Sharing Christ’s Glory

KEY VERSE: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 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.” —Romans 8:16,17


THE RESURRECTION OF Jesus is the assurance of God’s expressed purpose to restore life and to bring his promised blessings to all for whom Jesus died—to the church first, and afterward to the world of mankind. So important is this doctrine of the resurrection that the Apostle Paul declared that without it the hope and faith of the church is vain. He said, “If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then, they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. … But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”—I Cor. 15:16-18,20

With respect to this, Mark relates the experiences of the women who went to the tomb early in the morning of Jesus’ resurrection: “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. … And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”—Mark 16:1-7

Jesus’ ignominious death on the cross was followed three days later by the joy of his resurrection. Yet Jesus’ strange actions prompted many perplexing questions in the minds of his disciples. Of course, with the Master now gone from their midst, his disciples were faced with the void left by the unexpected and sudden end of what proved to be the final week of Jesus’ earthly life—a life which will change the world forever. Our lesson relates to how those historic circumstances inaugurated a new way of life for those who believe, those who are being led by the Holy Spirit.

The apostle said, As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14) Paul’s thoughts were turned to those who have entered into a covenant by sacrifice, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. (Ps. 50:5) It is by means of the Father’s Holy Spirit—his holy power and influence—that anyone can understand God’s will for his people. Paul explained that those who consecrate to do God’s will are begotten to a new, spiritual nature, which is an “earnest” of their inheritance, yet future. (Eph. 1:14) As New Creatures in Christ Jesus they have now received God’s promise that, if faithful, they will “live and reign” with Christ as kings and priests in his millennial kingdom. Furthermore, such ones having indicated an earnest desire to serve God, have now “received the Spirit of adoption [Spirit of sonship, Marginal Translation] whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15) The word Abba is an Aramaic word for Father, which conveys a deep intimacy with God.

“God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”—Gal. 4:4-7

Then Paul sets forth that lofty promise: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our [human] spirit that we are the children of God: 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.” (Rom. 8:16,17) Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his [the Son of man’s] voice, and shall come forth.” (John 5:28,29) In the resurrection morning all mankind will be blessed as the “Sun of righteousness [Christ, and his church] arises with healing in his wings.”—Mal. 4:2

Dawn Bible Students Association
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