Summary: Being a heir of Christ.

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Romans 8:12-17 Are you Heir-Headed?

Shawn Murphree 1/20/03

Rom 8:12-17

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according

to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as

are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear,

but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness

with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 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.


Introduction: The relationships we keep can tell a lot about ourselves. I think you would all agree that we usually act

like the people we associate with or spend the most time with. Here, Paul tells us about a relationship with God that

we can have when we accept Christ as savior and we become a child of God. It is when we let the flesh lead that

we get ourselves back into trouble. When we allow God’s Spirit to lead us, the flesh will take a back seat in our lives

and we will become heirs with Christ in suffering and in glory.


Single men are jailed more often, earn less, have more illnesses and die at a younger age than married men. Married

men with cancer live 20% longer than single men with the same cancer.

Women, who often have more close friendships than men, survive longer with the same cancers. Married or not,

relationships keep us alive.

Dr. Bernie Siegel, Homemade, May, 1989.

Here are three “ truths” that I want to share with you today about that heavenly relationship that can keep us alive.

I. We are debtors to live by the Spirit

The work of the flesh can not make demands upon our lives if we live by the Spirit.

The Spirit produces joy and peace in the Holy Ghost.

As Christians we have power over all the power of the flesh.

II. Real life can only come through the Spirit

Spiritual living requires that we put to death the works of the flesh. That death can only come through the Spirit.

Children of God are led by and guided by the Spirit.

Children of God are not in bondage nor are they controlled by the Spirit of fear.

III. The Spirit reveals our relationship.

We are heirs of all God has to offer.

A joint heir of Christ means to be a heir of Christ suffering.

If we are heirs in suffering, we are also heirs of Christ in glory!


A wealthy man called his faithful assistant into his office one day and said, “I’ve put your name in my will, and

someday you’ll receive $10,000. Since it may be a while before you get that legacy, I want to make you happy now

by paying you the interest on that amount each year. Here is a check for $600 as a starter.” The surprised clerk was

doubly grateful. The prospect of the inheritance was certainly good news, but the money he received in advance gave

him complete assurance that someday the entire $10,000 would be his.

As God’s children, let’s rejoice in the riches we now have in Christ through the Holy Spirit. He is our guarantee of

the “exceeding and eternal weight of glory” that our Heavenly Father will one day give to the heirs of salvation (2

Cor. 4:17). Our present blessings are but a token of the greater inheritance we will eventually receive.


God the Father

God’s fatherly relationship with Jesus implies four things. First it implies authority. The father commands and

disposes; the initiative which he calls his Son to exercise in resolute obedience to his Father’s will. Second, it implies

affection; third, fellowship; fourth, honor: God wills to exalt his Son.

All this extends to God’s adopted children. In, through, and under Jesus Christ their Lord, they are ruled, loved,

accompanied, and honored by their heavenly Father.

As Jesus obeyed God, so must they (1 John 5:1,3). As God loved his only-begotten Son, so he loves his adopted

sons (John 16:27). As God had fellowship with Jesus, so he does with us (1 John 1:3). As God exalted Jesus, so he

exalts Jesus’ followers, as brothers and sisters in one family (John 12:32; 17:24).

In these terms the Bible teaches us to understand the shape and substance of the parent-child relationship which

binds together the Father of Jesus and the servant of Jesus.

Your Father Loves You by James Packer, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986, page for May 6

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