Joint Heirs with Christ
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 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.” (Romans 8:16-17)
Modern-day humanists and unbelievers take great sport in belittling Christians, but despite their estimate, and even despite whatever humble view Christians may entertain of themselves, the fact remains that the Bible clearly declares believers to possess a position of preeminent standing and blessing.
Consider the wondrous fact that we as believers are “children of God.” “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26). We are His offspring, for “according to his abundant mercy [he] hath begotten us again” (1 Peter 1:3). As His children, we even look like Him, in a spiritual sense, “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), and His Fatherly love surrounds us.
Furthermore, we are the inheritors of all good things, just as a human child can expect to inherit from his or her human father. Christ is the Son of God, but He is also “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). Our inheritance is nothing less than God Himself: all that He is and has is ours, and we will share it all with Christ, our elder brother. “The glory which thou [the Father] gavest me [Christ] I have given them [all believers]” (John 17:22).
This standing and privilege is ours, but we must not forget it is ours as a result of His doing, not our own worth, lest we become prideful. Nevertheless, it is ours. So let us believe it, accept it, and present it in such a way that others will want to share in it. JDM