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Waggoner on Romans

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    Glorified Together

    In the preceding verses of the eighth chapter of Romans we have seen how we are adopted into the family of God as sons, and made joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit establishes the bond of relationship. It is the “Spirit of adoption,” the Spirit proceeding from the Father as the representative of the Son, that proves that we are accepted as brethren of Jesus Christ. Those who are led by the Spirit must be even as Christ was in the world, and are therefore assured ofWOR 135.4

    An Equal Share

    in the inheritance with Christ. For “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”WOR 136.1

    “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. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Romans 8:17-25.WOR 136.2

    Questioning the Text

    To what does the Spirit bear witness?WOR 136.3

    “That we are the children of God.”WOR 136.4

    If we are children, then what are we?WOR 136.5

    “If children, then heirs.”WOR 136.6

    Heirs of whom?WOR 136.7

    “Heirs of God.”WOR 136.8

    With whom do we share this heirship?WOR 136.9

    “Joint heirs with Christ.”WOR 136.10

    What did Christ inherit on this earth?WOR 136.11

    “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted.” Isaiah 53:7.WOR 136.12

    Then if we are joint heirs, what must we do?WOR 136.13

    “Suffer with Him.”WOR 136.14

    What else will also be sure?WOR 136.15

    “We may be also glorified together.”WOR 136.16

    What may we know of the sufferings of this present time?WOR 137.1

    They “are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”WOR 137.2

    For what does the material creation wait?WOR 137.3

    “For the manifestation of the sons of God.”WOR 137.4

    To what was the creation made subject?WOR 137.5

    “To vanity.”WOR 137.6

    How?WOR 137.7

    “Not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope.”WOR 137.8

    What is the hope?WOR 137.9

    “The creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption.”WOR 137.10

    Into what will it be delivered?WOR 137.11

    “Into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”WOR 137.12

    What is the condition of the whole creation at the present time?WOR 137.13

    “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”WOR 137.14

    What besides the lower creation is in this condition?WOR 137.15

    “Ourselves also.”WOR 137.16

    For what do we groan?WOR 137.17

    “For the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”WOR 137.18

    What have we received as a surety that the body will be redeemed?WOR 137.19

    “The firstfruits of the Spirit.”WOR 137.20

    By what are we saved?WOR 137.21

    “By hope.”WOR 137.22

    For what do we hope?WOR 137.23

    “For that we see not.”WOR 137.24

    What does hope lead us to do?WOR 137.25

    “We with patience wait for it.”WOR 137.26

    Suffering.-Christ’s life on earth was one of suffering. He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He “suffered, being tempted,” but His sufferings were not all in the mind alone. He knew physical pain; “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases.” Matthew 8:17. R.V. He suffered hunger in the wilderness; and His works of love were done at the expense of much bodily pain and weariness. The sufferings which He endured at the hands of the rough soldiers in connection with His mock trial, and His crucifixion, were simply a continuation in another form of what He had endured throughout His whole life on earth.WOR 138.1

    Glory Following Suffering.-In all the prophets, the Spirit of Christ was witnessing and testifying of “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. When Christ, after his resurrection, talked with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, he said. “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:26, 27. We know that the first part of those prophecies was fulfilled, and therefore must know that the rest are as sure. As surely as Christ suffered, so surely will the glory follow.WOR 138.2

    Suffering Together.-Our suffering is to be “with Him.” We are not to suffer alone. But we could not suffer eighteen hundred years ago, before we were born. Therefore it follows that Christ still suffers. Otherwise we could not suffer with him. Read what is said of his connection with ancient Israel: “In all their affliction He was afflicted.” Isaiah 63:9. So in Matthew 25:35-40 we learn that Christ suffers or experiences relief whenever his disciples suffer or are relieved. He is the head of the body. Now if when one member suffers all the members suffer with it (1 Corinthians 12:26), how much more must that be true of the Head! So we read of Christ that even now, as high priest, he is “touched with the feeling our infirmities.” Hebrews 4:15. A high priest must be one “who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that He Himself also is compassed with infirmity.” Hebrews 5:1, 2. So we learn that Christ has never divested Himself of the human nature which he took upon Himself, but that he is still identified with suffering, sinful men. It is a glorious truth, to be recognized and confessed, that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” 1 John 4:2.WOR 138.3

    Glorified Together.-“If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Christ does not have anything that is not for us equally with Him. His prayer was, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.” John 17:24. And he says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” Revelation 3:21. Whatever He has, we have, and we have it when he has it, since we are joint-heirs with Him.WOR 138.4

    Glory Now.-The above statement may at first sight seem to be untrue. It is the common idea that Christ is glorified long before those who are fellow-heirs with him. One text is sufficient to settle this matter: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.” 1 Peter 5:1. Peter declared himself to be a partaker of the glory. This was because he believed the saying of Christ, in his prayer for his disciples, “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them.” John 17:22. If Christ has glory now, his disciples share it also. Again we have the words of the apostle Peter. Speaking of Christ, he says, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:8.WOR 139.1

    Grace and Glory.-The apostle John tells us that although we are now the sons of God the world knows us not, because it knew not Christ. There was nothing in the appearance of Christ on earth to indicate that he was the Son of God. Flesh and blood did not reveal that fact to anybody. To all appearance He was but an ordinary man. Yet all the time He had glory. We read that when he turned the water into wine He “manifested forth His glory.” John 2:11. His glory was manifested in the form of grace. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. The grace with which God strengthens His people is “according to the riches of his glory.” Ephesians 3:16. Whoever is in Christ is chosen “to the praise of the glory of his grace.” Ephesians 1:6. Grace is glory, but glory veiled so that mortal eyes may not be dazzled by it.WOR 139.2

    Glory to be Revealed.-“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” The glory is for us to possess now, but it will be revealed only at the coming of Christ. It is then that his glory will be revealed (1 Peter 4:13), and then our trials will “be found unto praise and honor and glory.” Christ’s glory has not yet been revealed, except to the chosen three on the mount of transfiguration. At that time the glory that Christ already possessed was allowed to shine forth. He appeared then as he will appear when he comes. But to the mass of mankind there is no more evidence now that Jesus is the Son of God than there was when he was before Pilate’s judgment seat. Those however who see it by faith and who are not ashamed to share His sufferings, also share His hidden glory; and when He shall appear in his glory, “then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 13:43. That will be “the manifestation of the sons of God.” Then for the first time Christ will be manifested to the world as the Son of God, and those who are His will be manifested with Him.WOR 139.3

    The Hope of Creation.-The word “creature” in verses 19-21 means the creation; this may be seen from verse 22 where we read of the whole creation as groaning, waiting to be delivered from that to which it has been made subject. When man sinned, the earth was cursed on his account. See Genesis 3:17. The earth had done no sin, but it was made to share the fall of man, to whom it had been given. A perfect earth was not the dwelling-place for sinful man. But it was made subject to vanity in hope. God made the earth perfect. “He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.” Isaiah 45:18. And He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” Ephesians 1:11. Therefore the earth is sure to be glorified as it was in the beginning. “The creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.”WOR 140.1

    Adoption and Redemption.-Both the earth and we are “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” The earth waits for it, because it can not be relieved of its curse until we are set forth as sons of God, and therefore lawful heirs. The Holy Spirit is the pledge of this heirship. The Spirit seals us as heirs, “unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30. It is to us a witness that we are children of God, but the witness is not accepted by the world. They know not the children of God. But when that glory which He has given us is revealed, and our bodies are redeemed from destruction and made to shine like His glorious body, then there will be no doubt in the minds of any. Then even Satan himself will be obliged to acknowledge that we are God’s children, and therefore rightful heirs of the glorified earth.WOR 140.2

    Hope and Patience.-Hope, in the Bible sense, means something more than mere desire. It is certainty, because the ground of the Christian’s hope is the promise of God, which is backed by his oath. There is nothing that our eyes can see to indicate that we are the sons of God. We can not see our own glory, and that is why we are charged not to seek it here. We can not see Christ, yet we know that he is the Son of God. That is the assurance that we are also sons of God. If there were any uncertainty, then we could not wait with patience. We should be uneasy, and should worry. But, although the natural eye can not see any indication that we are owned as God’s children, faith and hope assure us of it, and so we with patience wait for that which is unseen. WOR 140.3

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