Christianity 101: Heirs of God

 

“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.” (Romans 8:17)

How we become heirs of God

“And if children, then heirs…”

We aren’t heirs because:

1) We are simply God’s creation – Our text doesn’t say “if creatures, then heirs.”

2) Of our heritage -”For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children.” (Rom. 9:6-7)

3) Of our service – “‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matt 7:22-23)

4) Of our ceremonial observances – “He is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised” (Rom. 4:11)

We become heirs of God when we trust Christ for our salvation. Christ sacrifice on the cross brings us forgiveness of sin and adoption into the family of God. – “God sent his Son to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Gal. 4:4)

If we are heirs we have:

1) Believed on Jesus – “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

2) Been born again – “Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’” (John 3:3)

3) Received the spirit of adoption – “God sent his Son to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. You are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Gal. 4:4-5,7)

4) Been renewed in the image of God – “You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Col. 3:9-10)

What We Inherit

“heirs of God…”

Our inheritance qualifies us to be:

1) Heirs of all things – “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Rev. 21:7)

2) Heirs of salvation – “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14)

3) Heirs of eternal life – “Being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:7)

4) Heirs of promise – “When God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath.” (Heb. 6:17)

5) Heirs of the grace of life – “They are heirs with you of the grace of life.” (1 Pet. 3:7)

6) Heirs of righteousness – “By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Heb. 11:7)

7) Heirs of the kingdom – “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” (James 2:5)

Joint Heirs With Christ

“fellow heirs with Christ…”

1) We are only heirs if we are heirs with Christ, through Christ, and in Christ – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

2) This shows the greatness of the inheritance — it is worthy of Jesus.

3) This guarantees it for us. Jesus will not lose it. His title deed and ours are one and indivisible. His taking us into union with himself secures our inheritance – “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:39)

4) This reveals his love for us. That he would become a partner with us in all things is love unbounded. (1 John 3:1)

5) His prayer for us attains it – “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” (John 17:20)

6) His going into heaven before us prepares it – “I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

7) His coming again will bring us the full enjoyment of it – “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3)

8) This joint heirship binds us to Jesus, since we are nothing and have nothing apart from him – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 14:5)

Let us joyfully accept present suffering with Christ, for it is part of the heritage. Let us believe in the glorification which is sure to follow in due time, and let us anticipate it with great rejoicing.

- Charles Spurgeon