Romans 8:16 Ė17 †-† †We Belong To Him
Intro: Here in Romans 8:17 Paul mentions one of the greatest truths found in the Scriptures - We are Godís Heirs / Joint Heirs w/ Christ !
A) MLJ the great bible commentator said in his commentary of Rom. 8 that In his opinion this is one of the most important themes for the Church in this present time / yet it is one of the most neglected themes - in our day
B) I whole heartedly agree / much of the modern day church has lost sight of what it means to be in Christ - and all that entails
C) When we lose sight of who we are in Christ it affects the way that we live / so easy to start walking in the flesh & trusting in the flesh
1) †And when we forget who we are in Christ - and all that is ours because of who we are in Him
D) The next thing that occurs is we forget where we are going / easy to start living for this life / and not the next !
1) †One of the great Characteristics of the early Church which made them so effective was they were looking for the return of Christ
E) They lived like He could return today - great way to live
We need to note here that Paul was writing to people who were suffering through persecution that was only going to get worse under Nero
A) Nero was insane - in his hatred of Christians - used them for human torches / fed them to wild beast - as sport
B) But the translation here is a little deceiving - our Bibles read and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
C) The later part of that verse should read Seeing that we suffer w/ Him that we may also be glorified together
1) †Or Since we suffer
D) Paulís purpose here which he carries to the end of the Chapter is to remind his readers of the great blessing that belongs to them as Heirs in Christ
1) †It is a message of hope in the mist of the storm
Paulís words were to be a great source of hope to those Brothers & sisters who were suffering
A) Paul reiterates this same idea in 2Cor. 4: 17† For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,18† while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
B) If you find yourself in that place tonight I pray that you will be equally comforted & your hope in Jesus will be rekindled tonight
C) But Paulís words & this theme of our inheritance is more than just a source of comfort for Christians who are suffering
1) †It should also be a source of focus & motivation for Christians in any situation
D) Listen to our Lordís commission to Paul at His conversion on the road to Damascus / Paulís retelling story in Acts 26 says Jesus sent me out to 18† 'to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'
E) That is our Lordís heart - darkness to light / Satan to God / receive forgiveness & an inheritance
SO what does it mean to be Heirs of God & Joint Heirs w/ Christ ?
A) The Lang. Here is significant - Paul first mentions we are Heirs of God
B) In that culture the heir was the first born son / he would be the one to carry on the family name / family business
1) †This special position brought special privileges as well as special responsibilities
C) The inheritance that the son would receive depended totally upon what the parents left to Him in the will
1) †Seen those bumper stickers - I took my kids† inheritance & spent it on this motor Home
D) Could happen in some situations - But PTL our Heavenly Father keeps His promises
This is what Paul is wanting us to see by saying - we are Heirs of God - He is faithful
A) Paul writing in Titus 1 v. 2† writes that we have been given the †hope of eternal life from God, who cannot lie, &† promised before time began,
B) So first Paul wants us to realize that because God is the one giving the promise we can be confident it will come to pass
Heirs were special / We are special to the Lord - 1 Jn.3:1 Behold Ö
the Father - father thing
C) The Lord re emphasizes to us over & over again that we are special to Him
1) †Knows the number of Hairs on our Head
D) As a parent I love to bless my kids - love to watch the looks on their face when we surprise them w/ some blessing
1) †The Lord is the same way - loves to see the Joy - when we see Him come through - reminded of His faithfulness
Yet there are times when my wife might make a special dish or treat for the kids - they wonít even try it - grieves you to know missing out
A) My mom growing up used to make this Cherry Cobbler dump cake type of thing / I never even tried it - looked gross - all growing up
B) After married Denise - got the recipe from my mom - one day company served it in a Bowl w/ Vanilla Ice cream on top didnít recognize it
1) †Incredible !!!!!†††††† So Iím talking to my mom on the phone about next time they come down going to have Denise make this new desert
C) My moms feelings were kind of hurt - for all those years I WAS MISSNG OUT ON THIS GREAT DESERT
The Lord feels the same way ! We are his Heirs yet so often we go around living like Spiritual orphans
A) Several years ago the LA. Times reported the story of an elderly man and
††††† his wife who were found dead in their apartment
B) Autopsies revealed that both had died of severe malnutrition, although investigators found a total of $40,000 dollars in paper ††††† bags in closet
B.)How tragic - they had a source of wealth they didn't use - and ††††††††††††††††† consequently died - because of it!† Malnourished!
For many years Hetty Green was called America's greatest miser. When she died in 1916 she left an estate valued at $100 mill./
A.) Despite her vast fortune - she ate cold oatmeal, in order to save the
††††† expense of heating the water
B.)When her son had a severe leg injury, she took so long in trying to find a free clinic to treat him that his leg ... amputated Because of advanced infection
C.)††† She was wealthy but chose to live like a pauper!
D.)††† We might say she was†† eccentric; nuts; that† woman was crazy!
††††††††† 1.)†††† Perhaps she was but nobody could prove it
The thing I find interesting about Hetty Green and the elderly couple, is I think they are an illustration of too many Christians!
A.)††† We have been radically blessed - yet they live like spiritual paupers!
Some believers are in danger of suffering from spiritual ††††††† malnutrition,
A) Because they do not take advantage of the great storehouse of †††††††††††††††† spiritual nourishment and resources at their disposal.
B) Others live shaky lives / unstable wiped out - mess - not appropriating
B) The book of Eph. Was written for that very purpose - to encourage the believers to realize the blessings that were theirs in Christ & possess them
B) SIT / WALK/† STAND††† Turn Eph. 1
C) Eph.1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
3 things I want you to note :
1st †Present tense - has blessed us!† Not going to bless us, not †††††††††††† might it good enough - not - thinking about† it!† He has!
B) 1Cor.2:9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
C) 3000 promises / Given more than ever dream / Promised meet needs /Lk12
Jesus is talking with His disciples!††† V.22† Then He said to His disciples, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.
A.) - Ever find yourself worrying about stuff like that - how pay the bills - where should I go; what is happening with my life?
23† "Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
24† "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?† 25† "And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
26† "If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?
B) We can get so worried about things that often times we have no control over ! Things we canít change - nervous wreck
27† "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28† "If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
B) In same way I will take care of You
29† "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30† "For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.
C) Saying watch that you donít fall into that mindset of thinking like the world - fleshly minded -
1) †Says - KNOW THIS THE FATHER KNOWS YOUR NEEDS
31† "But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
32† "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
†This is what I want you to see!
A.)† Live with a higher mindset - "Seek the Kingdom"
††††††††† 1.)†††† Don't spend all your energy trying to get wealthy here; get †††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††it together on earth - make something of yourself here!
B.) Seek the Kingdom - Higher Call
Realize it is the† Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom
A.) The Father enjoys blessing His kids!† He enjoys it! Takes ††††††††††††††††††††††† pleasure in it!††††† Just like we do !
The Father takes pleasure in blessing us! And Paul says He has done it already / but†† Catch this - Don't miss
A.)††† The blessings are connected with the kingdom / His Kingdom it is God stuff / not earthly stuff
B) ††† All the earthly stuff†† - hey, those are needs - the Father †††††††††††††††††††††† knows needs - take care of your needs!† No problem
B.)††† But He wants to give you the kingdom!
1.) That is where the real blessings are - His heart is! He ††††††††††††††††††††† ††wants to knock your socks off
C) This is where some have really gone off & the get distracted into thinking the real blessings are a nice house / fancy car / material possessions
1) †Listen the Bible is clear - all that stuff is going to burn ! It is all going to pass away ! It is all temporal stuff
D) So American - Places in Yugo make places in Mexico look nice
E) All the stuff here is really icing on the cake -
BACK TO Eph.
So it is the kingdom it is spiritual blessings / spiritual things that really matter !††† Rich fool - not rich toward God
A.) Again† L.J. The focus isn't that they are blessing that are in heaven, awaiting you - but blessings to be enjoyed now!
††††††††† 1) Climaxed in heaven - Paul said we can't imagine - but we get a ††††††††††††††† †††
††††††† taste here!† First installments of our great inheritance
Bb) Lives marked by richness toward God
B.)††† Spiritual blessings: Here in Ephesians 1:†† - we have a partial list!
1.)†††† V.4 - Chosen by Him - made holy and blameless - because of His †††††††††††††† love!† Dirty
2.)V.5 - Adopted into His family according to good pleasure of His† will
3.)†††† V.6 - Accepted in the beloved!
4.)†††† V.7 - through shed blood of Christ - forgiven of sins
5.)†††† V.8 - given an abundance of grace; wisdom and knowledge
6.)†††† v.9,10 - †given insight into the mystery of the ages
7.)v.11,12 - fellowship with Christ and the enjoyment and purpose of His inheritance
8.)†††† v.13,14 - the seal of the H.S. / assurance of inheritance/ glory
The blessings begin with forgiveness and progress to the fullness of God!
A.)††† Lloyd Jones - "God has to give it to us in installments because †††††††††††††††††† if He gave all at once; suddenly - we would crack - break"
††††††††† 1.)†††† Too much
B.)††† Like Niagara Falls - always - more to follow!
2nd†† Key:† Their In Christ - all that we have; are - stems from Christ
A.)This is what Paul means in Rom. When he says we are Joint heirs
B) Joint Heir =† inheritor† 4 Sons / 25% each heirs / Joint Heirs all own / So as Joint Heirs with Christ - all that is His belongs to us because we are In Christ !
††††††††† 1.)†††† Col. Ch 2:3 - In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and †††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††knowledge
B.)††† Peter -† 2 Peter 2:3 - †"He has given us all things that pertain to †††††††††††††††† life and godliness - through the knowledge of Him"
††††††††† 1.)All that we need; all the blessings God has stem from Christ!
C.)††† It is not what He gives - Who he is!† Illustrate:† Phil 4:6 6† Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;† 7† and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
D) Be not anxious - pray - and the peace of God!†††† His peace imparted to you - through Christ!
E) All the promises of God to us are Amen - in Christ !
1) †Not what He gives - it is who He is !
2) †Bread of life / Light /
E) Being Joint Heirs w/ Christ means that our inheritance is secure because He has already conquered every enemy that is set against us
SO Paul point in Eph. & Romans is understand these truths - grab a hold of the promises & make them your own ( Maturity)
A) Woman promises - T = tried / P Proven
B) Live like a person who has that confidence -
Key question: are you in Christ?
A father went into a toy store to buy his son a Christmas present.† The salesman showed him a new educational toy.† It came unassembled, but no matter how the child put the pieces together, they wouldn't fit.† You see, the toy was designed to teach the child how to deal with life.
Such is the predicament of man without God.† He is never able to put his life together.† A life without Christ is a life of futility.
A.)††† Do you know Him - Savior - Lord?
B) ††† The person who doesn't know Christ , who is living for this
††††††††† life will be sorely† disappointed, unfulfilled!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4† to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
3rd† & Final thing we want† to see is knowing I am an heir should mean that I will live responsibly
A) See the tremendous blessing - & seek to pass it on
B) Living w/ Eternity in view !
8† By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9† By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
10† for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abe could have built a mansion but lived in tents
Made out his will - left Isaac a tent -
Vision of Heaven kept them going
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14† For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
15† And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
A) They didnít consider where came from - opportunity to return
B) Big need today
C) I get tired of seeing people go back† & trying to fulfill themselves in the flesh
24† By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,
25† choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
26† esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20† "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21† "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.