“and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
I remember as a young boy singing in church, “I’m so glad, I’m a part of the family of God…” There was comfort in knowing that I was a part of something so much larger than I could imagine, not just in my church but throughout history. I was a part of this wonderful family with God as my Father and Jesus as my brother. Knowing this gave my life so much more meaning, and I understood even back then that family not only carried the benefit, but the responsibility.
Paul encouraged the believers going through persecution that part of being in God’s family, was identifying with Christ as co-heirs. Just as Christ suffered, they would suffer, but they would also take part in His future glory. Paul was referencing the Roman law that gave adopted children total equality with those born into the family. They would have the same name, the same priveleges, and an equal inheritence.
God offers us a place in His family, to be fully adopted as His sons and daughters, and there is no end to all that such a gift entails. Family encourages, supports, protects and sacrifices for each other. But the fullness we are given by being a part of His family in this life is only a glimpse of what awaits us in eternity.
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- Have you experienced suffering becuase of your faith?
- What are some of the benefits of being adopted into God’s family? Write in the comments below.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor