Summary: Suffering, redemption, transformation, hope
OUR GLORIOUS FUTURE
Romans 8: 18-25 (p800) February 10, 2013
An heir means that you are to be the recipient of an inheritance …Most of us normal folks doesn’t use words like “heir” or “inheritance”.
Our Dad might leave us a watch…or after Mom and Dad are gone we might have to “settle the estate”, there might be a house, a car, some life insurance…but usually it’s not a vast inheritance…
Heirs and Heiresses are people like the Royals in England…like Prince Charles and William and Holly….can you imagine bring the “Heir” Hurry?
In America we think of people like Paris Hilton…She’s famous primarily because of her last name “Hilton”…She’s heir to the “Hilton” Hotel fortune…Her father will pass down to her and her sister an inheritance worth almost a Billion dollars.
We ended last week’s message talking about being adopted into God’s family through His Holy Spirit…A spirit which testifies to our new relationship with God by crying “Abba” Father…He testifies…He bears witness with our internal soul (the real us or the inside) “We are God’s children.” And if God is now truly our new father we are Heirs…Co-heirs with His only son…
But our test today is introduced with more sobering words…”If indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. (Romans 8: 17)
When you share something with someone you take a part of whatever it is…You share the last bowl of cereal…the last soda….you share the 20 dollar meal at Red Lobster.
How do we share in Jesus suffering…se we can also share in His glory? What part do we share?
Paul begins our study today in verse 18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Born Again, Spirit-filled followers of Christ are Heirs and Heiresses along with Jesus, of a future glory.
I WHY DOES SUFFERING HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH OUR INHERITANCE?
Well, let me answer that in two parts…first of all we suffer because we live in a temporary body..One that’s “dead because of sin”.
[This body ages…as it ages parts wear out…pain increase…wrinkles take hold…I use to visit a lady in the nursing home named Pauline Divine…and I’d ask Pauline…”How you doing?” And she’d respond….”Everything I have hurts…and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t’ work anymore!” That’s a great description of the aging, process.]
[Katherine Hepburn, the great actress said, “I’ve discovered that my body is like a car…something goes wrong, wears out and I take it to the mechanic and he replaces the part…until one day I take it in and he says, “We don’t make parts for that model anymore!”]
When Jesus, “the word of God becomes flesh and made His dwelling among us.: (John 1: 14) The creator of the universe entered a body, through the miraculous Virgin birth and subjected himself to a body that ages…grows older…wears out…dies. Paul describes that amazing choice in his letter to the Philippians….
Philippians 2: 6-8 (p831)
Isaiah the prophet wrote these words 800 years before Jesus came to fulfill it.
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot and like a root of a dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire him… He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” (Is 53: 2, 3)
Most pictures of Jesus make Him look like a beautiful, attractive beard wearing Mediterranean masculine man….Scripture says he choose an ugly exterior so that wouldn’t be what drew you to Him…”Nothing in his appearance caused us to desire Him” Even before the scars and the swelling caused by the beating and crucifixion…He choose a body that demanded inner beauty would be the magnet…not outward handsomeness.
Every person shares in the suffering that Jesus chooses…living in a body that’s dying…scars easily, needs fixing, and eventually…dies.
Some find hope in delaying that process…putting off the inevitable…But for the born again Spirit filled follower of Jesus…inside something beautiful testifies…No, this isn’t all there is…there is a forever body…there is an inheritance for you……”IN YOU”
But there is another suffering that takes place for the born again, Spirit filled follower of Christ…
Suffering for Christ…Paul says to the Corinthians we have a treasured promise housed in an easily broken JAR…listen.
2 Corinthians 4: 7-12 (p818)
His hard pressed (pressured from every angle)…His confused, perplexed at times, His persecuted He’s beaten down…His body constantly grounds him…its temporary…but he doesn’t despair…He will not quit, because it’s all for an opportunity to make others become followers of the Savior He follows. He says in 2 Cor 6 We showed you we are servants of God in every way..in great endurance, in troubles, hardships, and distresses, in beatings, imprisonments and riots, in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger, in purity, understanding, patience and kindness in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in trustful speech and IN THE POWER OF GOD” (v 3-7)