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Sermon #3168

Heirs according to the Promise

A Sermon on Romans 8:17


Romans 8:17 ESV KJV
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Does the Christian rejoice that they are a child of God and an heir to the coming glory? Through his sermon on Romans 8:17 titled “Heirs According to the Promise,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones joyfully proclaims that every time that Paul references the Spirit being a seal, he also mentions that the Spirit is the guarantor of the fact that believers are heirs with Christ. This fact is great assurance and certainty of the Christian faith: if Christians are children of God, then they are also His heirs. Paul once again demonstrates that believers have union with Christ; it is absolute and cannot end. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expresses that only Christians have this kind of hope. The inheritance of glory for Christians was set before the beginning of time in God. This is a great promise and is shown often throughout Scripture. All believers are joint heirs with Christ and should be looking toward the coming of their Savior.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is continuing his thought from verse 16 in Romans 8 about the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
  2. Paul amplifies on this point to give assurance and certainty of our salvation and relationship to God.
  3. The mention of the Holy Spirit as our seal reminds Paul that the Spirit is also the guarantee of our inheritance. Paul links sealing and guarantee together.
  4. Paul mentions our inheritance to show that sonship means inheriting. The two are inseparably linked.
  5. Paul is writing to Romans who were familiar with Roman law where all children inherit equally from their father. So all Christians inherit from God equally.
  6. The inheritance is a major biblical theme from Genesis 3:15 onwards, promised clearly to Abraham and his seed. The whole Bible points to this future inheritance.
  7. The inheritance was promised only to Israel originally, not the Gentiles who had no hope. But now in Christ, Gentiles are brought in and are fellow heirs.
  8. Many verses show that the inheritance is the Christian's hope and promise of eternal life in God's kingdom. Our life now is a foretaste and earnest of this.
  9. We should live now as strangers and pilgrims looking forward to this inheritance, not loving this world. This should govern our evangelism and pastoral ministry.
  10. We should test ourselves as to whether we really live in light of this promised inheritance. Do we look forward to Christ's return and the new heavens and earth?
  11. We should study this truth and pray that God opens our eyes to this hope and inheritance. We are but strangers here - heaven is our home.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.