Children of God.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
The Holy Spirit communicates with us as a parent communicates with his children, “You belong to me and I love you.” God wants us to know we are His children and He tells us we belong to Him.
Since we are God’s children we are His heirs. All He possesses has been given to us, even though we haven’t yet received the entire inheritance. The material part of our inheritance will be given to us when Jesus returns for us. On His return we will be given the entire material part of our inheritance – a new heavens and earth. We have now received every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies to provide us with an abundant life in a sinful world. We access our inheritance by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20).
One of the ways we know we are legitimate children is our willingness to suffer with Christ. Those who are not willing to suffer with Christ are not following Christ (Matthew 16:24-25) and need to check if they have really repented of their sin and believed the gospel.
Our present sufferings as Christians are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us. Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 4:17) expands our understanding of present sufferings, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." Our present suffering for Christ is a small price to pay for the glory or splendor of our eternal inheritance of living in the new heavens and earth with the Lord Jesus Christ.
If your answer is “no” to both these questions, then you may need to repent of your sin and believe the gospel. If you have repented of your sin and believed the gospel and still answer “no” to the two questions, you need to ask the Lord to help you “hear” His voice and to give you boldness to be willing to suffer for Him. These requests are according to His will and if we ask according to His will we know He hears us. If we know He hears us we know we have what we asked (1 John 5:14-15).
Today, more than ever, we need to know we are His children and heirs. We need to be willing to suffer for His name to get the message of Christ out to the many who are bound for eternal torment. What you believe shapes how you live. What do you believe?
May you know you are a child of God.
Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures:
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