Romans 8:16-17- “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” NKJV
God’s Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is a legal document that expresses how you want your assets to be divided and how you want your children (if they are minors) to be taken care of. People lay their wishes out in writing so that the executor of the will can make sure that assets are distributed as the individual wished. If you are a member of the family, then you are an heir to the assets. As an heir, after you find out what is yours, all you need to do is to receive what was given to you in the last will and testament of your loved one.
As I read my key text tonight, I automatically thought about the power of a will and what it means to those who will inherit. When Paul calls us heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ, he is saying that we are beneficiaries of God’s will, which is His word. Since Jesus has released the contents of His will, with His death, burial, and resurrection, we need to find out what is in the will for us, and receive all of our benefits!
Both the Old and New Testaments are God’s expressed will. As such, when we see what God says about His children in His will, we know He meant it for us. When we read of the relationship and all that God has promised Jesus, we know that we too will experience His rewards. To fully understand this, we must understand a few concepts that Paul mentions in this passage: adoption, Abba Father, sons of God.
Paul said that as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. We have been adopted into the family of God. Let’s look at the adoption process:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.John 1:12 NKJV
It is God’s will that we become His children. Paul wrote in Ephesians that this adoption into the family of God has been predetermined, and is the expressed will of God:
Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His willEphesians 1:5
The term adoption, to the Romans, would have held significance since the practice of adoption was a means for a man to have a son who was deliberately chosen to inherit his assets and to perpetuate his name. (Bruce) I recently read a book by Tessar Afshar named Bread of Angels. I mention this book because it is the story of Lydia, the seller of purple. Of course, it is a work of fiction, but in the story, Lydia is adopted by a Roman, giving her privileges and social status she did not formerly have. Paul said that we did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption! We have been specially adopted by God, through Jesus, to inherit all that He has and to perpetuate His name! He hasn’t called us to be fearful of Him, but is drawing us into an intimate and personal relationship where He affords us privileges and status that we otherwise would not have.
Abba is a term that Jewish children use to address their Father. Often, Jesus told us to come to God as little children, encouraging us to see the Father, as One who waits to embrace us in His love. Abba Father denotes a relationship of intimacy with God that implies we have access that only family can receive.
Let’s speak of nepotism. I am a firm believer in the practice of nepotism. It is biblical in many respects. Nepotism is about favoring your children above others. Some people try to pretend that they don’t believe in it, or practice it, but I don’t believe them. And I can tell you that God practices nepotism. In the account of the Exodus, He practiced nepotism when He stopped allowing the plagues to touch Goshen. He practiced nepotism when He placed a cloud of glory to lead them in the day and a pillar of fire by night. He practice nepotism when He gave them houses they did not build and vineyards they did not plant. He favored His children time and time again. And He still does! Only God knows how to do so with complete wisdom, but He does believe in favoring His children above others. I, for one, am glad that He does!
This brings us to the topic of being heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus! What’s in this will and testament of God, that belongs to us:
- We are heirs to His kingdom-Luke 22:29, James 2:5
- We will be with Him wherever He is – John 17:24
- We will inherit all things- Revelation 21:7
- We are heirs to Abraham’s promise- Galatians 3:29
- We are partakers of His promise (whatever it is)-Ephesians 3:6, Hebrews 6:17
- We are heirs of eternal life- Titus 3:7
- We are heirs of salvation- Hebrews 1:14
- We are heirs of an incorruptible inheritance reserved for us in heaven- 1 Peter 1:4
And that isn’t everything! As heirs to the kingdom of God there are some present-day benefits for us: healing, health, strength, wisdom, power, righteousness, access to God, access to His Holy Spirit, angelic protection and assistance, divine connections…and the list goes on!
Now, let me ask you this, why are we struggling again? What does the world have for us in comparison to what God has for us? What can Satan promise us that is better than that which Jesus has provided for us in His will and testament? I can answer that! Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
Everything that is in His word is a promise He has made as a possibility in our lives. It’s ours for the believing and the receiving. It won’t all happen without a fight! You may have to go to probate to get what is rightfully yours! But that’s no problem because the executor of the will is the Holy Spirit, the judge presiding over the case is the Father, and the benefactor is Jesus! You are in good hands!
Remember the brother of the son who left home and squandered his inheritance? You know the one who was a grouch and complained about the party his brother got when he returned home? What did his father say to him?
“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”Luke 15:31 NKJV
Imagine Abba saying that to you when you get to heaven! What a disappointment to know that you could have experienced so much more on earth had you only believed it! Well, I’m reminding you this very day, that He is saying this to you right now! All that He has is yours! Now begin to live like it and watch as things begin to change in your world! You are a son of God! You are an heir and a joint heir with Jesus! Give Him some praise! Wonderful Jesus!