We Have a Rich Heritage

We Have a Rich Heritage

Isaiah 54:2       “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.3   For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.

Isaiah 54:“Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams. Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities.

Heritage – a).  Something that is handed down from the past, as a tradition:

b).  Something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inherited lot or portion:

Heritage – A country's heritage is all the qualities, traditions, or features of life there that have continued over many years and have been passed on from one generation to another.

And throughout this weekend we take time to celebrate our heritage as South Africans.

South Africa has had a rough history of diversity and division under the old regime, so the great leaders of this nation re implemented this holiday that originally was only celebrated by the Zulu nation and made it a holiday that would be inclusive of all cultures of South Africa.

Ubuntu would be the  foundation and guiding principles implemented to insure that this time of holiday would celebrate the diversity of all South African cultures but at the same time reminding that although diverse in culture, in tradition, in language in customs, we are all still uniquely one nation under the colourful flag that expresses our identity as the RAINBOW NATION!

So as we celebrate this weekend, I would like to take a look at 3 aspects of heritage.

I. Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage has to do with individual people groups the traditions & customs that have been passed on to them from previous generations.

South Africa is rich with cultural heritage.

Here in South Africa we have Black South Africans, Coloured South Africans, White South Africans, Indian South Africans, Asian South Africans, Malay South Africans.

We have 11 recognised languages Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Ndebele, Khoisan, Afrikaans, Venda, Setswana, Siswati, Sepedi, English.

Every Language represents a different culture with different traditions and different customs meaning every language represents different heritage.

The Apartheid used these differences to weaken the country to keep people divided, but under the great leadership of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu & many others they took the differences of the country and turned them into a strength.

Returning the people back to the African way of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu – A Zulu proverb meaning “I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours.”

Ubuntu. “a person is a person through other persons.”

that even though we are individuals, we form part of a greater community and that the one cannot exist in the absence of the other. It’s a sense of knowing who you are as an individual, and at the same time feeling completely connected with where you are from. And where you are from, in this sense, isn’t necessarily a geographical location, but rather a deep-rooted sense of belonging – to each other, belonging to the soil.

The challenge of bringing different cultures together to stand for 1 cause was also a challenge of the New Testament.

When the gospel broke out of Jerusalem it then broke into the gentile nations.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary. The term Gentile doesn’t really describe who someone is, but rather who they are not. A Gentile is one belonging to any nation or people group other than the Jewish people group.

The bible teaches us how to serve the Lord together no matter what heritage we come from.

When there was a breakthrough with the gentile nation, the Jews were trying to figure out how do we embrace all these different cultures and customs.

They had a meeting and the decision was this:

Acts 15:8God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”

Acts 15:19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.

So similar to the Ubuntu concept, the scripture also teaches us to respect and celebrate each others customs as long as it does not conflict with what the word of God teaches us.

Rev 7:After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne

and from the Lamb!”

II. Spiritual Heritage

The second thing I would like to take a look at is that the same way we have been passed down a cultural heritage we have also been passed down a spiritual heritage.

Heritage – Something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inherited lot or portion:

The way we were born into a cultural heritage we were also reborn into a spiritual heritage.

Rom 8:15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.

Heir – one who receives something as a gift—‘one who receives, one who comes into possession of, receiver,

What are some of the things we have received as heirs with Christ?

  1. We Inherit forgiveness

Acts 26:18 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

When we accepted Christ as our personal Lord and savior we inherited forgiveness of all the sin we ever committed.

Psalm 103:12 He has removed our sins as far from us

as the east is from the west.

Micah 7:19 Once again you will have compassion on us.

You will trample our sins under your feet

and throw them into the depths of the ocean!

There was a man who received a speeding ticket and needed to appear in court, the man had a friend that was a lawyer and the friend said don’t worry I will help you with this situation.

“When I go to court, will you be with me?”



“I am going in your place. You stay home. I will speak to the judge on your behalf, and I will represent you.”

A few days later, my lawyer called. “Your case has been dismissed.” 

“Dismissed? As in, forgiven?” I was shocked.

“Not exactly. It’s better than that.”


“Dismissed means we are acting as if this never happened. It will not appear on your record at all. You’ll owe no court costs, and this will not be reported to your insurance. Your slate is wiped clean.”

“Thank you for representing me. How much do I owe you?”


“Nothing? Are you sure?”

“That’s right, because of my love for you My services are free.”

2. We Inherit Power

The second portion of our inheritance is Power.

When we accepted Christ into our lives not only have we inherited forgiveness of sin, but also we have inherited power for victory.

Eph 1:19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.

Power – ability to perform an activity, super natural power

The disciples before receiving power, hid in fear after Jesus was crucified, but after receiving power they were super naturally enabled to do what they couldn’t in the natural.

John 14:16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit we have peace, we have strength for the Journey

3. We Inherit heaven

The last part of our inheritance in Christ is our eternity.

You and I because of our faith in Jesus are positioned to receive our ultimate inheritance and that is eternity in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Cor 5:1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

III. Ministry Heritage

Isaiah 54:2       “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.3   For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.


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