Summary: We are joint heirs with Christ!


Romans 8:14-18

I. Led by the Spirit, 14

A. Misled by a Missed Step

B. Misled by Mistrust

II. Loved by the Father, 15, 16

A. The Adopting Father, 15

B. The Abiding Spirit, 16

III. Lifted by the Son, 17, 18

A. Our Privilege, 17

B. Our Portion, 17

C. Our Promise, 18

1. Trials are Momentaneous, 18; 2 Corinthians 4:17

2. Trials are Momentous, 18

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 ¶ And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

A lawyer hired a detective agency to locate a missing heir, who had just inherited 120 million dollars. The head of the agency told the lawyer, “I’ve put our best detective on the case. She’s young, smart and ambitious. She’ll find your missing heir if anyone can.”

A few weeks later, the lawyer received a call from the female detective. “Hello, I’ve got good news, I’ve found your missing heir.”

“That’s great,” said the lawyer, “where is he?”

“Oh, he’s right here, with me at the hotel. We’ll see you just as soon as we get back from our honeymoon.”

By worldly standards, that detective was smart and ambitious. She wanted to be a part of that inheritance no matter what. But then so did I after reading this passage from Romans. After the magnitude of the offer being made by God through Christ really sank in, I couldn’t pass up being a part of the inheritance.

I. Led by the Spirit

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

How does the Spirit lead us as Christians? Some people will use spiritual jargon about being led by the Spirit. And many of the people who are constantly talking about being led by the Spirit, are not really as led as they make out to be. Others will use these kinds of spiritual phrases as excuses for not getting involved in the work of God. When you come to them and say, “You need to be involved,” they will say, “I just don’t feel led.” You wonder if they aren’t really feeling the lead in the seat of their pants.

How are we led, practically, as a Christian? I believe the Spirit leads us in a number of ways. He leads us, firstly, by being our teacher and opening the Word up to us. He illuminates the Word.

Ephes. 5:17, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

What does 5:18 say?

If God has a will for our life (and He does) then it stands to reason that He wants us to know His will. And if He wants us to know His will, then He will show us His will.

I believe there are two major reasons why people do not know the will of God.

A. Misled by a Missed Step

One has to do with the failure to do what we already know to be the will of God.

∙ We know that we are to be faithful to Church.

∙ We know that we are to tithe of our income.

∙ We know that we need to pray and read our Bibles, yet we are often disobedient in these matters.

John 7:16-17, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

The key to knowing what you don’t know is doing what you know to do.

∙ If one will not do what has been revealed they will not do what will be revealed. Mom wouldn’t let me go play until my room was clean.

Gen 24:27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.

∙ God leads a step at a time.

∙ Don’t expect to know God’s plan for 20 years from now.

∙ Finish your job today.

B. Misled by Mistrust

Another reason people don’t understand the will of God is that they want to check it out first, then decide if that is what they want to do. We want to make sure it fits our plans and preferences.

In order to know the will of God the Christian must be utterly surrendered to that will, no matter what it might be. Those who are not surrendered to God are not in a position to know His will. There can be no reservations at all on our part. Our very bodies must be presented as living sacrifices to the Lord; everything must be offered-nothing withheld.

Illustration: “Will you promise to do something for me?”

The object is to extract the promise from the other person before he knew what we wanted done and then to hold him to the promise. Often the immediate response is: “What is it?” In other words, that person was not prepared to promise to do the thing until he first knew what it was.

So it is with many Christians. God is saying to them, “Will you do My will?” They reply, “What is it, Lord?” In short we are only ready to promise God that we will obey His will when it has first been revealed. That is opposite of the Divine order which requires first unconditional surrender.


If Son says, “dad whatever you tell me to do, I’ll do it.” How would you respond?

Prov 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Prov 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Someone wrote an imaginary letter from Paul in response to the call from Macedonia:


Doubtless you will recall the invitation you extended to me to come over into Macedonia and help the people of that section. You will pardon me for saying that I am somewhat surprised that you should expect a man of my standing in the church seriously to consider a call on such meager information. There are a number of things I should like to learn before giving my decision, and would appreciate you dropping me a line, addressing me at Troas.

First of all, I should like to know if Macedonia is a circuit or a station. There is another item that was overlooked in your brief and somewhat sudden invitation. No mention was made of the salary I was to receive. I have been through a long and expensive course of training; in fact, I may state, with reasonable pride, that I am a Sanhedrin man, the only one in the ministry today.

Kindly get the good Macedonian brethren together and see what you can do in the way of support. You have told me nothing about Macedonia beyond the implication that the place needs help. What are the social advantages? Is the church well organized? I recently had a fine offer to return to Damascus at an increase of salary, and am told that I made a very favorable impression on the church at Jerusalem.

For recommendations write to the Rev. Simon Peter, D.D., at Jerusalem. I will say that I am a first-class mixer and especially strong on argumentative preaching. If I accept the call, I must stipulate for two months’ vacation and the privilege of taking an occasional lecture tour. My lecture on “Over the Wall in a Basket” is worth two drachma of any man’s money.

Sincerely yours,


That is only an imaginary letter in Paul’s case but it is not so imaginary in many cases.

We want to approve the will of God before we answer the will the God. Doing the will of God is like taking a blank sheet of paper and signing your name at the bottom. Then God will fill in the page with whatever He so desires.

II. Loved by the Father

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

A. The Adopting Father

In contrast with the control of sin, which enslaves to the point of fear, believers have received the Spirit of sonship. Believers are adopted sons, not slaves; so they need not be enslaved to sin or in fear. So instead of cowering in slave-like fear, Christians can approach God in an intimate way calling Him “Abba (Daddy), Father.”

When a godly Christian became seriously ill, several friends gathered around his bedside to ask God to restore him. The last one to pray spoke of the faithful service of this man, and concluded his petition by saying, “Lord, You know how he loves You.” After a moment of silence, the sick believer said to him, “I know you meant well, but please don’t plead for my recovery on that basis. When Lazarus was ill, Mary and Martha sent for Jesus, but their request was not based on his affection for Christ. They said, ‘Lord, he whom You love is sick.’ It’s not my weak and faltering allegiance to Him that calls forth His attention, but His perfect love for me that is my constant strength and hope.”

The same thought was forcefully impressed on hymn writer Philip Bliss one day after he finished singing, “Oh, How I Love Jesus.” “These words are true,” he said. “Yet I feel guilty for having sung so much about my poor love for Christ and so little about His endless love for me.” As a result, he wrote a song that is well known today. It reads,

I am so glad that our Father in heaven

Tells of His love in the Book He has given;

Wonderful things in the Bible I see—

This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.”

Yes, our greatest comfort in life or in death is not that we love Him, but that “He loved us” (1 John 4:10). - H.G.B.

—Our Daily Bread, August 5

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

B. The Abiding Spirit

Heb. 10:15, He witnesses “to us”; 1 John 5:10 “in us”; Romans 8:16 “with us”

10 ¶ He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Spirit Witness (“led by the Spirit; Abba Father”)

1 John 5

What bothers me is when someone has a false assurance.

Mormons: “burning in the bosom.”

Many people refer back to a circumstance where they were rescued as proof of salvation.

Matthew 7:21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

the context is suffering

3 Hebrew Children (all that burned was that which bound them and they recognized the presence of God the most clearly in life).

III. Lifted by the Son

17... “with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

“Adoption into the family of God, then, involves being lifted by Christ so that we can share both His sufferings and His Glory, His heartache and His heritage, His cross and His crown.” —John Phillips

A. Our Privilege

17 ¶ And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

I’m a Child of the King!

Watchman Nee tells about a new convert who came in deep distress to see him. “No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I’m losing my salvation.”

Nee said, “Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained; he never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me.

Out in the kitchen I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess. But who is going to inherit my kingdom? Not my dog; my son is my heir. You are Jesus Christ’s heir because it is for you that He died.” We are Christ’s heirs, not through our perfection but by means of His grace.

B. Our Portion

17 ¶ And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Now this is exciting to me. You are not only an heir of God, but you are a co-heir with Christ. It says, “You are a joint heir with Christ.”

In a joint checking account, two people or more share one account. How much can you write a check for on that account? Half? No. To have a joint checking account means that you can draw out of that account 100% of whatever is there.

Now we are joint heirs with Christ. We share in His kingdom, not just a part, we share it all with Him.

∙ We have access to all the promises of God,

∙ to all the blessings of God,

∙ to all the inheritance of God with Christ Jesus.

∙ We are joint heirs.

∙ It is all ours.

∙ Everything we need for life and godliness is ours.

∙ Every promise of God is yours.

∙ How often do we write a check on the bank book of faith?

∙ We need to write more.

∙ We need to stand more on the promises of God.

∙ We need to put God’s word to the test and find it to be true in our lives.

∙ We need to obey it and live it.

∙ There we will find the power of God immediately given.

Shortly after a very young woman gave birth to identical twin boys, she gave them up for adoption. One was adopted by a couple from Spain, and they named the boy Juan. The other went to a family from Egypt. They named him Amal.

Years passed, and the boy from Spain discovered his real mother and with the sanction of his family sent her a picture of himself. The woman was delighted and told to her husband that she wished she also had a photo of her other son.

“Well,” he replied, “if you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

I’m sorry I just couldn’t resist. The punch line is true though, or it should be in the Kingdom of God. We should be able to say, if you’ve seen one Christian you’ve seen them all. Because we are called to be like Christ in every way. Through Christ, there is nothing that separates us. And through Christ Jesus, we are each heirs of God’s Kingdom.

What it feels like to know your Saved

C. Our Promise

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!

1. Trials are Momentaneous

2 Cor 4:17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

William Dean Howell asked Mark Twain coming out of church in a downpour, “Do you think it will stop?”

Twain answered, “It always has.”

Harry Ironside wrote:

He was a very illiterate Negro, who could only spell his way through the Bible with great effort and often failed to grasp the full import of the passages he tried to read. Rising to his feet in a testimony meeting where the leader had called upon each one to give his favorite portion of Scripture, the aged, colored brother said, “I gets more help from dem bressed words ‘And it came to pass’ than anything else in the Bible.”

Asked what he meant, he explained, “When I’se so upset wid trouble and pestered wid trials, I goes to the Bible and begins to read, and I never goes far before I come across dem words, ‘It came to pass’ and I says, ‘Bress de Lawd. It didn’t come to stay. It come to pass!’” Surely we may all learn from his simple faith.

— Illustrations of Bible Truth, H. A. Ironside, pg. 12

2. Trials are Momentous

Craig Randall drives a garbage truck in Peabody, Massachusetts. In a garbage container one day, he noticed a Wendy’s soft drink cup bearing a contest sticker. Having won a chicken sandwich the week before, Randall checked it, hoping for some french fries or a soft drink.

Instead, he peeled a sticker worth $200,000 toward the construction of a new home, reports “U.S. News and World Report” (11/6/95).

What we get out of life depends a lot on what we look for. Are we more likely to see each experience as trash or a potential treasure?

—Bob Weniger, Ft. Collins, Colorado

My life is but a weaving

Between my Lord and me,

I cannot choose the colors

He worketh steadily.

Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow,

And I in foolish pride

Forget He sees the upper,

And I, the underside.

Not till the loom is silent

And the shuttle cease to fly

Shall God unroll the canvas

And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful

In the Weaver’s skillful hand

As the threads of gold and silver

In the pattern He has planned.

—Grant Colfax Tullar

Dr. Pentecost used to tell about going to call on a member of his church who was in deep distress. He found her embroidering a sofa pillow cover. He asked her to let him take it in his hand. He purposely turned it on the wrong side and then remarked to her that it did not seem beautiful to him, and wondered why she should be wasting her time upon it.

“Why, Pastor,” she replied, “you are looking at the wrong side! Turn it over.”

“That is just what you are doing in your affliction,” said the wise and helpful minister, “you are looking at the wrong side of God’s workings with you.”

Down here we are looking at the tangled side of God’s providence; but He has a plan and a purpose—here a stitch and there a movement of the shuttle—and in the end a beautiful pattern.