What Does Romans 8:17 Mean?

Now if we are children, we are heirs heirs of God and co-heirs with the Messiah if, in fact, we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:17(ISV)

Verse Thoughts

The gift of God to all that are born from above into the family of God is that we become God's very own children. We are elevated into the irrevocable position of children of God by His grace, simply because we chose to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And because of our positional status in Him, we are given a further, unmerited glorious gift of grace – we are elevated into the position of co-heir with the Messiah, fellow-heir with Christ, joint-heir with Jesus; sharing God's immeasurably rich inheritance with His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Who Himself is one with the Father and equal in every detail with God. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who loved us so much that He died for us.

When Christ was on the earth, He represented the Father in all things, doing only those things that He learned from the Father, and He learnt obedience through suffering, even the death of the Cross. Jesus warned us that just as He was despised and rejected of men, we too would have to face difficulties and severe trials, we too would share in His sufferings, for because of our new birth we are eternally identified with our Lord in ALL things. Indeed, we are told by Paul that if we share in His sufferings, then we may also share in His glory.

This little word 'IF' has a number of meanings that are hidden from view in the English text. Sometimes it implies a condition and at other times it denotes chance, but here the little word 'IF' speaks of certainty.

If we are children (and we certainly are), we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.

If we share in His sufferings (and as part of the Body of Christ, we will share in His sufferings), we will also share in His glory.

Jesus Himself tells us: "In this world you will have tribulation." Yes, we should not expect to have a trouble free life after we have been saved. Quite the opposite! "But take heart," He carries on, "I have overcome the world." 

Because we are part of the Body of Christ, we will indeed we share in his sufferings and we will of a certainty drink of the cup that He drank. But this little word 'IF' tells us the end of the story; though we suffer with Him in life, we will also share in His glory. For in His kingdom there are joys for evermore. Praise His holy name.

My Prayer

Loving Father, thank You for the many free gifts that have been poured out over me without measure, simply because I trusted in Jesus as Saviour. Sometimes, I feel I should do something to deserve your favour, but that would not be grace. So, in humility of heart, I simply thank You for Your free gift of grace that is given to me and to all who trust Jesus as Saviour. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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