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sermon on romans 8:17

If the world persecute us for Christ's sake, if it deem us worthy of such distinction, it must be because it is convinced that we are Christians, and therefore we may be comforted by the very malice of our enemies. His is one actually recognised. (1) If you have faith enough, you may this morning be raised up to sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus,(2) God has given Christ the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost ends of the earth for His possession, and we are co-heirs with Him. Be thankful.2. It is not the discipline that fits, it only develops the fitness. (a) There is no flaw in God's will with regard to Christ, and He has said, " I will that they whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am. (3) Another black portion is temptation. They have —1. Yet Christ also learned obedience by the things which He suffered, in this respect our sufferings may resemble His. God may try us, as He tried Him, for the simple purpose of teaching us to renounce our own wish and will, and to say, with Christ, "Father, not my will, but Thine be done."IV. THEN NO MAN SHOULD SPEAK OF HAVING MADE SACRIFICES IN BECOMING A CHRISTIAN. "If children" — it matters not whether sons or daughters — "then heirs." Thomas, D.D.They are in a distinguishing sense —I. Now there is a various account which may be given hereof unto us. And yet there are some who are not persecuted for Christ's sake. A Christian at any period of his Christian experience, if it please God to take him, is fit for the kingdom; yet in His mercy He is leaving you here, training you, disciplining you; and that all the glowing furnaces of fiery trial, and all the cold waters of affliction, are but the preparation through which the rough iron is to be passed before it becomes tempered steel, a shaft in the Master's hand. But then, further, this is that which all God's children do in a manner prepare for, and so dispose themselves as to make account of it. There is the "old man," "the flesh," "the old Adam," your own godless, independent, selfish, proud being. We partake of them —(1) Beneficially. The one is the conjunction of conditions, and the other is the conjunction of persons, in reference to those conditions. Both have relation to sin; but while ours are connected with our own sins, His were endured for the sins of others. An eye to the rest and glory at the end should keep him from getting weary of the way.II. Both these ideas are employed in Scripture to illustrate the subject. "I have come to tell you that you are the Earl of — , and entitled to a large estate," replied the visitor. First, here is the condition of God's children considered absolutely. If so, how is it that we are so soon offended when the least troubles arise in connection with our Christian profession? How much owest thou to thy Lord? Say, "I count it to be my joy to be permitted to be a partaker of the sufferings of Christ." THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE HEIRSHIP. Every child of the new birth is born to it; nor is there any man who can rob him of it. (3)The result of the contrariety of His pure nature to the depravity of men amongst whom He came to live.2. The inheritance of suffering. THIS AFFORDS A TEST OF OUR SONSHIP —1. (3) Pure and undefiled, neither acquired by injustice nor retained by wrong. On this high level, and not upon the lower one — viz., that Christ will help us to bear afflictions — do we find the true meaning of all that Scripture teaching; which says to us, If you want the power for holy living, have fellowship in that atoning death; and if you want the pattern of holy living, look at that Cross and feel, "I am crucified to the world by it, and the life that I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God."3. There are tradesmen who lose custom because they will be faithful to conscience. A special attention from Him.II. (3) But not only is the life of Christ as a life of suffering a model for us, but His death, besides being an atonement, is a type of the Christian's life, which is to be one long and daily dying to sin, to self, to the world. The servant is not above his lord. Hath He joy? God will at last make all His children amends for any troubles which here He lays upon them. THE WAY IN WHICH WE ARE TO WALK SO AS TO SECURE THE ACTUAL BESTOWMENT OF THIS PRIVILEGE. Christ's property extends to all, and we are co-heirs. There was no sin within Him. Doth Christ call Himself a King? Thirdly, conveyance or derivation. Secondly, concomitancy. As the mother tends the sick child especially, and is most fond of that. "The world is ours," because it is Christ's by right of inheritance. A most consolatory and satisfactory prospect therefore. Remember what God requires of you in order to your being glorified — that you should suffer with Him.(J. If this be not yours, neither are the rest, for they are bequeathed to you in the same will. The one may be dispensed with, the other cannot. Only such minds could suffer with Him, and the having such a mind is itself the blessed thing.(P. We have here —1. And though the doing of His Father's will was His delight; yet obedience, sustained in the face of temptation and the "contradiction of sinners," may well be called suffering. Christ had to be persecuted, and so must you. Whatever happens to him — sickness or health — everything is his here below. Nor can any creature accuse His saints, nor infringe upon our title so long as His title stands. By the consciousness we have that we have complied with those conditions of repentance and faith, on the fulfilment of which the privilege is suspended.2. I name this principally for the sake of putting in a caution. The servant is not above his lord. (4)His coming again will bring us the full enjoyment of it.6. Robinson, D.D.Believers suffer with Christ —I.IN THE SAME CAUSE — that of truth and righteousness.II.FOR THE SAME END — the glory of God and the good of His Church.III.FROM THE SAME HAND — Satan, their common enemy, and the world.IV.IN THE SAME MANNER, and with the same spirit of patience and resignation.(T. Secondly, not suffering in a way of public, justice, which an evil man may do. We must always take such passages as this in conjunction with the truth which completes them, that when a man has the love of God in His heart, there and then he is fit for the inheritance. And their sufferings are in that respect His. Sometimes, again, God afflicts them in others, though not immediately in their own persons, which yet, notwithstanding, according as they improve it, proves an affliction unto them. We shall have His joy. Secondly, concomitancy. As there is a beauty in all the works and ways of God besides, so amongst the rest also in this. In the way of its infliction. It is —(1) "An inheritance among them that are sanctified." THE NATURE OF THE BELIEVER'S SUFFERINGS.1. (4) Then in James 2:5, we are spoken of as being heirs of the kingdom. Let us, then, all live as such, and rejoice in our portion.III. The one is the conjunction of conditions, and the other is the conjunction of persons, in reference to those conditions. "As He was, so are we in this world." Heaven will confer on those who are admitted into it, a much higher degree of holiness than they before attained. )The reward of glorySamuel Rutherford used to say, "I wonder many times that ever a child of God should have a sad heart, considering what the Lord is preparing for him." Nor will this inheritance lose any value from being distributed among so many. That is a past act. The text does not merely contain a law for a certain part of life, but for the whole of life. And not until you can say, "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me," have you accomplished that to which you are consecrated and vowed by your sonship — "being conformed unto the likeness of His death," and "knowing the fellowship of His sufferings." It may not, indeed, consist of tangible tenements, land, silver and gold; but it does consist of all that can gratify the cravings of an immortal spirit. His sufferings only exert an expiating efficacy. )The Christian's heirshipI was in a provincial town some time ago, when I was told of a nobleman who for many years worked as a porter in the railway station, because he did not know his true position in the world, till one day a gentleman entered the station, and after saluting him said, "Sir, may I ask your name?" God will have His people here in this world to suffer for divers reasons. So after that He hath called them to suffering, He does at last bring them to glory. Then —1. This phrase of "together with Him" does imply divers things in it. Obligations and motives to obedience.4. I. We shall have His joy. Every child of the new birth is born to it; nor is there any man who can rob him of it. Will He be received with triumph by His Father? First of all, to become children, we must apply to God in the way of penitence and faith that our sentence of alienation may be reversed. (2) 1 have been dwelling upon the black side in order to bring the bright one out by contrast. (c) And there is no fear that the Son of God, the infinitely rich, will have a trifling portion. God's children have never more embracings and cherishings from Him than at such time as they are under greatest afflictions. We shall overcome and sit down with Him upon His throne. Hence heirs of all possible good; for God is good. And yet there are some who are not persecuted for Christ's sake. The end is the inheritance; and sorrows here, as well as the Spirit's work here, are the earnest of the inheritance. We seem more frequently to have promised to us relief from sufferings — no more sickness, night, curse, nor death — all of which we shrink from as if their absence was enough to make our bliss. So when we are journeying through the murky night, and the dark woods of affliction, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrances and hidden strengths in the remembrance of Him as "in all points tempted like as we are," bearing grief for us, with us, like us. "If children, then heirs."1. But then it is Christ's interest that is at stake as well as mine. There are, indeed, differences between Christ's title and ours. THE INHERITORS OF ALL GOOD.(D. The heirs of earthly kingdoms are apt to be elated with pride in proportion to the magnitude of their prospective possessions. It is the fellowship, not the place, that makes up our happiness. This teaches also Christians not to rest themselves contented in this, that they suffer, but to observe both how and what they suffer for. And how, then, is this so generally true whereof we now speak? But the children of God have nothing to apprehend from reverses. (4) Then in James 2:5, we are spoken of as being heirs of the kingdom. And "all things are yours, for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's."2. (3)God Himself. How unreasonable to see an "heir of God" so swallowed up in the world that he has neither taste nor time to pray, or make suitable efforts to get ready for His Heavenly inheritance.III. (3) That there shall be a blessed similarity in point of nature — though, of course, not in degree — between the enjoyment of Christ in heaven and the enjoyment of His glorified people there. )If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.Suffering with ChristT. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. But here heaven is presented as "glorification with Christ."2. "The glory which Thou givest Me I have given them."II. They are the quarrying and the chiselling of the marble before the living statue can stand out in symmetrical proportions. We misapprehend the force of this passage if we suppose it to refer merely to outward calamities, and see in it only that the sorrows of daily life may have in them a sign of our being children of God, and some power to prepare us for the glory that is to come. On this high level, and not upon the lower one — viz., that Christ will help us to bear afflictions — do we find the true meaning of all that Scripture teaching; which says to us, If you want the power for holy living, have fellowship in that atoning death; and if you want the pattern of holy living, look at that Cross and feel, "I am crucified to the world by it, and the life that I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.". Believers are joined with Christ, and in particular joined with Him in glory. Others, who can do little themselves, can assist by sending forth men to preach the gospel. (b) Perhaps there may be a suit in law made against the will. Remember what God requires of you in order to your being glorified — that you should suffer with Him.(J. God will at last make all His children amends for any troubles which here He lays upon them. In all these passages the same principle is involved which is contained in the text. In some trackless lands, when one friend passes through the pathless forests, he breaks a twig ever and anon as he goes, that those who come after may see the traces of his having been there, and know that they are not out of the road. (a) There is no flaw in God's will with regard to Christ, and He has said, " I will that they whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am. It is not suffering considered indefinitely that does entitle to glory. KellyI. (4) Then in James 2:5, we are spoken of as being heirs of the kingdom. "The Prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me." Now there is a various account which may be given hereof unto us. Thomas, D.D. (2) In consequence of our contact with the world. In the manner in which we endure it. First, not mere suffering in a way of common providence, which even a natural man may do. So shall we when His Father shall say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." A special resemblance to Him.2. But against this may be haply objected that there are divers of the children of God, and such as we have cause to hope well of, who yet have a very quiet and comfortable life, wherein they meet with little sorrow or trouble at all. All the sheep of the Great Shepherd are marked with the cross, and this not only in the fleece, but in the flesh. Maclaren, D.D. Thomas, D.D. THE CHILDREN OF GOD. If His consists of transcendent holiness, and dignity, authority, and power, then ours will comprehend the same elements of felicity.2. "If we suffer with Him, we shall be also glorified together"; that is, the one it shall certainly follow upon the other. A special affection for Him.3. "The world is ours," because it is Christ's by right of inheritance. God may try us, as He tried Him, for the simple purpose of teaching us to renounce our own wish and will, and to say, with Christ, "Father, not my will, but Thine be done."IV. We shall have His joy. Every child of the new birth is born to it; nor is there any man who can rob him of it. Kelly).Heirs of GodJ. The circumstances of earthly parents may be suddenly reversed, and their children therefore deprived of the inheritance. (4)Providential sufferings. And their sufferings are in that respect His. The supposition that is in these words, "If so be we suffer with Christ." First, there is somewhat for it in their nature, which they have in common with other men (Job 5:7). And their sufferings are in that respect His. Whatever happens to him — sickness or health — everything is his here below. IF WE SUFFER WITH CHRIST, WE SHALL ALSO BE GLORIFIED TOGETHER. How, then, shouldest thou prepare for it?(T. Conclusion: We learn from this subject the extreme desirableness and importance of being found among the regenerated people of God. Heaven is a purchased possession; not by penitence or faith, holiness or usefulness, suffering or dying, but by the precious blood of Christ. All that the Church wants to-day is courage and devotion. The love and power of God.2. SUFFERING IS A COMMON CONDITION OF SONSHIP. )The glory of the goodD. Obligations and motives to obedience.4. Christ's property extends to all, and we are co-heirs. More than this God cannot promise or give.5. If a fair measure of the greatness of any result be the length of time taken for getting it ready, we can dimly conceive what that joy must be for which seventy years of strife and sorrow are but a momentary preparation; and what must be the weight of that glory which is the counterpoise and consequence to the afflictions of this lower world. Both have relation to sin; but while ours are connected with our own sins, His were endured for the sins of others. Men, considered as guilty, need pardon or justification, which is a legal as well as merciful act on the part of God, by which the relation of men to law is altered. Whatever happens to him — sickness or health — everything is his here below. "Thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir."2. A most consolatory and satisfactory prospect therefore. Will He judge the nations? Conclusion: We learn from this subject the extreme desirableness and importance of being found among the regenerated people of God. The supposition that is in these words, "If so be we suffer with Christ." It is the fellowship, not the place, that makes up our happiness. The further the pendulum swings on the one side, the further it goes up on the other. (2) In Romans 4:13 the promise made to the Seed was that He should be heir of the world. As the mother tends the sick child especially, and is most fond of that. There may want glory as to either of these things. Let us believe in the ultimate glorification and anticipate it with joy.(C. And that is, that it is a state of suffering, "If so be that we suffer." Do not keep these sacred thoughts of Christ's companionship in sorrow for the larger trials of life. Of the future inheritance we have various accounts. Before we leave this point, note what an honour is conferred upon us. THE PRIVILEGE OF GOD'S CHILDREN.1. )If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.Suffering with ChristT. Whether you call heaven a place or a state, it is a possession and an enjoyment —(2) Vast and grand, surpassing all that earthly potentates have ever coveted or earthly conquerors won. Nor can any creature accuse His saints, nor infringe upon our title so long as His title stands. But the New Testament continually speaks of a higher form of paternity and childhood. Before we leave this point, note what an honour is conferred upon us. There are many which are not associated with Christ, and which do not result from sympathy with Him. )Suffering attends God's childrenThomas Horton, D.D.In the text itself there are two general parts considerable — the supposition and the inference. But then, further, this is that which all God's children do in a manner prepare for, and so dispose themselves as to make account of it. Now, it is not strange that God's children should also be heirs; for who is so rich and noble as their Heavenly Father?1. But He has gone as our forerunner to take possession for us. They come into possession of their inheritance, not on the death of their Father (for He can never die), but when they reach their majority. "The villain's censure is the good man's praise."2. Secondly, we learn hence also to expect it and to prepare for it. But, remember, Christ is co-heir with you in this. Wherefore murmur not and faint not. It is not the discipline that fits, it only develops the fitness. II. The preparedness for heaven comes at the moment — if it be a momentary act — when a man turns to Christ. So when we are journeying through the murky night, and the dark woods of affliction, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrances and hidden strengths in the remembrance of Him as "in all points tempted like as we are," bearing grief for us, with us, like us.4. The ground of mere compensation is a low one on which to rest the certainty of future bliss. If it be endured in the temper and spirit of Christ, who said, "Not My will, but Thine be done." Remember what God requires of you in order to your being glorified — that you should suffer with Him.(J. 1. But the inheritance is sure, because the one cause — union with the Lord — produces both the present result of fellowship in His sorrows, and the future result of joy in His joy, of possession in His possessions. He has satisfied God's law. Unquestionably, in a general sense, God is the Father of all mankind. The servant is not above his lord. First, to look upon this passage according to the exclusive emphasis; and so I say there is this in it: that there is no coming to glory but by suffering. In addition to an actual spiritual birth, we have the frequent use of the word "adoption," to illustrate the process by which man passes from his first to his second condition. You must enter your suit against the Head if you would attack the members. But, secondly, not only so, but more particularly which is founded in grace, and that holy profession which they bear upon them. There is something in this expression more than the idea of filial relationship to God. This He does in His infinite wisdom and goodness, and as carrying a special comeliness and congruity with it (as 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8). It would seem to be impossible to have too high ideas of what may be anticipated by those who are the children and heirs of a Divine Parent; of Him who created and who possesses all things; whose paternal affection is measureless, and who even speaks of Himself as the portion of His people.3. If he hath poverty, poverty is his to help him to be sanctified, and to long for heaven. By considering the fruits of grace in our lives, and then comparing these with the characteristics of sonship which are delineated in the Word of God.4. By considering the fruits of grace in our lives, and then comparing these with the characteristics of sonship which are delineated in the Word of God.4. In addition to an actual spiritual birth, we have the frequent use of the word "adoption," to illustrate the process by which man passes from his first to his second condition. G. In heaven we shall receive a great addition to our knowledge. The deeper God plunges the comet into the darkness, the closer does it come to the sun at its nearest distance, and the longer does it stand glowing in the full blaze of the glory from the central orb. (1) As co-heirs with Christ, we are heirs of God (Psalm 16:5; 63:26). They are "glorified with Christ." Now this is yours. THE INHERITORS OF ALL GOOD.(D. But with the sons of God, the clearer their views of future glory, the more astounded are they with the greatness of the gift of God; and this proportionally makes them feel their own unworthiness.2. As Esther mourning for her people and kindred while she was herself in great prosperity; and Nehemiah, for his brethren's captivity, when himself was in great favour. Our heavenly happiness is to be of the same nature as His. And however humbling it may be to think of the necessity in which we stand of adoption and renewal, yet that nature is not to be disparaged, respecting which such things are possible. As there is a beauty in all the works and ways of God besides, so amongst the rest also in this. 1. Hath He joy? Nor will this inheritance lose any value from being distributed among so many. It is only the true saint who can bear reproach with meekness, take joyfully the spoiling of his goods, refuse to avenge himself, love his enemies, and yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness.III. Maclaren, D.D.I. Christ's property extends to all, and we are co-heirs. Doth Christ call Himself a King? God will at last make all His children amends for any troubles which here He lays upon them. (2) Another branch of the "sufferings of Christ" is to be found in that deep and mysterious fact that Christ wrought out His perfect obedience as a man, through temptation and by suffering. Christ never promised His followers in this world anything else but tribulation, save only that in the midst of it all they should enjoy His peace and His Father's protection; and all the apostles speak of suffering as the common lot of the saints (1 Peter 4:12, 13, 16; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Thessalonians 3:4; Hebrews 12.). (3) That there shall be a blessed similarity in point of nature — though, of course, not in degree — between the enjoyment of Christ in heaven and the enjoyment of His glorified people there. THIS COMMUNITY OF SUFFERING IS A NECESSARY PREPARATION FOR THE COMMUNITY OF GLORY.1. Take your cross up and bear it with joy. "The meek shall inherit the earth. In relation to this subject, we may employ the language, "Howbeit, that is not first that is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual." The one is the conjunction of conditions, and the other is the conjunction of persons, in reference to those conditions. If you are ashamed to apply that Divine thought, "Christ bears this grief with me," to those petty molehills that you magnify into mountains sometimes, think it a shame to stumble over them. ” This was a wonderful message on our willingness to be mocked for our belief in Jesus and the blood of the cross; and I would also add to be mocked for our stand on God's Word, The King James Bible. By believing the testimony of the Word, which declares that all those who thus repent and believe are acknowledged to be the children of God.3. Ceremonies, notions, beliefs, formal participation in worship is nothing. THEN THE CHRISTIAN IS GOING TO A RICH HOME AND A GLORIOUS FUTURE. )Heirs of GodT. If he hath poverty, poverty is his to help him to be sanctified, and to long for heaven. Our happiness will be realised in the same state, or place, or sphere as His. (2)His prayer for us attains it. By His sufferings, for after these came the glory; and all those sufferings were endured for us. His is original, earned by Himself; ours is borrowed. By the direct witnessing of the Spirit itself, with and to our spirits, that we are the children of God.II. " "The world is ours," because it is Christ's by right of inheritance. Binney).The believer's heirshipT. Christ never promised His followers in this world anything else but tribulation, save only that in the midst of it all they should enjoy His peace and His Father's protection; and all the apostles speak of suffering as the common lot of the saints (1 Peter 4:12, 13, 16; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Thessalonians 3:4; Hebrews 12.). They are the quarrying and the chiselling of the marble before the living statue can stand out in symmetrical proportions. Is He everlasting? And crucifying, plucking out the right eye, maiming self of the right hand, mortifying the deeds of the body, teach us that there is no growth without sore sorrow. That is just what we Christians should do.The joint heirs and their Divine portionC. THE INHERITANCE WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF HEIRSHIP. Our heavenly happiness is to be of the same nature as His. Our inheritance has been purchased, or procured by the same means as His. (a) There is no flaw in God's will with regard to Christ, and He has said, " I will that they whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am. If His consists of transcendent holiness, and dignity, authority, and power, then ours will comprehend the same elements of felicity.2. How, then, shouldest thou prepare for it?(T. But, such as it is, it is a suffering with Christ, and should be met with calmness and borne with patience, fortitude, and hope. Some of you can do so by preaching in the streets. But let us suppose the case to be otherwise. THAT INHERITANCE IS THE NECESSARY RESULT OF THE SUFFERING THAT HAS GONE BEFORE. Secondly, suffering goes before glory, thereby to set a greater price upon glory itself, and to make it so much the more glorious. Does He sit upon a throne? "To suffer with" is to sympathise (1 Corinthians 12.).1. Do you think that man stood about the station touching his cap for tips any longer? The foundation of it is not that Christ shares in our sufferings; but that we, as Christians, participate in Christ's.2. Piety brings on them rudest treatment from brutal husbands sufferings sermon on romans 8:17 for after these came the glory which givest... Are co-heirs an inheritance.3 has conquered for us sonship ; because all its are... His sorrows and His wise providence towards His servants, which has influence! 'S great inheritance lies the swamp of affliction glory with ChristA from.... By injustice nor retained by wrong to apprehend from reverses this expression more than this God can we! 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