A Will or Testament is a formal document that defines the disposition of the properties or estate that one possesses after their death (Hebrews 9:15-17). In the sense that we use these terms today, one does not have to be related to a person to inherit, but only to be named in the Will of the person. Thus, organizations,  a pet cat or dog, unrelated persons, etc... may be named as an heir. However, a Will or Testament may also stipulate conditions upon which one can inherit. For example, a child may be named, but it may be stipulated that they reach a certain age before receiving the estate, and in the meantime, the estate is managed by whomever the testator desires. The twenty seven books of our common New Testament actually compose the Will or Testament of Jesus, the Son of God, and it behooves us to acquaint ourselves with it to see if we will be heirs of God, and "joint-heirs" (Romans 8:17) with Christ. Only those who are named or qualify under the conditions of a Will inherit! What does the last Will and Testament of Jesus say?

 In an interview with a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews (John 3:1ff), Jesus told him that the only way for a person to "see" or "enter" (John 3:3,5) the kingdom of God is for that person to be "born again" of "water and the Spirit." Since the kingdom of God is also the "house" or "church" of God (1Timothy 3:15, see also vs. 5; Matthew 16:18-19), one must be born again, and be part of the family of God to be an heir! To argue otherwise we would have to admit that Jesus' Will or Testament has no force to determine those who inherit, or that God has illegitimate children, that is children that were not born again in His kingdom, church or family. Too many folks today want to be saved according to their own will, totally disregarding Jesus' Will that He died to validate!

 We can determine what is meant by being "born again" or "born of water and of the Spirit" (John 3:3, 5) by observing how these conditions of Jesus' Will were applied after His death, when His Will became effective (Hebrews 9:15-17). The second chapter of the Book of Acts is a pivotal chapter in the Bible. It was here that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, and that Peter preached the gospel under the direction of the Spirit of God. After Peter had persuaded many Jews present, that Old Testament scripture taught that Jesus is indeed the Messiah and Savior (Acts 2:14-36), that we see the new birth principles given. When some, recognizing their guilt and complicity in killing Jesus cried, "what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37), Peter applied Jesus' Will given earlier to Nicodemus. Read clearly what Peter said, "...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). Jesus' Will then, tells those who believe in Jesus to "repent" and "be baptized" to receive remission of sins. Those who did so were "born again" of the "water and of the Spirit." The Holy Spirit directed Peter's message and those who wished to have their sins forgiven and to be children of God under the new disposition (the Will and Testament of Jesus) would be children "born of water and of the Spirit" and constitute the family of God and church of Jesus Christ! One MUST be a spiritual child of God by being born again into His family. Reading the rest of Acts 2 and the entire New Testament will show how these new children of God lived and worshipped Jehovah God!

 Ed Rodger, Forney, TX