This morning’s Morning and Evening is a joyful reminder of the inheritance we have with Christ. The text is taken from Paul’s letter to the Romans.
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 a tremendous truth indeed! However, we should not ignore the clause of suffering and glorification that follows. Glory is always preceded by suffering. Even Christ Himself had to be rejected before He could be accepted. He asked the travelers on the road to Emmaus:
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory? — Luke 24:26
Peter understood this truth well when he stood before the men who crucified Jesus, looked them in the eye, and boldly interpreted the fulfillment of Psalm 118:22. He proclaimed:
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. — Acts 4:11-12
Suffering comes first, then glory. But when we suffer, we do not agonize as those who are without hope. As fellow heirs with Christ, our eternal reward has been safely secured. It exceeds our greatest anticipations and transforms our darkest hours into “light momentary afflictions” (2 Corin 4:17). As David declared in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.
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Fellow heirs with Christ. — Romans 8:17
The boundless realms of His Father’s universe belong by right to Christ. As “heir of all things,”1 He is the sole proprietor of the vast creation of God, and He has admitted us to claim it all as ours, by making us His fellow heirs. The golden streets of paradise, the pearly gates, the river of life, the transcendent bliss, and the unutterable glory are all, by our blessed Lord, made ours for an everlasting possession. All that He has, He shares with His people.
The royal crown He has placed upon the head of His Church, granting her a kingdom, and calling her sons a royal priesthood, a generation of priests and kings. He uncrowned Himself that we might have a coronation of glory; He would not sit upon His own throne until He had procured a place upon it for all who overcome by His blood. Crown the head, and the whole body shares the honor.
Here then is the reward of every Christian conqueror! Christ’s throne, crown, scepter, palace, treasure, robes, heritage are yours. He deems His happiness completed by His people sharing it. “The glory that you have given me I have given to them.”2 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”3
The smiles of His Father are all the sweeter to Him because His people share them. The honors of His kingdom are more pleasing because His people appear with Him in glory. More valuable to Him are His conquests since they have taught His people to overcome. He delights in His throne because on it there is a place for them. He rejoices in His royal robes since they cover His people. He delights all the more in His joy because He calls them to enter into it.
1 Hebrews 1:2, 2 John 17:22, 3 John 15:11