Suffering as joint heirs with Christ

The Holy Spirit testifies that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). As children of God, we are heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ – if and only if we suffer with Him so we may be glorified with Him. Even Christ said this in Luke 9:23-24,

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

Those who want to reign with Christ must share the life Jesus had. He comes to the throne through suffering. It was God’s will for Him to suffer (Luke 24-26). In the same way, His joint heirs will come to their glory through suffering. Paul reminds us that all Christians will suffer (Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12).

God does not work on our schedule. We need to work on God’s schedule. God is eternal – He’s got all the time in the world. We have only to be faithful and God will see to it that we suffer accordingly. Romans 8:18-39 discuss the role of suffering and hope from Romans 5:1-5. The suffering one goes through is tailored for each individual. Paul ran from suffering but he still grew more like Christ. If you can take an aspirin or have surgery, to fix a problem, do it. If it doesn’t fix it, then may it is something God intends you suffer through. Paul tells us justification produces righteous living. Romans 5 and 8 both teach that God uses suffering to bring about glorification. Justification that does not bring about sanctification is as unthinkable as birth not leading to life. Romans 8:18 teaches that suffering is the way to glorification. 

Being children of God makes us heirs and joint heirs with Christ. A joint heir is different than an heir. An heir gets a percentage of the estate. A joint heir doesn’t get a percentage, but gets the whole thing along with all other joint heirs – joint ownership.

                Christ is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2). Romans 5:1-5 shows we have peace with God. Indeed, we boast in hope of the glory of God and we boast in tribulation (suffering), which in turn brings about perseverance. Perseverance brings proven character, which brings hope. Hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. In short, we are blessed by going through suffering.

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