"If Children - Then Heirs
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If Children - Then Heirs

Romans 8:7

This verse brings Paul back to his main theme.
Paul is still concerned to demonstrate the certainty of our future salvation.
Therefore, he states that if we are children, then we are heirs of God, and that guarantees our inheritance.
So, our inheritance is secure.
There is a continuous upward movement in this passage as its thought climbs from step to step like the ascent of a stairway.

The work of the Spirit does not exhaust Himself in the divine witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
This testimony is given to show that sonship leads to heirship and all that such heirship implies:

"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
."

Paul's purpose is to focus our eyes on the hope of glory to which his whole argument is now moving.
Paul views this inheritance definitely apart from all thoughts of work and wage.
This inheritance has nothing to do with fees and dues.
It is a gift of which we could neither earn nor deserve.
Yet, we will receive it with all its fullness from our Divine Benefactor.

Spiritual blessings require a spiritual capacity for the reception of them.
We cannot inherit unless we are children of God.
God's Word teaches that sonship is not a relation into which we are born by a natural birth.
Becoming a son of God comes to us as a result of a divine act.
It is the communication of a spiritual life whereby we are born of God.

Such heirship:

Our being born again of God by His Spirit is the one ground of heirship.
Since we possessed a corrupt nature, we must be regenerated.
We must be born again to become children of God.
Then we become heirs.

"Thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then a heir." (Galatians 4:7)

All are not children of God.
The title "Sons of God" is confined exclusively to those who have been recreated in His image.

Those who have been recreated in His image:

So, we are heirs of God, not because we succeed Him, but because we are admitted by God into the enjoyment of Himself.
Our title as sons of the heavenly King is in the highest degree.
It is the most valid title and perfectly satisfying experience of anything that could ever happen to us.
Christ's title is unquestionable.
What He hath is His right to bestow.
And He wills it upon all believers.

There is a difference between Christ's title and ours:

In human society it often happens that earthly estates descend exclusively to the male children or to the oldest.
This is not the case with the heirs of God, nor will this inheritance lose any value from being distributed among so many.

Ordinarily, an heir enters upon his inheritance only upon the death of the benefactor, but this is not true of our benefactor.
God does not die in order to bequeath to us that which is now His.
God is not a dying benefactor. He is a living bestower of His goods to His children. (Luke 15:12)

So, for one to be the heir of another implies a right to that which the other possesses upon his death.
But, instead of receiving our inheritance upon the death of our benefactor, we receive the fullness of our inheritance upon our death.

Being heirs of God is a privilege which belongs to God's children by virtue of our adoption.
"If children, then heirs."
We may look upon our inheritance in two statements - in this life and in the heavenly life following this one.

We are heirs:

Our inheritance is: There is a vast difference between an earthly inheritance and a heavenly inheritance.
On earth the portion of the heir diminishes as the number of heirs increase.
In heaven it is the exact, extreme reverse.

Like Abraham, (Rom. 4:13) we are heirs of the promise.
We are heirs of the world that God has blessed and made good.
We are heirs of the eternal life of God Himself.

A wise and gracious God knows the inheritance that we need.
If it were just an inheritance of wealth, we would be busy with our stocks and bonds, our lands and possessions,
and all our time, thoughts, and energies would be spent in wheeling and dealing in how to get more and more.
If it were some high office with great fame that we inherited,
our thoughts would be dangerously on our great worth and importance.
If our inheritance were great eloquence, our intellectual excellence and our human cleverness,
this would tend to elevate our own self-centered nature.

We are already enjoying our inheritance, but the fullness is in the future.
It is not the golden streets nor our heavenly mansions, but what makes heaven is God Himself;
to dwell in His love, and to be filled with his light, and to walk forever in the glory of His radiant Presence.
We will do His will perfectly for we will have His character stamped on our souls.
That is the glory and the perfectness to which we are aspiring.
We are heirs of a holy happiness that we have here and will have in heaven in all its fullness forever.
We have an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not.
The circumstances of earthly parents may suddenly be reversed, and their children will be deprived of their inheritance.

I have known several where I have pastored to have literally lost millions of dollars,
and their children will never receive what they could have otherwise had.
But the children of God have nothing to fear from such reverses.

All these ideas are epitomized in the text.

Heaven is a purchased possession.
It was not purchased by our penitence, or our faith, or our piosity, or our usefulness, or by any suffering of ours, or by our dying.
It was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus!

In our eternal home it is God Himself who will be our joy.
We shall see God as He is.
God is our inheritance.
In this life we possess His grace.
In that greater life we will possess His glory.
When we are filled with the fullness of God, we will have a complete view of God as He is, and we will be like Him.
That is incredible!

So, to inherit God Himself means to have a full interest in all His attributes:

All that we have or will have is derived from Him.
So, we are heirs of all that God possesses, and of all that God is.
We are possessors of His love, for God is love.
We are possessors of God Himself.
An infinite portion is ours. (Psalm 7:25,26; Lam. 3:24)
God is all-sufficient, and we have an all-sufficient inheritance.
God is eternal, and we have an eternal inheritance.

So, we enter into the glory that is to be revealed, and we will be filled with the whole fullness of God.
He does not part with His character.
He multiplies it by the diffusion of it through all the members of His household.
The expectation of heaven is even now within us, and our character is in the process of becoming a heavenly character.
There will be less thought of the present glories, and more and more of the heavenly glories that will truly be ours.
The urgencies of our supposedly human sense will be gradually replaced with a sense of sacredness.
The spirit of holiness is an earnest to us of a holy inheritance hereafter.

We will come to truly see that we are strangers and pilgrims here,
and our affections will more and more be centered upon our real home
to which we are traveling and not with this country through which we are passing.

"I have heard of a land
On a far away strand,
'Tis a beautiful home of the soul;
Built by Jesus on high,
There we never shall die,
'Tis a land where we'll never grow old.

In that beautiful home where
We'll never-more roam,
We shall be in the sweet by and by;
Happy praise to the King
Through eternity sing,
'Tis a land where we never shall die.

When our work here is done
And the life-crown is won,
And our troubles and trials are o'er,
All our sorrows will end,
And our voices will blend
With the loved ones who've gone on before."

There is a land where we will never grow old, and there we will live with our Heavenly Father forever and ever.
That will be glory for me!

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
You can email Dr. White at hleewhite@aol.com