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Heirs of God

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
February 3, 2021 12:01 am

Heirs of God

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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February 3, 2021 12:01 am

A Christian is more than someone who has been saved from God's judgment. He has also received a new identity and a glorious inheritance as a child of the King. Today, Steven Lawson displays the awesome reality of our adoption in Christ.

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Have you ever thought about what it means to be an error of God with adoption.

The same judge who declares you to be righteous. Then says I want you to come home with me. I want you to live with me.

I want you to see your new house and when we get to the house I'm going to show you all of my riches and all that I possess are yours this week on Renewing Your Mind.

We are looking at what it means when we say as Christians that we are more than today. Look in her teaching fellow Dr. Steven Lawson dives into Romans chapter 8 to help us discover that it means far more than we probably imagine want you to take your Bible and turn with me to the book of Romans and is returning to the book of Romans. I'm reminded as a young man I invited James McCamley Boyce to come preach in my church and I couldn't believe but that he accepted that invitation and for an entire week he preached the Romans and I remember when he came to Romans chapter 8 he actually made this comment that if the Bible is a rain the book of Romans is the diamond on that ring and Romans chapter 8 is the apex cut of that diamond that's on the ring. I think a case can be made that Romans chapter 8 is the Mount Everest of Scripture not today have been asked to speak on heirs of God and that is found in verse 17 want to begin by reading this passage and verse 17 actually is not the start of a new sentence.

It starts in the middle of a sentence.

So I feel that I need to back up just for a moment, someone to begin reading in verse 14, but my eye is on verse 17 and as I read beginning in verse 17. I want you to note the metaphor, the analogy, the fact that believers are sons of God that we are children of God, and that is the dominant motif that we find in these verses the beginning of verse 14 for all who are being led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God, for you have not received the spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out Abba father. Verse 16 the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Now here we are.

Verse 17 and if children, heirs, 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.

The key word in verse 17 is the word air that occurs three times in this one verse.

All believers are heirs of God and heirs with Jesus Christ, so we asked the question what is an air and air by definition is quote a person who is legally entitled to the property and possession of the estate of the deceased benefactor and air is entitled to receive an inheritance that has passed down from the benefactor upon his death. So what is the death that is necessary for us to receive the inheritance of God is certainly not God the father because God cannot die. That is why Jesus Christ had to become a man because God cannot die, and the deity of Christ did not die upon the cross. But Christ had become a man in order to die for our sins. For the wages of our sin is death.

In order for the atonement to be made. There had to be the death of the perfect innocent sacrifice.

The Lord Jesus Christ, but also there had to be the death of Christ, so that the inheritance of the father could pass down to us and that we would share in the inheritance of Christ himself.

Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 15 says he referring to Jesus as the mediator of the new covenant so that since death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions. Those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. So because of the death of Christ, there is this inheritance that has come down to us that Paul locks in on in these verses. Now there's four aspects of this inheritance to which I want to draw your attention as we isolate just verse seven teen what we will see is that we are heirs of God and in second, we will see that we are heirs with Christ. There is a twofold airship here, but further we are also heirs of suffering and we are heirs of glory. This is all a package deals not a multiple choice were we get to pick two out of the three. It's all a composite inheritance was begin at the beginning of verse 17, number one, we are heirs of God. He begins by saying, and if children and children here referring to children of God. We know that verse 14 sons of God. Verse 16 children of God, and we would ask the question how did we become children of God and the Bible teaches. There's two ways that we become the children of God for all of us. It has been a twofold entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Number one is by the new birth by sovereign regeneration. We have been birth into the kingdom of God and we have received a new nature, a new heart, a new mind.

But second, we have also been adopted with all of the rights and with all of the privileges of an adult child. The moment we enter into the kingdom of God, of the new birth changes our nature. Adoption changes our status and it is by adoption that we have now been written into the family will if you will, and that we have received an inheritance so that is what Paul underscores and if children, heirs, every child of God is an error in the question is who's air and he clarifies heirs of God.

This is almost unimaginable that we are heirs of God by adoption. The Puritans rightly understood that the highest rung on the ladder is adoption just short of the beatific vision of seeing God because it's grander and goes further than even justification, that justification the Puritans argued here in the courtroom. Your declared righteous by God. But then the judge gets up from behind his bar and goes home in your life to go your own way, but with adoption it goes further than justification, because with adoption.

The same judge who declares you to be righteous, then says I want you to come home with me. I want you to live with me. I want you to see your new house and when we get to the house I'm going to show you all of my riches and all that I have and all that I possess are yours. That's the doctrine of adoption and its inseparably bound with this truth of being heirs of God is glorious that we have the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, but we also have the inheritance that comes from God himself. So we want to go all the way up the ladder and not stop at a somewhat lower rung.

Know what what is this inheritance. It comes in a twofold installment. The moment we are saved by grace in the moment we die. Glory grace now glory later salvation now splendor later. Ephesians 1 verse three does well to try to get its arms around this inheritance.

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 Jesus. Did you hear that every spiritual blessing. It's already been transferred into our account and all the richness and the fullness of salvation is ours. There's not a second work of grace, that we have to work up to in which we get a further installment know the greatest blessing is to know that you got all the blessings when you were first converted so first we are in the air of God. But second, Paul drills down further and it's not just that we are in air of God and have received the fullness of saving grace. But second he says we are heirs with Christ. That's another layer of this inheritance. He goes on to say in verse 17 of children, heirs also, heirs of God. Now here it is, and not or and heirs with Christ.

So it's one thing to receive the. The father's inheritance. But now we also share in the sons inheritance that that's what this says so Jesus is the principal air of the father's vast estate and we share the the estate that is passed from the father to the son, you see, God the father has also made his son and heir. So what did God the son receive in inheritance that you and I have now been made a sharer in this other inheritance. Hebrews 1 verse two says that the father appointed Jesus the air of all things. Well this inheritance that the sun has received from the father. He has inherited the entire created order by virtue of his death, burial and resurrection and ascension back to the right hand of God the father. The father has turned over to the son. All the universe and the sun has all authority in heaven and earth have been given under him and the father has transferred everything over to the sun is got the whole world in his hands. He is the heir of everything that there is the Lord Jesus Christ back in Revelation chapter 5 you're the father seated upon the throne.

He is a book in his hand and job begins to weep because no one was found worthy to take the book out of the hand of the of the father and that book is the title deed to all creation. In one of the elders says the John stopped her weeping. There is one who is worthy, the lion of the tribe of Judah, and he turned to see the lion in his stead. He saw a Lamb good been slain, but has now risen and the Lamb approaches the throne of God and takes the book takes the scroll of the hand of God the father and all of heaven erupts and praise worthy is the Lamb who was slain that is already taken place were not waiting for the second coming for this transfer of inheritance to the son, the moment the sun ascended to the right hand of God the father all authority in heaven and earth was given under him and all judgment has been passed over to the son.

The son has inherited the world, the universe and all that sin now that we know the sun we share in his inheritance, but there's more here we are heirs of God, we are heirs with Christ. Third, we are heirs of suffering, and I think Paul as this, because he doesn't want us to automatically assume the prosperity gospel.

He doesn't want us to automatically assume that hey were gonna live like kings that will have a palace to live in in a golden chariot to ride in and will just cruise in the glory as sons of God, no. We go on to read he says. And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if not, here's the qualifier. If you are an heir of God and an heir with Christ. Here is a huge qualifier that brings assurance of salvation that you actually know the Lord, if indeed we suffer with him every true believer who receives the father's inheritance and who shares in the sons inheritance also shares in the sufferings of Christ. It's a package deal and you may ask so what are those sufferings. I'm glad you asked, fully verse 35 who will separate us from the love of Christ and I'll be preaching on this this afternoon will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Every one of those are the sufferings of Christ, the sufferings of Christ are the sufferings we endure because we testify that we are his follower as we live in this world of darkness is suffering for the name of Christ is suffering for the word of Christ and for the kingdom of Christ and for the gospel of Christ in this tribulation is because we testify to the exclusivity of salvation in Jesus Christ and the distress that comes with it it and persecution. Second Timothy 312.

All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution when he says famine I think is referring here metaphorically to because of your commitment to Christ, you lose your job you run out of town.

You no longer have food to eat anything that ties in with an excellent nakedness. You now have lost even your earthly possessions you have barely close to even where and Carol and ultimately the greatest price you would ever pay for being a follower of Christ is to be martyred.

And that's what the sword is representing here in the front of my preaching Bible.

I have a picture John Rogers who was the first martyr burned at the stake by blooding Mary just to remind me of the sufferings of Christ, as I as I preach the word of God, and there will be something of this in different degrees for every believer. Sometimes it depends upon where you live. Sometimes it depends upon how visible you are. For Christ, but I tell you what verse 35 is going to soon become a reality for believers in the United States of America as the price will escalate first thing I believe in Jesus Christ.

So when we become heirs of God and the glory of all that comes with that. And as we are heirs with Christ. There is a counterbalance here as Paul wants to remind the believers there will be suffering for the cause of Christ. Jesus said in John 15 and and in verse 18 he said if the world hate you.

You know that it is hated me before it hated you. And then Jesus said in verse 20. This often repeated statement that he may remember the word that I said to you, a slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. This too is a part of our inheritance. This to is what it means to be an heir of God and of Christ, there's one more aspect that I want you to note and that's at the end of verse 17 as we've just been walking our way through this this text number four. We are heirs of glory. And Paul ends on a high note in this verse, and after he says if indeed we suffer with him. He then adds suppose that we may also be glorified with him. The so that indicates that there is a purpose to the suffering is not random. There is an intentional purpose to all suffering that we would undergo for the name of Christ, and it is to prepare us for glory. It is to wean us off of this world and to prepare us for the world to come and to the extent that we suffer for the name of Christ in this world to that same extent we will enjoy greater measures of glory. I mean there is a a martyrs crown that there is recognized in heaven. The martyrs under the throne of God. In Revelation 6.

It's almost like they have a a section unto themselves as they are recognized in heaven for the price they have paid for their faith in Jesus Christ is like Stephen when he was martyred. The heavens opened up and Jesus actually stood up in heaven, from the throne, as if to say son you stand up for me down on the earth and all stand up for you in heaven.

As we suffer for the name of Christ in this world there will be greater expressions of glory for us to know the Lord is taking it all down and there will be great reward in heaven for those who have stood firm in their testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ, and who have not caved in and capitulated to the pressures around them.

So look at the universe, 17 so that we all believers may also be glorified within the word also indicates this is another aspect of this inheritance. There is future glorification and Paul will talk about that at the end of verse 30 those whom he predestined he called and he called he justified to be justified. He glorified in all of the elect will be glorified with him in heaven. Grace now glory later in the vastness of that future glory that awaits us for the final installment of our inheritance is not seen or heard.

It is beyond our comprehension. What an inheritance that awaits us. So as Paul in the very middle of this chapter and verse 17 he goes to the top rung of the ladder of grace and tells us that you and I have been made heirs of God and heirs with Christ. That should be sufficient to hold us as we are heirs of suffering, knowing that it will lead us to be heirs of war. This is the so great salvation God's think of the contrast of those two phrases heirs of suffering and heirs of glory. But those who are in Christ can have confidence because we are adopted as sons we will receive an inheritance referred an incredible message of hope today from Romans chapter 8 after Stephen Lawson was our teacher today and he taught the city look in your conference that we can focused on Romans chapter 8 and it was titled more than conquerors. There were nine sections in all. And when you give a donation of any amount today.

We will provide you with the digital downloads of each message will also send you the two DVD set of Dr. Derek Thomas's latest teaching series also on Romans eight you can give your gift or you can call as your leader or phone number is 800-435-4343, as we study God's word, we can often run up against the passage that may be a difficult to understand is true for all of us. So if you have a pressing biblical or theological question, let me invite you to use our online service called ask woodier it's not a database of answers we actually have trained team members in time zones around the world ready to field your questions in real time, go to ask Dudley 24 hours a day six days a week. The web address again is ask the Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach of weedeater ministries founded 50 years ago by Dr. RC school and we hope you'll join us again tomorrow

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