Co-Heirs with Christ: Romans 8:16–18

co-heirs with Christ (2)

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2) Rom 8:16–18: After announcing that believers are “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if we suffer the same thing, in order that also we may share [his] glory,” Paul immediately minimized the severity of those travails.[1]

We encounter torment resulting from our own sins, from those of others, or as a result of living in an imperfect world.[2]

Jesus experienced many of the travails we undergo simply by coming to our fallen planet, rather than reaping the consequences of his own transgressions (Matt 4:1–11; Heb 4:15).

In that respect, the suffering borne by believers comprises a participation in the affliction of Christ. Since Paul compared our woes to those encountered by nature, they encompass more than persecution (Phil 1:29–30).[3]



As we experience various distresses, our longing to participate in the resurrection increases.[4]

For the remainder of Chapter 8, Paul elucidated our hope (Rom 8:19–39).[5] The promise the Lord made to Abraham that he would be heir of the world shall someday come to full fruition (Rom 4:13).[6]

This future glory applies not only to God’s people. All of creation will receive transformation.[7]

The process began with the resurrection of Christ.[8] It will culminate in the long-anticipated ultimate return from exile accompanied by God’s blessing of the land.[9]

Paul’s phrase “of the present time” denotes the unique character of these days. We live in the period between Jesus’s resurrection and his return. Thus we experience the overlap between this evil age and our full restoration in the age to come (Dan 7:21–23).[10]

“The glory that is about to be revealed” refers to the certainty of a future event which is on the verge of occurring.[11]

This phrase carries a sense of the final vindication of God’s strategy, a blueprint currently obscured by earthly conditions.[12]

Since it will merely be “revealed” (apokaluptō), this glory already exists in some form (1 Pet 5:1),[13] maintaining the “now and not yet” character of Paul’s theology.[14]

The revelation of this glory shall be “unto us,”[15] which means that it will both overtake and be bestowed upon God’s people.[16]

We shall undergo an internal transformation which shall have an external manifestation (1 Cor 15:50–58).[17]

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a) Read Rom 8:16–18. What makes the era in which we live unusual? How do Paul’s words help you to endure the difficulties of this life?



Go to Creation’s Eager Expectation (Rom 8:19)

[Related posts include Creation’s Eager Expectation (Rom 8:19); Subjected to Futility (Rom 8:20); Set Free from the Slavery of Corruption (Rom 8:21–22); Thorns and Thistles (Gen 3:17–18); Satan Tempts Christ (Matt 4:1–4); A Second Temptation (Matt 4:5–7); The Third Temptation (Matt 4:8–11); Perishable Flesh and Blood (1 Cor 15:50); We Shall Be Changed (1 Cor 15:51–52); Victory over Death (1 Cor 15:53–55); Taking the Form of a Slave (Phil 2:7); and Reserved for Fire (2 Pet 3:7)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 9: Painful Toil (Genesis 3:17–21)]


[1] Kruse, Paul’s Letter to the Romans, 341.

[2]Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans (PNTC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 319.

[3] Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 511.

[4] Ciampa, “Genesis 1–3 and Paul’s Theology of Adam’s Dominion in Romans 5–6,” 115.

[5] Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 1:410.

[6]J. R. Daniel Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 152.

[7] Osborne, Romans, 210

[8] Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God, 142.

[9] Moo, “Nature in the New Creation: New Testament Eschatology and the Environment,” 451,

[10] Dunn, Romans 1–8, 468.

[11]Danker, et al., “μελλω” (mellō), BDAG, 627.

[12] Dunn, Romans 1–8, 468.

[13] Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, 320.

[14]Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God, 153.

[15]Maximillian Zerwick and Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament (Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2010), 476.

[16]Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans (BECNT; Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998), 434.

[17] Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 1:410.