The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 142 of 190
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Heirs, and Joint-heirs (8: 17-21).
pp. 265 - 270
The epistle to the Ephesians reveals the "hope of our calling", while the epistle to the
Philippians reveals the "prize of the high calling". Hope is associated with grace; the
Prize with reward. Hope is ours because we are in Christ; the Prize will be ours, "if so
be we suffer with Him". From this it follows that an heir of God is not, necessarily, also
a joint-heir with Christ. It was "to him that overcometh" that the promise was made that
he should sit upon the throne (Rev. 3: 21). "If we suffer", said the apostle Paul, "we
shall also reign with Him" (II Tim. 2: 12). The doctrine has changed from "in Christ
Jesus" to "with Christ". We do not meet the preposition sun, "with", in Rom. 8: until
verse 16, where it occurs in the word summartureo, "bear witness together". After that
we have sugkleronomos, "joint-heirs"; sumpascho, "jointly suffer"; sundoxazomai,
"jointly glorified". The next occurrences are in verse 22, sustenazo, "groan together",
and sunodino, "travail together", and in the latter half of the chapter, there are two or
three more compounds of sun.
This use of the words "heir", and "joint-heir", the one a standing in pure grace, the
other associated with faithfulness and possible suffering, is found in the epistle to the
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the
inheritance (kleros, the allotment) of the saints in the light" (Col. 1: 12).
"Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (kleronomia,
the allotted portion); for ye serve the Lord Christ" (Col. 3: 24).
In the first instance the child of God has been "made meet", in the second there is
introduced "reward", "service", and even "receiving wrong", showing that the two
subjects are on different grounds, the one being followed by reference to the forgiveness
of sins, the other by a reference to what the servant has done. So in Rom. 8:, "If
children, then heirs, heirs of God" is parallel with Col. 1: 12. "Joint-heirs with Christ, if
so be we suffer with Him", is parallel with Col. 3: 24, or as the apostle wrote to
"If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him, If we endure, we shall also reign
with Him" (II Tim. 2: 11, 12).
The structure emphasizes the glory, and associates with it present suffering and future
liberty. Moreover, it shows that the revelation of the sons of God and the revelation of
the glory synchronize. Much of the present suffering will be found to be a sharing in the
patience of Christ, Who himself awaits the day of His revelation and coronation. We
share His rejection as those of old shared the rejection of David at Adullam, and we shall
share His glory when He reigns. Just as there were some who attained to the "first three"
or the "thirty" (II Sam. 23:), and just as one star differs from another star, though both
"in glory", so is it with the "heirs" and the "joint-heirs", that is with those made meet for