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


Book of ROMANS
A Study of Chapter 8

Part 12

Romans 8:16-21

Inheritance & Suffering


“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
– Rom 8:16-21 NAS, NKJV

To share in His glory is part of the inheritance of the overcoming saints who endure ‘til the end and proved themselves worthy. Do we feel that call of God upon our lives? To forsake all, turn from the enticements of the world, strive against sin even to the shedding of our blood and follow Jesus along that difficult path through the narrow Gate that leads to Life? Did not the Apostles of Jesus urge us “to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory.” (1Thess 2:12). Amen. There will be some who attain to this. Will we?

The original Amplified translates our opening verses from today -
“The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.
17 And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.”

 – Rom 8:16-17 AMPC

Concerning His Glory… this brings a question: for we read in Isaiah -
“I am Yahweh, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another.”

- Isaiah 42:8 HCSB

This “Glory” - kabod (or kavod) in Hebrew (Strong’s 3519) – from the root word “honor”, is “splendor, copiousness (abundant)” and implied as having “weight”. Describing God in His “importance, worth, significance.”

If He will not give, or yield, His glory to another, then how can it be a part of our inheritance?
I believe we begin to see the answer just a few chapters later here in Isaiah…

“Behold, I have refined you, but not like silver;
    I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I do it,
    for how should My name be profaned?
    My glory I will not give to another.”

- Isaiah 48:10-11 RSV

The “furnace of affliction” is the God-ordained suffering meant to test and purify His elect, and bring them into His very image. And this included the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  The words of Job, I believe, were prophetic as well of the Lord Jesus, who indeed was tested and tried above any man, and was obedient unto death and came forth as the glorified Lord and Christ.

“But He knows the way that I take;
    when He has tried Me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to His steps;
    I have kept His way and have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
    I have treasured in My bosom the words of His mouth.”

- Job 23:10-12 RSV

This will be True of the faithful elect, of those who will come forth to Life in the First Resurrection, “shining as the brightness of the firmament.” (Dan 12:3)
Those who will appear as Jesus when He is manifested with the glory of God, and share in the inheritance, and have dominion over creation must be tried and purified with fire. These are those who will dethrone the current “principalities and powers” and replace them as righteous rulers.
We will look a little deeper into this shortly…

But back to God’s glory. We read above in Isaiah that “He will not give His glory to another.” But… then we know God did give His glory to Christ Jesus -

“And  the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” - John 1:14 NAS

“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” – John 17:24 NAS

God could give His glory to Christ because they were One. “In Christ all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” (Col 2:9). And Jesus stated in John 10:30, “I and the Father are One.” (Not the same Person, as a portion of the modern Christian religion has falsely believed. We’ve studied this in the essay, “Father and Son.”).

So, while Christ Jesus will always be subject to the Father (1Cor 15:27-28, John 20:17), who is greater than Jesus (John 14:28), they are One in that the Son is of the substance of God, the “image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), the “express image of His Person.” (Heb 1:3).
“For it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ Jesus) all the fullness should dwell.” (Col 1:19)

And here in Romans 8, we find that those who suffer with Christ will be “glorified with Him”, even that our current sufferings are not worth comparing to “the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  Saints, this is the same glory as Jesus received from the Father. His and ours.

Here in the Greek, glory – doxa (Strong’s 1391) – “glory, dignity, honor, praise.”
“brightness or splendor, supernatural, emanating from God (as in the shekinah ‘glory’ in the Holy of Holies).

This is the glory to be revealed in the saints who have “walked according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:4); who, by that Spirit, “put to death the deeds of the body” (Rom 8:13); and who “suffer with Him (according to the will of God)” (Rom 8:18, 1Pet 4:19). This is for those who have been “conformed into the image of the Son.” (Rom 8:29). These will be the “glorified” (Rom 8:30)

Jesus prayer to the Father on the night of the Last Supper, was that His disciples would be one with Him, just as He is One with the Father. His desire was, and is -

“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” – John 17:21-23 NKJV

Again too, we see here the difference between the saints and those in the world (including church-goers who have not overcome). God’s calling and perfecting of His elect is not so that the rest of the world (or the non-overcoming church-goers) would be condemned, but rather that they would finally believe. We will see the fullness of this at the end of the ages, when the Son of Man will judge the peoples of the nations.

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” - Matt 25:40

So, we suffer, God’s way. That affliction meant to perfect us and prove us; that we might, along with the Firstborn Son, inherit the nations and be partakers of His glory.
We will see the face of God. Those of the saved nations will see God in those who are one with Christ.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” – 2Cor 4:17 NKJV

Paul calls our suffering in this life, “but for a moment”, or “light and temporary.”

As well, we need to consider why we are suffering. Is any of the cause our own?
I believe this is important, as Peter explains -

“None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name.” – 1Pet 4:15-16 HCSB

Honestly, I believe, (and have experienced), that suffering that comes because of our own sinful activity, can still be used by God to “awaken” us. It is actually God’s mercy that brings pain and trouble when we are walking contrary to His ways, for He seeks to gain our attention. Personally, if God would not have allowed things to fall apart in my life last Century, I most likely would have continued walking the destructive path I was treading.

And for those who strive to follow Jesus and do God’s will, let us not be surprised at the trials we often face. Remember, Jesus, the sinless One, suffered necessary pain and trouble in His testing, so that He would be perfected. (see Heb 2:10).

It usually doesn’t seem like it at the time, but in God’s grand plan affliction is only momentary, light, temporary. And if we allow them, our sufferings will produce “for us an everlasting weight of glory, far beyond any comparison.” (2Cor 4:17 ISV)

Jesus paved the way for us. He would never call us to something He Himself has not experienced. So we focus upon Him, as we run the race set before us -

“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Heb 12:2 NKJV

Jesus, we’ll see in this 2nd chapter of Hebrews is the “Pioneer” of “Captain” of our salvation. The Greek word here is ‘archegos’, meaning ‘chief leader’, primarily signifies one who takes a lead in, or provides the first occasion of anything.’ ‘(Jesus) is the leader of all others who would tread that path.’ (Strong’s 747)

Jesus was the “Firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15), the “Firstborn of many brethren.” (Rom 8:29), the “Firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18, Rev 1:5). Others will come after Him into His image, as the new creation.
I believe this is what Jesus is referring to in His exhortation -

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” -Luke 9:23 NKJV

He is our leader. Speaking of the remnant, the prophet writes of the Messiah and those who would come after Him -

“One who breaks open the way will advance before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and leave by it. Their King will pass through before them, the Lord as their leader.”
– Micah 2:13 HCSB

“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it.14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.” – Matt 7:13-14 HCSB

Jesus is the Way to the Father. And that Way is difficult.
Jesus lead us in suffering, in sanctification, in resurrection, into new Life.

“For it was fitting that He, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying,
“I will proclaim Thy name to My brethren,
in the midst of the congregation I will praise Thee.”

- Heb 2:10-12 RSV

The understanding that Jesus was a man, born of woman, walked in the shoes of every man, experienced temptations and suffered as we, has made a world of difference to me personally.
How could I relate to someone who had no understanding of my experiences? As I could not truly relate to what my wife went through when pregnant with our son, how could I receive instruction from one who had never walked in my shoes. But Jesus did. He partook of the same nature as I, as each one of us. Jesus became like us, so we could become like Him.

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death He might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.16 For surely it is not with angels that He is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore He had to be made like His brethren in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation (atonement) for the sins of the people. 18 For because He Himself has suffered and been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted.”
 - Heb 2:14-18 RSV (NIV)

Jesus was perfected through suffering, as gold tried in the fire. “He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” (Heb 5:8-9) . He had to die in order to be raised to that new Life and bring Life to many others. Truly, “the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (1Cor 15:45)

We tend to think of Jesus as always having been a man. But until He came forth from Mary, He had only been spirit. And not until He came forth from the tomb, having been raised from the dead, was He perfect. On that day He became what He had not been. He became the “Firstborn”, as we read earlier. A New Creation was born that day. Oh Glory!

We too have been called to become a new creation, “conformed into the image of His Son.” (Rom 8:29). For the new to come forth, something must die. Jesus had to die for the new Man to come forth.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” – John 12:24-25 ESV

Much of our suffering comes about because our “old man” doesn’t want to die. Our Adamic nature wants its own way. We were born into this fallen world. Even the cutest little baby was brought forth with a sinful nature. Most of us lived according to the ways of the world for a portion of our lives, some longer than others. And then God tells us to leave it all behind.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
– 1John 2:1-17 NKJV

Our heavenly Father has something infinitely better in mind for us. The Paradise that Adam & Eve enjoyed for a while will one day be restored. The intimate fellowship with God that He desires will be fully realized. But for that to happen, the entire first carnal creation must die. The Apostle Paul, by the Spirit of God, wrote that “those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.” (Rom 8:8 AMP). Paul had once lived by that carnal nature in attempting to please God, but was actually striving against Him. When Christ revealed Himself to him, Paul’s greatest desire became to know the Man Jesus.

“what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.” – Phil 3:7-8 NKJV

Suffering does not always mean physical affliction, and I believe often the suffering the Scripture talks about in this context is the internal battle within ourselves as the carnal wars against the spirit of God that is at work in us. (Rom 8:7)

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now
“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator." 
- 1Pet 4:12-19 NKJV

The Apostles encouraged us not to be surprised at the trials we go through. And these they knew firsthand, as did the prophets of old who followed God. Suffering is a necessary part of the purifying process we must go through as we strive, as Paul wrote, to “attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil 3:11)

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not resent His rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those He loves,
    as a father the son he delights in.”

- Prov 3:11-12 NIV

Looking a little at the suffering I believe Paul is referring to in Romans 8…

When the Lord sent Ananias to heal Paul after his Damascus road encounter He told Ananias –
“Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 9:15-17 NKJV

Immediately after this Paul was baptized. He would later write to the saints in the church recognizing this as being baptized into Christ’s death, meaning that his old nature was crucified, his old man was now to be replaced with the seed of the new creation. And this is true for each one of us as well.

“do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” – Rom 6:3-4 NKJV

So now that we’ve believed and been baptized into His death, which can happen in one evening service, the working out of the transformation into the new man begins to take place. And herein lies our battle and suffering.

“For you have been granted [the privilege] for Christ’s sake not only to believe in (adhere to, rely on, and trust in) Him, but also to suffer in His behalf (for His sake).”
– Phil 1:29 AMP

So, Paul who once had great zeal for God and the Law of Moses in his Adamic nature, now having been baptized into Christ, receiving the Spirit and accepting His call upon his life, found a new, even greater desire -

“To get to know Him, and the power of His resurrection and fellowship of His sufferings, Becoming conformed unto His death, – 11 if, by any means I may advance to the earlier resurrection, which is from among the dead.”
- Phil 3:10-11 EBR

May that be our desire as well. To attain to the First Resurrection, and be among those who will help usher in that coming Kingdom of righteousness. Every church-going, professing-believer will not be in this group. This is reserved for the overcoming saints, who have “endured to the end” through the God-ordained refining process of testing and suffering, and have come forth as gold.

I would pray that one would speak of each of us with the words that Paul wrote about the disciples in the First Century church in Thessalonica -

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer.” – 2Thess 1:2-5 NKJV

We know from the Scripture that Jesus suffered greatly, but remained faithful, through every persecution, trial and temptation. His desire was to do all the will of His Father. He is our example; and He calls us to follow Him.

“Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”
– 1Pet 4:1-2 RSV

Oh, let this Truth sink deep into our soul. And let us “arm ourselves with that same purpose” as Jesus, who denied even His own will, that the Father’s will might be done in all things.
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all His house.” - Heb 3:1-2 NKJV

A final word (at least for now) on the suffering we must endure -

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when He rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one He loves,
    and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.”

- Heb 12:4-8 NIV

The purpose, as we’ve been discussing, is to purify us. To purge all sin and rebellion from us.
If forgiveness was the goal and end, there would be no suffering, nor any need for it. But forgiveness is only the beginning; transformation is God’s goal for us. Being conformed into the image of God’s Son is the end of our salvation.

The author here in Hebrews is rebuking those who were becoming lukewarm in their Christian walk. They were shrinking back from the necessary suffering that those who will come forth as “sons of God” must experience.

In his admonishment, he quotes from the Proverbs -

“Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son,
and do not loathe His discipline;
12 for the Lord disciplines the one He loves,
just as a father, the son he delights in.”

- Prov 3:11-12 HCSB

Amen. And behold the promise to those who receive the Lord’s disciple, endure the refining fire, and overcome -
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

- Rev 3:19-22 NKJV


May we be among those who indeed “hear what the Spirit says.”




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