St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 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. – Romans 8:16-17

This is the great honor and splendor of the Christian, to be the heir, along with Christ, of God. The world, with its pride and its honors, mean nothing because those of the world are but children of the defeated and soon to be locked away devil. But consider how a poor, miserable sinner receives such honor with God, not to be called a servant of God, but a son and an heir of God! A person might consider it a privilege to be called one of God’s lowest creatures, but St. Paul declares that we who believe in Christ are heirs; that we are God’s sons and daughters! Who could understand God’s graciousness in this?

Then Paul says, “if we suffer with him,” and he says this to teach us that while we are on this earth we must live as to prove ourselves good, obedient children who do not seek to obey the flesh, but for the sake of the kingdom of God we instead endure whatever comes or causes pain to the flesh.

It is such a noble thing for a man not to obey his lusts and the desires of the flesh, but to resist them with a strong faith, even though he may suffer for it! If we were children of a mighty king or emperor, we would, by that office, possess nobility, honor and glory on earth. How much more glorious it would be if a man could boast that he is a son of the angels! Yet even this is absurdly nothing because we have been called and chosen, not by men, nor by angels, but by God Himself, called His sons and daughters, and made heirs of the wonders of heaven itself! Such a great and undeserved honor should so move us to become enemies of this sinful world and life and strive against it with all our power, to surrender all things of earth and suffer all for this eternal crown. But no human heart can grasp what it is that God has done for us in Christ and the heights of what He has freely given us.

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for making me your child, making me an heir of Your kingdom and co-heir with Jesus your Son. Help me understand the greatness of this eternal gift so that I might not fall for my sinful desires but learn to suffer in this life for what it to come. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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