jesus, which passes knowledge and be filled with all the fullness of God. • Eph. 3:20 I am able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask or think. • Eph. 6:10-18 Jesus gives me supernatural spiritual armor to protect me from the power of Satan and his forces.
Phil. 1:6 what He started in me, He will perform and complete until He returns. • Phil. 2:13, 15Jesus works in me to will and to do His good pleasure so that I will be blameless and harmless and I will shine as a light in the middle of this crooked and perverse generation. • Phil. 3:8-10I don’t have to worry about my own righteousness, it is His righteousness in me by faith and because of this I can know Jesus, I can know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings as I am being conformed to His death.