Heirs with Christ
Rom 8:12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—
Rom 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Rom 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
Rom 8:17 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.
v12 – Because of this, we are debtors, but not to the flesh to live in obedience to it’s desires which are sins. We are debtors to God for what He did for us. That He died so we can be declared righteous. The fact that the Spirit of God dwells in us and leads in this new life in Christ. And because we are saved from death as a result of sin, and therefore can live a life pleasing to God. We are not under any obligation to the flesh and it’s corrupt passions. We are under obligation to God to live according to His ways.
v13 – If we live according to the flesh, then our only future is death. But if we live according to the Spirit we are doing away with our sin and will live. We see here that it is the Holy Spirit that rids our bodies of the evil doings of a sinful life. With His work, we can experience the resurrected life. It is not by our own strength because we cannot do this on our own. It requires the Spirit working in us and our subjection to Him to eliminate our old sinful ways.
v14 – This is a beautiful verse. For everyone who allows themselves to be led by the Spirit of God, who submits to Him are adopted into the family of God. Children of God is an intimate title given to those who follow His ways. We are not just Christians or followers of God, we are welcomed into His family and have all the privileges that are associated with this relationship. We are part of God’s family of whom God is our Father and protector. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” John 1:12. It is important to understand that we really do not understand all that means, and neither does the world. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3.
v15 – We are not slaves, but we are children by adoption. Therefore, we do not call Him master, but Abba! Father! We experience the feeling of affection, love and confidence which pertains to children; not the feelings of servitude and trembling that comes with slavery. This adoption is the accepting of us into His household and treating us as His own children. It is applied to Christians because God treats us as His children; receives us into this relationship even though prior to our salvation we were stranger and enemies. The word Abba is the Aramaic word for father. However, there is a very important distinction here. The Greek word for father can be used like our English word for father. This Aramaic word Abba has a far more intimate meaning, it is more like our word Daddy. Think about this. The very one we sinned against is now the one we can now call daddy.
v16 – This is an interesting verse to understand because this is a very personal thing between us and God. This involves those intimate times between us and God’s Spirit. It is that assurance a good loving parent gives their children. Also, just the fact He resides in us and we sense His presence is a witness from Him that we are children of God. This is not just a relationship like a stockbroker and client; it is one as a loving parent and their child. A parent who adopted us because He loved us and wants that relationship with us. And, through His Spirit, He reminds us in this intimate way that only we can truly understand.
v17 – Here is another very powerful statement. An heir is one who succeeds to an estate. First, Christ is the appointed heir. ” God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” Hebrews 1:1-2. However, we are co-heirs with Christ. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34. And then in Revelation. “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” Revelation 21:7. This is a very distinguished and humbling thing. For us to be co-heirs with the second person of the trinity.