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Co-heirs with Christ
Has anyone ever read from the book of Romans, in particular the eighth chapter of that book? This book contains, if you will, a message to us from our Father, God. The verses 12-17 of that chapter, explains to us how we are children of the Living God. I will include it here;
Romans 8:12-17 (New International Version)
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.And by him we cry, "AbbaFather." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
This message from God, is for me the one I have received with the most encouragement from above all others. In this chapter and passage, it tells me that I am a son of the Living God through my choice to accept the Spirit of the LORD and allow the Spirit to dwell within me. Now by accepting the Spirit and by giving over my carnal desires in lieu of those of the Spirit, I am adopted as a son and as a son of God I am accepted as an heir of God and co-heir with Christ.
This therefore has provoked much thought in my mind as to the big five questions When, where, whom, what and why?
Let us begin then with the question of “When”. When did we receive the adoption of God into His family? We received that adoption when we decided to be led by the Spirit of God and not by our own spirit which would lead us most likely to sin and eventual spiritual death.
A good scripture for this is from Galatians 5:16-18 (New International Version)Life by the Spirit
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Not so easily answered a question could be that of “Where”, where in this sense would most likely point to a time period in our lives when we are ready to accept the message of the Gospel as the undisputed truth. Then we must live what we believe and confess and leave no room for doubt in our minds and the minds of others as to whose children we are.
Romans 1:16 (New International Version)
16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Where also parallels with when, as in when we are ready God will send the Spirit to dwell within us where we are at a point in our lives and this point is usually at a point of transition. We are met by the Spirit where we exist at that moment we just need confess our sin and accept the change in our nature to one that is now supernatural.
Now then for “Whom” is this adoption? This is for all, first the “Jew” and then the “Gentile”, we only need to desire “real” need for change and “real” understanding that all things that can not be accomplished through man, can be accomplished through Christ who strengthens us.
“What” is the word to describe us as “children” of the Living God? We are now not on our own, we no longer live apart from God as orphans, not knowing where are home is, we know by being His heir and a co-heir with Christ, that Christ Himself has interceded on our behalves to go and prepare a place for us in His/our Father’s house.
We are now new creatures through Christ as it is written in 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (New International Version)
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
The question of “Why” is more personal, this question which I and others have already answered for ourselves, is a question of seeking. We, as we grow older and hopefully wiser, start to realize there is just only so much knowledge that I/we can acquire on our own. When we lean on our own understandings, sometimes we fail and quite miserably at that, or fall short if you will. This does not have to be, we must give up a part of ourselves that keeps us apart from He who knows all. We must render ourselves humble and accept instruction and guidance as a child would from our Heavenly Father.
1 John 3:1-2 (New International Version)
1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
With so much to wonder about in this world, would we not all like a little clarity and perhaps someone to tell us "it's going to be allright". Regardless of what happens around me in the world today, I know now that I will always have a home and that I am loved.