All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.1 Corinthians 21b-23
Paul is showing what happens when you choose the wisdom of God and the ways of God. You end up gaining the whole world. That is what Jesus said —
The meek shall inherit the earth, (Matthew 5:5). What a great and broad vista opens up to us in these words! After all, the trouble with the world is, if the world, or the worldly church, is offering you something, and you want it badly enough — its fame, pleasure, honor, wealth, whatever it is — you will probably get it. But that is all you will get.
Jesus said that if you do your giving to be seen of men you have your reward (Matthew 6:5). That is it. You will never get another one; nothing waiting for you beyond, no treasure laid up in heaven. If you do your praying to be heard of men so that you get a reputation for piety and godliness, well, you will get the reputation, but that is all you get. It is the world that is narrow; it is the world that is crabbed and withered and limited in its whole approach. But, as Paul reveals here, those who choose God never lose.
This is right in line with Jesus' great principle,
If you save your life you will lose it, but if you give up your life for my sake you will save it, (Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35). Paul looks all around and says,
He who lets God choose, ends up with everything. Why do you divide between Paul and Apollos and Cephas, and choose one among them? You can have them all, he says.
They are all yours. Paul, who planted — his whole ministry is yours. Apollos, the waterer — his ministry is yours; you can get the benefit of it. Cephas, the rock — whatever there is of value in his ministry is yours. In fact the whole world is open to you. Led of the Spirit of God, you can go anywhere you want and God will give you things that money cannot buy.
I have had this experience many times of enjoying things that millionaires own, but I get to use and they do not. The world is yours. Life with all its possibilities is open before you. God can lead you into where the real living is. Even death with its threat is already mastered; it is already yours. When you come to it, it will minister to you — not take from you. It will bring you into glory. The present, the future, all things are yours because you are Christ's, and Christ is God's and therefore everything he owns is yours. All things belong to you because you belong to the One to whom all things belong.
That is an incredible vista, isn't it? And yet those words are true. That is what God has in mind for his people. As we choose the life style we are going to have, do we have the faith and the courage to set aside the life style of the world around us, with all its demands for conformity, and walk with God? When we do, all that God possesses becomes ours. We become children of a heavenly Being who makes it all available to us.
Lord, thank you for opening this vista of life in which all that you possess becomes mine.
Are we open and willing to receive our full inheritance in Christ? Are we learning to receive and use His good gifts at His discretion and with thankfulness for His perfect provision for our needs?