Paul says: “The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God. And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).
When we start living according to this truth, our lives will be radically transformed. We will not only come to know the full freedom of the children of God but also the full rejection of the world. It is understandable that we hesitate to claim the honor so as to avoid the pain. But, provided we are willing to share in Christ’s suffering, we also will share in his glory (see Romans 8:17). http://henrinouwen.org/meditation/joint-heirs-christ/
The above thoughts are provided by the Christian writer, Henri J. M. Nouwen. It brings to the forefront of our awareness who we really are. Our inheritance is our present possession now! That is why we are the richest people on the face of the earth.
I have no idea how the Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are indeed the children of God! But the awareness that this is happening daily is a gospel blessing that goes largely unrecognized in the Christian community. Think of how this helps us in our daily living as a Christian.
When I feel like I have no inheritance, and there appear to be no blessings in sight because my daily life has become so chaotic, painful and desperate, I can go forward in the faith that the Spirit himself is still bearing witness as to who I am.
This means that my external situations and frustrations and anxieties do not define my spiritual childhood with God, nor does it negate and take away my inheritance as a joint-heir with God and with Christ.
Another astounding aspect of all this is, that in our own suffering we share in the suffering of Christ. The pain of life helps me appropriate the pain of Christ’s suffering which is mysteriously and divinely appropriated toward making me more like Him.
Being a child of God, with Spirit’s testimony, and being a joint-heir with my inheritance being enjoyed now redemptively transforms the pain in my life. Being open to God’s providential working in the world, my commitment to a faith walk with God says that I will open up my pain for others to see the glory of God working through it all to transform me to be more and more like Christ.
What a blessing to be a joint-heir! And, I wonder how those of us who are in Christian leadership roles understand our being a joint-heir with Christ, and do we embody the joy of our inheritance for others to see?
In Christian love, Curtis