Menu Keys

On-Going Mini-Series

Bible Studies

Codes & Descriptions

Class Codes
[a] = summary lessons
[b] = exegetical analysis
[c] = topical doctrinal studies
What is a Mini-Series?
A Mini-Series is a small subset of lessons from a major series which covers a particular subject or book. The class numbers will be in reference to the major series rather than the mini-series.

Scripture References

Scripture references on this site can be viewed by hovering your mouse cursor over the reference to see a pop-up window with the verse displayed. If you wish to use a different version of the Bible, you can make that selection below.

 

Bible Options

 

If you have Logos Bible Study Software installed, you can check Libronix to bring the scripture reference up in Logos.

Romans 8:17-25 by Robert Dean
Series:Spiritual Life (2000)
Duration:1 hr 1 mins 45 secs

Inheritance and Glorification; Romans 8: 17 – 25. Tape 14.

 

Review:

 

NASB – verses 17

 

"... and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him..."

 

Corrected translation– verses 17

 

"... and if children heirs also, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him..."

 

We saw last time that this verse is incorrectly punctuated in most English translations, were it makes it look like heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ are synonyms when in fact there are two different categories of inheritance. If they are synonyms, the problem is the conditional clause would then make inheritance 'being heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ' which is equivalent to salvation, conditioned upon suffering with Christ and if that is a condition for salvation then salvation isn't by faith alone, its faith plus suffering. That is not what the Gospel says so we therefore know that this is talking about something in addition to salvation. An heir of God is for every believer, a fellow heir with Christ is only for those who are advancing towards spiritual maturity.

 

10.  The problem that we have in understanding the inheritance passages is that there are passages that  speak of inheritance as a permanent possession based on faith alone in Christ alone. For example:

 

Ø  Galatians 3:29, "...and if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise..."

Ø  Galatians 4:1, "...Now I say, [That] the heir, as long as he is a child, differed nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all..."

Ø  1 Peter 1:4 – 5, "...to {obtain} an inheritance {which is} imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time..."

Ø  Titus 3: 5 – 7, "...He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour so that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to {the} hope of eternal life..."

 

But there are also passages that speak of inheritance as an acquisition or a reward to the believer and if inheritance means eternity in heaven then there are some people that can never be saved and others will lose there salvation. We see this problem in a passage like:

 

Ø  Ephesians 5:5 says, "...For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God..."

Ø  If entering the kingdom of God is equivalent to entering into heaven then you can't enter into heaven if you are immoral, impure and therefore why even address the gospel to those people. They can't be saved by definition.

Ø  Colossians 3:24 says, "...knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve..." there inheritance is spoken of as a reward to the believer not part of the package that you get at salvation.

 

So obviously the scriptures talk about different categories of inheritance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.  There are two categories of inheritance

 

1.  Inheriting the kingdom:

 

Ø  Ephesians 5:5 says, "...For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God..."

Ø  1 Cor. 6: 9 – 10, "...Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor {the} covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God..."

Ø  Colossians 3:24 says, "...knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve..." there inheritance is spoken of as a reward to the believer not part of the package that you get at salvation.

 

2.  Inheriting salvation, which is for every believer:

Ø  Hebrews 1:14, "...Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?"

 

12.  Just as Christ inherits the kingdom due to his loyalty to God the Father so will every believer who is a joint heir with Christ.  Just as Christ inherits the kingdom as a result of His loyalty and His obedience to God the Father according to Hebrews 8:1, 8 – 9, so will joint heirs with Christ. It is an additional reward given to believers on the basis of their spiritual growth and their advance to spiritual maturity. The concept of inheritance really goes back to the Old Testament concept of inheritance which has the meaning of possession. God has given something that is yours and you have to go out and conquer it. This is the concept with the 12 tribes of Israel when they went into the land; God had given them the Land. God had given the Exodus generation the Land but when they sent out the twelve spies, the 12 spies came back and said 'well, there are walled cities, there are giants in the land and the people are as numerous as grass hoppers, how in the world can we conquer them.' Ten of the twelve spies misunderstood the order; the operations order for the recon mission was to determine how we are going to conquer the land not if we are going to conquer the land. God had already said go spy out the land I have given to you, so it is already theirs. By misunderstanding the mission they came back and said 'well we can't do it,' Except for two, Caleb and Joshua, they said  'well, we can do it, lets just trust the Lord and lets go get them!' So God disciplined the nation and no one ever entered into the possession of their inheritance, it was theirs they were still in Israel, it was still theirs contingently but they never realised it actually because of their disobedience. Then you skipped a generation, you come to the Joshua generation that goes into the conquest and we saw that they did take possession of the land and they did benefit form it but then the next generation that we studied in chapter 2 of Judges does not trust God they forgot what God had done for there fathers and there territory was reduced they went through discipline and their possessions were reduced and they lost ground. The same thing is true for the believer, the believer who advances to Spiritual maturity has possession of his inheritance, but if you do not advance to spiritual maturity you don't possess your inheritance. You are still saved, you are still a child of God and in the family of God but you don't have an inheritance which is your reward, rewards and position of responsibility ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ in the Messianic Kingdom and in eternity.

 

13.  There is a difference between living in the Kingdom and reigning with Christ. This is seen in problem passages in 2 Timothy 2:11 – 13, which some people think that you can lose your salvation but what this means is quite different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Timothy 2:11 – 13

 

It is a trustworthy statement:

 

For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;

 

This is a first class condition and we did, this is positional death, at the instant of salvation we are  identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:1 – 5 ),  if you died with Him (if you are identified with Christ in His death burial and resurrection) at the instant of salvation therefore you will live with Him. You will live in the kingdom; you will live for ever and have eternal life. 

 

If we endure, we will also reign with Him;

 

This is secondary, this is not believing, there is a difference between enduring hupomeno which is persistence and believing in Christ. Persistence has to do with how obedient and how consistent you are in advancing to spiritual maturity. "...if you endure, you will reign..." That's the reward, it is reigning with Christ.

 

If we deny Him, He also will deny us;

 

"We" being believers, notice that he is talking about believers. This is not a rejection of Christ at the cross. This is if we deny Him in our lives, this is the person who goes out and lives like an unbeliever and who couldn't care less about doctrine, goes to church occasionally, eventually not at all, 'the nod to God crowd' they give their little 'token nod' to God at Christmas, Easter and every other year. What does He deny us? Salvation? No! That is contradicted by the next verse. He denies us rewards, we can't reign and rule with Him in the Messianic Kingdom. We will live but we will not rule and reign.

 

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

 

That is the person who denies Him; he is faithless and does not advance through the faith rest drill to spiritual maturity. "...If we are faithless, He remains faithful..." See, God never changes, His salvation was never based on our faithfulness or faithlessness at all, and it is based exclusively in what He did on the cross. So even when we fail, even when we are faithless He remains faithful because He cannot deny Himself. Salvation is based on the character of Christ and the character of God the Father, it is never based on our character either our successes or failures but it does effect our position in eternity. 

 

There is a difference between living in the kingdom and reigning with Christ.

 

14.  Thus the kingdom has been promised to those who love God and NOT ALL BELIEVERS LOVE GOD! It takes doctrine in the soul to love God. You can't love someone you don't know and if you don't know anything about God except your own emotional feelings (a lot of people are impressed by the feelings that are generated when they start thinking about lofty things such as God and then they are impressed with their own feelings and they think God must also be impressed with those feelings and so they think they are spiritual) but they don't love God because they don't know God because there is no content of doctrine in their soul, they have never grappled with the scriptures. The kingdom has been promised to those who love God and we have seen in our study of John 15 that those who love God keep my commandments. So you have to know the commandments of scripture, you have to know the mandates and the prohibitions of scripture in order to obey them, in order to demonstrate that you have love. Love is not just feelings; love is demonstrated by actions; by mental attitude actions, as well as overt actions. So those who love God are those who keep His commandments and not all believers love God. Love for God is expressed through obedience to God, John 14: 21 – 24. The illustration comes form the Old Testament illustration of Esau. Isaac had twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Esau came out first so he was the first born chronologically and he was to receive the double portion of the inheritance but he sold his birthright. He sold it for a bowl of lentil soup, it was more important to him then his own inheritance and birth right which had spiritual significance, so therefore he was no longer the prototokos the first born, Jacob became the first born. Hebrews 12:16 says "...that {there be} no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a {single} meal..." That is what many believers are like. They don't realize this tremendous inheritance that we have set aside, reserved for us in heaven that is imperishable and it cannot be defiled and yet they just treat it lightly and live their life as though God doesn't matter. I'm saved , Christ died for my sins so I can just do what ever I want to do, it really doesn't matter as long as I'm going to be in heaven. That is acting like Esau; it is acting like a godless person who treats the birthright lightly as if it has no significance. Hebrews 12:17 says, "...For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears..." In other words now he has remorse, he is truly upset but there are situations in life once you perform certain actions, once you have characterised your self a certain way you do indeed sacrifice or give up or forfeit aspects of our inheritance. That is true for every one of us and we will see those displayed in heaven and it will be a testimony to lost opportunity in our life because we treated our inheritance lightly. This is based on the events in Genesis 27: 38 – 40. "...Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, {even} me also, O my father." So Esau lifted his voice and wept..." He has true remorse, he is not only sorry he lost it, I think he is sorry he sold his birth right but it was too late. "...Then Isaac his father answered and said to him, "Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, and away from the dew of heaven from above. By your sword you shall live, and your brother you shall serve; but it shall come about when you become restless, that you will break his yoke from your neck..." Esau loses inheritance blessing, the double portion of the first born but not his position as Isaac's son, he is still Isaac's son, and he still will receive some level of inheritance, just because the first born received a double portion, doesn't mean the others receive nothing. But Jacob gets the real inheritance; the inheritance that Esau gets is secondary and insignificant spiritually. How can a believer follow in the path of Esau? Simple, you do it through continuous carnality and failure to advance to spiritual maturity. You advance in the spiritual life and the development of production righteousness. Hebrews 12:11 "...All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness..." If we fail to advance to spiritual maturity, then we will forfeit those blessings. That is why when you get into passages like John 15 and we studied the vine analogy, it is only the maturing plant, which is analogous to the believer's life that produces three categories of fruit. Fruit, more fruit and much fruit. And then Jesus says in that passage that it is when you bear much fruit that the Father is glorified, not fruit, it is not by bearing fruit that the Father is glorified not by bearing more fruit but by bearing much fruit is the Father glorified. So the Father is glorified when the believer advances to full spiritual maturity and that is where the fun begins. Most believers want to waddle around in there dirty carnal diapers and stay in the spiritual nursery and never get out and just wallow in their emotions, impressed with their own self absorption, thinking it is spirituality and they never have a vision for saying, "Hey! I want to be a spiritual adult because that's when life really begins, that is when the abundant life begins and that's what I want and that is the challenge of this study to advance to spiritual maturity!

 

15.   There is a warning in many places in scripture and one is given in 1 Cor. 6:9 ff. to the carnal Corinthians, you must remember that Paul is talking to a bunch of believers in Corinth that are as licentious, immoral, screwed up, angry, they are committing all kinds of sacrifices in the pagan temple, there is incest, temple prostitution, they are getting involved in the mysticism of the fertility cults, the women are running the church and speaking out, there are all types of problems where the wives are asserting their authority over the men and the men are turning into passive lambs and letting the women walk all over them in their marriages. That has to be straightened out and there are all kinds of problems, there is arrogance there, they are divided and there are all kinds of overt sins; so Paul says in

 

1 Cor. 6:9ff, "...Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor {the} covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God..."

 

It is important to understand what he is talking about here, the "...some of you..." means that the 'you' is plural, some of "you all." The "you all" are saved, the "some" are no longer operating on carnality but this is a minority. But it is only the "some" who have had any level of sanctification and spiritual growth, the rest of them are all still committing that host of sins, so he is warning them that if you don't get with the word, start using 1 John 1:9 so that you can advance. That is God's grace procedure for you if you have screwed up and if you are still alive God still has a plan for your life and you can go forward. You use 1 John 1:9, that doesn't start you growing but it puts you in a position where you can grow and then you have to get into the word and the more screwed up you have gotten the more carnality you have got in your life, the more the relativistic your standards have become, the more intense you Bible study ought to be. 

 

Corrected translation – verses 17

 

"... and if children heirs also, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him..."

 

...If indeed we suffer with Christ...

 

There is a purpose for the suffering and that is given in a heina clause that stresses the purpose here for the suffering. It is not just some sort of masochistic suffering, we are not out to just suffer for suffering sake we "...suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him..."  The word translated suffering here is the Greek word sumpascho is a present active indicative, first person plural from the verb sumpascho, now sum is the preposition sum which means with or together with and pascho is the verb for suffering, it is related to pascho, it is frequently used in passages to describe the intense suffering that Christ went through on the cross when He died as a substitute for our sins but it is not restricted to atonement suffering.

 

How do we suffer with Christ? There were two different ways the believer can suffer with Christ and there were two categories of suffering in the life of Christ

 

1.  You can't suffer with Christ in his atoning suffering; we can do nothing to help Christ die on the cross for our sins. The word pascho is also entomologically related to the other word used for suffering in this passage and they both come from the same root which in Greek is pathema they can be used in non technical ways and not just talking about what happened on the cross.

2.  The second way in which Christ suffered was during his life, living in the devil's world without a sin nature undergoing testing and temptation adversity day in and day out. In His humanity He still had to advance to spiritual maturity, He had to learn things and that is what Hebrews 8:5 says "...Although He was a Son [deity], He learned obedience from the things which He suffered [pascho]..." There it is the aorist active indicative, third person singular of paschoindicating that Jesus pioneered for us the Spiritual life by persevering in learning doctrine and walking consistently in dependence on God the Holy Spirit. Day in and day out. He faced situations where He had to make a choice as to whether to react by sinning or whether to respond doing what God says to do. Most of us think testing is the big things in life, like we lose our job, or we come home and we find that our spouse has left us or perhaps a close friend, child, parent dies, or we are the victim of a heinous crime, that's what we think of as testing but you see the real tests in life are not that exciting. The real tests of life occur when you are driving down the highway and somebody cuts you off and you are going to decide whether or not you are going to respond in anger and salute them or you are just going to say something like "Well, I'm glad you are enjoying your day, I'm going to trust the Lord and I'm not going to get angry." That's a test and you are going to decide whether or not you are going to apply doctrine or handle the problem through your own sin nature. Or maybe you are a husband and you have something you want to do and your wife wants you to do something else, you realise that you are to love your wife as Christ loved the Church and so you are going to give up what you want so that you can do something that encourages her. It happens when you are a wife and you know you can win the argument but you need to submit to his leadership so you say 'yes honey, I will do what you want to do and we will follow that path.' Because that is what scripture says is how we are to respond to the tests of life, day in and day out, we continuously have to face those things. The husband who is inconsiderate of what is going on with his wife's life, can't be loving her as Christ loved the Church and the wife who is always challenging his authority and not being submissive, well she can't advance to spiritual maturity because you are not learning obedience from the things you suffer. You are just suffering! You have to learn something, the only way to learn obedience when you are going through those little tests is by being obedient. It is by doing what the word says to do, not by saying 'oh well I will just confess that sin and move on' well all you are going to end up doing is bouncing in and out of fellowship, being carnal one minute and spiritual the next, but you are not going to go anywhere and you only go somewhere by obedience.  So Jesus did this by developing all the spiritual skills.

 

We define skill as proficiency, adeptness or a dexterity, which is acquired or developed through training or experience. Now proficiency or adeptness or dexterity means that you become proficient at doing this. What ever the skill is you become proficient, it becomes second nature to you, you are adept at it, and it looks to other people as though it is a talent. Dexterity means that you are nimble and that you can do a lot and you are very quick and so this is the person who instantly responds to a situation with one of the problem solving devices, one of the stress busters. That is why they are called spiritual skills and you have to practice them like any skill in life whether it is piano, whether it is singing, whether it is any kind of skill in carpentry, whether it is working on something on the computer. You have to practice it over and over again and just remember practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. If you practice making the same mistake over and over again, then all you are going to do is perfect imperfection. That is what a lot of Christians are doing because they keep thinking is that all that I have to do to advance is just keep confessing the sin with out ever advancing to obedience in the arena that they keep sinning. Jesus developed these as skills He practiced them, over and over again and He follows the stair step of every single believer, He started off in spiritual childhood and this is called teknon in the Greek.

The stress busters:

i.  The initial stress buster is confession of sin, this is admitting or acknowledging our sins to God the Father because that puts us back in fellowship where we are filled with the Spirit and where we are abiding in Christ so that we can have divine power to advance in the spiritual life.

ii.  The filling of the Holy Spirit or walking by means of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 and Galatians 5:16.

iii.  The faith-rest Drill and 1 Peter 1:3 – 4 which shows that we are advanced by the promises God gave us. We have to mix faith with the promises of God. If you do not know any promises you can't mix faith with it, if you don't know any promises you are never going to advance and that is why most Christians can't go anywhere because they can't list on one finger the promises that they know from memory. 

iv.  Grace orientation and we have to understand grace orientation or you will never understand impersonal love or personal love and if you don't understand grace then your love will always be tainted with conditions and legalism and you will have screwy relationships and you will end up a failure in marriage. Even if you stay together most of your life you will probably be miserable or your spouse will.

v.  Doctrinal orientation where you align your thinking to the absolutes of God's word. 2 Peter 3:18 goes for both of those where we are to grow by means of the Grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Then we have the big transition to spiritual adolescence, called young men in 1 John 2:13, neaniskosin the Greek and this is...

 

vi.  The personal sense of our eternal destiny and that is what we are talking about in inheritance and that is our destiny. When you get to a point where you realise that there is an eternal destiny that is more incredible then anything that you will ever face in life that is going to start motivating you. That's what happens in spiritual adolescence you begin to be motivated not by what is happening today, not just so that I can go to Bible class and go home and find something that I can apply this afternoon but so that I can be prepared for eternity so that I can have the capacity to enjoy it when I get there and not be like the failures who end up in heaven and say, 'where am I, is this heaven?'

 

The third level of spiritual growth is spiritual adulthood, huios adult sons in our passages where Paul makes a difference between children teknon and adult son's huios, these advance problem solving devices or spiritual skills are the love triplex, they relate to one another and we build on them incrementally as we advance spiritually:

 

vii.  Personal love for God, Romans 5:5

viii.  Impersonal love for all mankind, Galatians 5:14

ix.  Occupation with Christ.

x.  Sharing the happiness of God or +H in James 1:2, "...Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have {its} perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing..." Only then can we bear much fruit and have the maximum glorification of God.

 

 

That is why we move on in the spiritual skills. That's the importance, that's why we suffer with Jesus Christ, this isn't big suffering this isn't the kind of martyrdom that you might envision, this isn't going down to live somewhere where no body is a believer so that you are always ridiculed, this isn't some kind of asceticism that I am going to give up everything for Jesus and go live out in the wilderness like a monk, and try and impress people and God with what I suffered. This isn't what this is talking about; notice how there is a shift in the next verse.

 

In the next verse the point is in sanctification, the goal of sanctification. When we are using all of those stress busters we are inside the divine fortification and that protects us from all adversity so that it is not converted into stress in the soul.

 

Verse 18 states, "...For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us..."

 

Now when he says the word suffering here, he uses the Greek word, pathema and that is another form and it comes form the same entomological root as pascho that we saw in the previous verse. So when he says in verse 18, "for I consider that the sufferings" pathema and he just talked about suffering in 17, he links the two. So that shows that those who say that the suffering in verse 17 is identified with Christ on the cross, shows the error of that position. For Paul is not talking about that kind of suffering, he is talking about the day to day adversities and choices that we face as believers. Here he is pointing out in the next few verses is what motivates us to the future which is phase three glorification. When you understand what's this is all about that is what turns you around and kicks you in the rear to motivate you. The motivation of a young believer is 'I want to learn more, I want to understand the Bible, I want to understand why this is true and how the dispensations work and what is going to happen in the future, and those types of questions,' but when you get past that what happens 80% of the time when a believer gets to the point where their questions are satisfied you quit seeing them in Bible class. 'I'm satisfied, my questions are answered, I know it all, I can answer those questions' so they are no longer there, because what happens is that at the end of spiritual childhood, you are entering into spiritual adolescence, your motivation has to shift, your motivation is no longer how do I learn what to do? The motivation is now loving God, so that I can advance to spiritual maturity. That is a hard transition for people to make and most Christians don't do it. They never quite grasp the fact that they have an inheritance that is at stake and that only by advancing to spiritual maturity can they ever hope to glorify God. We studied phase one justification, it is a moment in time when we trust Christ alone for your salvation, Phase two is the spiritual life advancing from spiritual infancy to spiritual adulthood when you apply the word and you are freed from the power of sin to phase three ultimate sanctification called glorification when we are freed from the presence of sin.

 

Phase two flowchart, you have the operation of your volition, you have a test. A test is any opportunity to either apply doctrine or not apply doctrine, your volition comes into play and you either respond positively and apply doctrine which moves you into production of divine good and you start experiencing the abundant life and your life produces the evidence that God's will is good, acceptable and perfect, according to Romans 12:2 this in turn produces steadfast endurance and leads to the adult spiritual life and this is a cycle energized by walking by means of the Spirit or you can be negative, that leads to sin, human good and temporal death and that increases to weakness and instability, to spiritual regression and a hardened heart and you become like the Israelites in the Judges. You are sunken knee deep in reversionism and it just gets worse. So that continues. Then in phase three you are at the judgement seat of Christ you will either receive rewards and inheritance or loss of rewards and temporary shame. That is the overall view.

 

Paul says in Romans 8:18, "...For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us..."

 

"...For I consider ..." this is the present active indicative of the Greek word logizomai which means he is thinking, he is not emoting, he is not feeling, he is meditating logizomai, means to think, reason, to contemplate or to meditate. This means he is stopping his distractions and he is focusing on doctrine, "when I start thinking about all of this I began to realise that all the little petty suffering that I am going through, these little problems that I have are nothing when I come to the glory that is to be revealed, when I compare this to phase three glorification all these problems that I am going through are nothing by comparison, in fact they are tremendous because these are what will advance me to spiritual maturity, so therefore I can really glory in them and have joy.

 

Paul says in Romans 8:18, "...For I consider that the sufferings of this present time [this church age] are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us..."

 

The sufferings that he is talking about is the word pathema and according to the Loonitus (Symantec) lexicon this means to experience strong physical desire, that is what I am talking about, it is not some big adversity that comes along but it is what is going on in the turmoil of our soul, making the choice between applying doctrine and not applying doctrine. Pathema has the idea of experiencing strong physical desires particularly of a sexual nature, it can also mean passion, lust, lustful desire, it also means to suffer in a broader sense and interesting enough it is the word Paul uses in Romans 7:5 where he states, "...in yet while we were in the flesh [as an unbeliever] the sinful passions [pathema] which were aroused by the law were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death..."

 

 

 

But it [pathema] is also used to describe different kinds of suffering in scripture, for example.

 

1.  2 Cor 1:5 – 7, "...For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are {sharers} of our comfort. ..."

Here it is not the suffering of the cross, but the adversity Christ faced as He advanced to spiritual maturity.

2.  Galatians 5:24 states, "...Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires..."

3.  Hebrews 2:10 states, "...For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory [phase three is the motivation], to perfect [to bring to maturity] the author of their salvation through sufferings..." Jesus Christ was brought to spiritual maturity by going through adversity.

4.  Hebrews 2:18 states, "For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted..." This is phase two suffering, this is not the cross suffering, this is what He went through in life to prepare Him to be our great high priest, although He was a Son He learned obedience through the things that He suffered.

 

Verse 19, "...For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God..."

 

See the suffering is not just related to man it is related to the whole creation which suffers as a result of the fall.  Notice not teknon children of God buthuios sons of God, those who are heirs and those who are going to rule and reign with Christ. It is these that will be revealed with Christ when he returns at the second coming. At the Second Advent he is going to have the curse reversed.

 

Paul reminds us in verse 20, "...For the creation was subjected to futility [mataiotes], not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope ..."

 

God the Father subjected it in judgement because of man's sin. Man's sin didn't just affect man, it affected everything in the entire universe and everything changed. There will be a change and a reversal at what happened in Genesis chapter three.

 

Verse 21, "...that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God..."

 

Here it is children of God indicating the entire body that returns with Christ but it is the sons of God there revelation which occurs at the judgement seat of Christ, those are the ones that return to rule and reign with Christ. But the glory of the children of God indicates the glory that belongs to every single believer as a result of their salvation.

 

Verse 22, "...For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now..."

 

This is what's going on throughout all of human history, that is why we see periods of cold, periods of warmth, global warming isn't anything new, about a 1000 years ago when the Vikings were going out on their explorations Greenland was green, it was a time of tremendous warmth, there were tall trees and grasses all over Greenland, all over the north because of global warming. The earth goes through these cycles, these are the results of sin in principle and so the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth until now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verse 23, "...And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for {our} adoption as sons, the redemption of our body..."

 

It is all focused on phases three, because of that we are to be motivated today to advance into the spiritual life. So we are to go forward.

 

The issue of Positional Sanctification:

 

i.  Eternal realities: this relates to our position in Christ as a result of our identification with Him in His death, burial and resurrection. We are placed in Christ through the baptism of God the Holy Spirit and we have about 40 different things given to us that are our eternal possessions. Eg. we are reconciled in Christ, we are redeemed, we are bought with a price, so that we are not ours but we belong to the Lord, we are regenerated, we are adopted into the family of God, we are a new creation, we are freed from the power of the sin nature, and we have a new life in Christ, we are sealed by the Spirit and we are indwelt by the Spirit. But that has to do with eternal realities that never change.

ii.  Temporal realities: we have positional realities. We are filled by means of God the Holy Spirit when we are walking in the light. This is energised by walking by means of the Holy Spirit. But whenever we sin we are out of fellowship in carnality operating on the sin nature and the only way to get out of the walking in darkness pattern is to use 1 John 1:9 and to get back into fellowship, that is the whole act of sanctification. That then is where we learn doctrine so that we can advance.

Why do we advance? Because we understand the principle of hope that is given in verses 8: 24 – 25.

Verses 8: 24 – 25, "...For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he {already} sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it..."

 

"For in Hope" this is an instrumental dative, "for by means of hope we have been saved," this is not phase one salvation, this is phase two salvation, delivered from the power of sin. We have studied sozo that it depends on the context what saved means. Not saved form the penalty of sin (justification) but saved from the power of sin.

 

Hope or elpis in the Greek, which is confident expectation, understanding inheritance, our confident expectation that we will spend eternity with the Father and that there will be a judgement seat of Christ. If we have a confident expectation for what we do not see with perseverance, that is persistent endurance or hypomone in the Greek, we wait eagerly for it. That is our motivation and that is what advances us in the Spiritual life.

 

So there we see in a nut shell a very basic survey of Romans 6 – 8 the principles for advancing to spiritual maturity. 

 

Father we do thank you for the fact that you have given us clear descriptions of why we are to be motivated, what motivates and how we are to grow and advance in the Spiritual life. We pray that we would be challenged by these things, challenged by our future inheritance, the hope, the confident expectation that we have because we know that we will be evaluated at the judgement seat of Christ and that ultimately we want to here you say, 'Well done good and faithful servant.' We pray this now in Christ name, amen.