by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5 March 19, 2017 Humble, Texas
17 And 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.
1901 ASV Translation:
17 and 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 with [him].
I. The Two-Part Inheritance.
A. There is the inheritance that goes to the children of God (emphatic).
1. This inheritance is rooted in simply being a child of God, whether one became such early in a long life or at the very end of life. It has no roots in whether, or not, one ever entered into the reality of "sonship".
2. We might call this "the basic package involved in the promise of eternal life". Eternal Life is a significantly complex and relationally relative reality that has both minimal provisions and the possibility of maximizing development of those provisions into realms hitherto unknown.
B. There is the co-inheritance that goes to the co-sufferers with Christ.
1. This inheritance is fundamentally conditional and is rooted in whether, or not, a child enters willingly into the process of developing into sonship.
2. This is the particular stage where maximizing the basics into regions of glory that have been hidden from our eyes is possible.
3. This stage depends upon entering into "fellow-suffering" that leads to "fellow-glorification". The glory that is extended is directly tied to the suffering willingly endured.
II. The Issue of The Inheritance.
A. In all of the references to an heir in the New Testament, the point is that an "heir" eventually becomes the "lord" of whatever it is that the father has accumulated. Galatians 4:1 makes the link. It says that the "heir" is "lord over all".
1. The issue of "lordship" is ultimate dominion. A "lord" may well impart limited authority to others to act in his stead as authorities with decision-making power, but none of their decisions are immutable in so far as the "lord" can overturn them.
2. To be an "heir" is to be in the position to eventually become the final authority over whatever constitutes the inheritance.
B. The point of The Inheritance is the actual experience of the "heir": he/she is able to fully enter into all of the benefits that accrue from what exists as "inherited factors". When Jesus asked the Father to "glorify Thou Me with the glory..." (John 17:5) He was asking to be returned to the state of experience and authority that He had before He humbled Himself to be born into humanity with its inherent limitations.
III. The Actual Content of The Inheritance.
A. Titus 3:7 makes a case for the fact that The Inheritance consists of Eternal Life with all that is included in "Life".
B. James 2:5 speaks "heirs of The Kingdom", making the issue the experience of "rule".
C. Romans 4:13 says that Abraham was "promised" the inheritance which involved being "the heir of the world", which means that he was to fully enter into the three big ticket issues of the Genesis 12:1-3 commitments.
D. This text declares, unequivocally, that the "inheritance" is "being glorified". This means that we need to understand what "being glorified" actually means. Jesus gave us a hint in His prayer in John 17:5. "Being glorified" means being given the capacities to experience "Life" as it is one of the most basic attributes of "The Living God". The issue here is "capacities". One can only function to the degree that he/she has what "function" requires. There is a huge elasticity to "function" in terms of relative participation. We see in the reality of "savants" in our present world that the human condition contains certain "capacities" that are, for most of us, completely beyond our grasp. "Savants" do (have functional capacities) things that are absolutely amazing to the rest of us. Suppose that all of us had all of the capacities of all "savants" in actual human history. We would consider our present level of "capacities" very limited indeed. Thus, the judgment that comes out of the Judgment of Christ upon the Bema Seat seems to be the very item that will determine the eternal capacities of the human beings who stand there in their redeemed bodies.