and I will be his God and he shall be My son


Book of ROMANS
A Study of Chapter 8
Part 9

Romans 8:16-17



“ It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” – Rom 8:16-17 RSV

Paul is addressing specifically those who are “in Christ”, who have committed to “walking according to” and are being “led by the Spirit”, no longer “living according to the flesh.” As with all of Scripture, we need to look at the verses – the promises and the warnings – in context.

Truthfully the promise of inheritance is to “him who overcomes” as we read in Revelation 21:7.
This is overcoming, or conquering – our complete surrender to Christ, and the ways & will of God. If this is True, then indeed we are His children and by right, His heir along with Christ Jesus the Firstborn, who made all this possible and paved the Way.

“if we are (God’s) children, then we are also heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Messiah — provided we are suffering with Him in order also to be glorified with Him.”
– Rom 8:17 CJB

What does it mean to be an “heir of God”, and a “fellow heir (or co-heir) with Christ”?
Do we even give it much thought? If our vision of eternity is living in heaven forever… the things we’ll be discussing here in our study may not make much sense. But the hope of the apostles, prophets & First Century disciples was not to go to the spirit realm; but for the Kingdom of God, ruled by the Messiah, to be established on the earth. And indeed it shall. Christ Jesus is returning for His inheritance. And He will have “co-heirs” that will share in His inheritance. Oh glory!

In the New Testament Scripture we find the words “inheritance” or “inherit” 35 times.
So, what is it that the children of God inherit? I believe we find a hint in Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of Luke…

The Parable of the Ten Pounds

“As they heard these things, He proceeded to tell a parable, because He was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.”
12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Trade with these till I come.’
14 But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’

20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.’

25 (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) 26 ‘I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.’” - Luke 19:11-27 RSV

In Matthew’s Gospel, in the Parable of the Talents, the reward for those who were diligent with what the Lord had entrusted to them was -

“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” – Matt 25:21 & 23 NKJV

Those who had been faithful with what the Master had given them were given “authority over cities”. He made them “rulers over many things, when He returned. Does not this sound like an inheritance?

But I want to look a little deeper first at the nobleman who went to “receive a kingdom”, this One who will have “co-heirs”; this same One, I believe, whom the Book of Revelation declares to be “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

“A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return.”
– Luke 19:15

You see, I’m convinced the nobleman (lord, master in other translations) is Jesus.
We find this scene in a few places in the Scripture; both in prophecy and in actuality.

“And being assembled together with them, Jesus commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come (return) in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
- Acts 1:4-11 NKJV (NLT)

(Bear with me if I seem all over the place here. I believe the picture will become clearer shortly. )

Interestingly, we find the disciples asking a question here in Acts – “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” - which was their thought prior to Jesus teaching the parable in Luke 19 - “they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately” (Luke 19:11). That parable was Jesus’ response to the question and supposition of the apostles.

Remember, the patriarchs, prophets and disciples weren’t looking to go to heaven. Their desire was to see God’s holiness and righteousness reigning on earth. They were looking for “the city which is to come” (Heb 13:14), that “city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Heb 11:10). John was blessed to receive a vision of the fulfillment of that city coming to earth in the Revelation of Jesus, and he wrote, “I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev 21:2 ESV)

The Pharisee Joseph of Arimathea, friend of Nicodemus, himself “was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 23:51).

This was always the Apostles hope and understanding of the promise of God from the OT (and we’ll find is still the main goal of God in the NT) - that He was going to restore the Kingdom, here on the physical earth, and make all things right. The fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah 65, Amos 9, Zephaniah 3, and elsewhere.

In Luke’s Gospel narrative, the nobleman gives them pounds, or money, or talents. Point is, he gave them something with which he expected them to multiply or bear fruit. In reality, in Acts, Jesus gives His servants the Holy Spirit. All the gifts of God come by the Holy Spirit and are meant to bear fruit as we use or operate in them. And He left. Like the nobleman, Jesus tells us, “occupy till I come.”

Jesus went to the Father to receive a Kingdom. He had accomplished what He had come to earth the first time to do. He laid down His life and redeemed mankind. He prepared His disciples and began the work of restoration on the earth. And He returned to His Father to wait. Now yes, He is still with us spiritually and continually working in us through His Spirit to bring us to perfection, but He is also waiting.

We speak often of our waiting for Jesus, to see Him return; and indeed, He is coming again, He “will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” (Heb 9:28) (Notice He is bringing “salvation” to those who are already “saved.” Oh, we will tackle this Truth at another time.) But, friends, He is waiting Himself for something to take place before He can appear once more.
Let’s dig a little deeper…

As He was giving His final instructions to the Eleven “Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” – Matt 28:18 NKJV

But then He left. He had done His part to become the “heir of God”. He was the “firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom 8:29), “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom 1:4)

This fulfilled the prophecy given to Daniel -

“I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.”

– Dan 7:13-14 RSV

We’ll see shortly that this Kingdom, dominion and authority will also be given to the saints, the “fellow heirs with Christ,” and also that God’s desire was to give all things to His Son, and even prompted Him to ask.

So now having received the Kingdom, our Lord is preparing to return. But first He must wait.

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.” – Heb 10:12-13 NKJV

So while we are waiting for His return in glory, He is waiting for us.

“The Lord (God) says to my Lord (the Messiah), Sit at My right hand, until I make Your adversaries Your footstool.
The Lord will send forth from Zion the scepter of Your strength; rule, then, in the midst of Your foes.
Your people will offer themselves willingly in the day of Your power, in the beauty of holiness and in holy array out of the womb of the morning; to You [will spring forth] Your young men, who are as the dew.”
- Psalm 110:1-3 AMPC

Are we willing to offer ourselves to Him, to be used for His purposes, and be conformed into His image? We’ve been given power by the Holy Spirit to overcome sin and be transformed in that new creation. And we must believe that The Lord is ruling in the midst of His foes, “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.” (1Cor 15:25)

Those “young men” who spring forth, I see as those who have “denied themselves, are picking up their cross daily, and are following Jesus.” These are those who are coming forth at the new creation, the brothers of Christ. (These, I also believe, are the First Resurrection saints.)

“And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him
(For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, And My God is My strength),
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One,
To the despised One,
To the One abhorred by the nation,
To the Servant of rulers,
“Kings will see and arise,
Princes will also bow down,
Because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

- Isaiah 49:5-7 NAS

Jesus was the “despised One.” The One of whom they said in Luke 19:14 above– “We do not want this man to reign over us.’

The “preserved ones” are His faithful servants.
Those over whom they will rule are the nations.

Having received “all authority on heaven and on earth”, Jesus could have taken complete control over all creation when He first emerged from the grave. But He is waiting for His body, His “co-heir.” You see, Christ is incomplete at this time. The Lamb is yet a bachelor. The Head has been perfected, having learned perfect obedience to God here on earth. But the body is still learning. We have been called to come to maturity, and we’re not there yet.
While a large portion of the churches are waiting to fly away from their troubles here on earth, God is waiting for His people to “love not their lives even unto death” and “put an end to sin”, so that Jesus can truly return to receive a counterpart that is “without spot or blemish.”

“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.”
– Dan 9:24 NAS

Oh, we’re getting into the Word now! I truly love the picture we have of Eternity in the Scripture. 

I pray the things we’re studying here excite your soul.
Blessings on your journey,

Next… INHERITANCE continued…


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