I receive an email newsletter every week from Gregg Gibbons, who has a ministry sharing grace and the Life of Christ with others. He has some articles up at his site, Christ My Heart, including the archives for his weekly newsletters, which are called "Gregg's Rest Stop." It's a wonderful site with lots of good news, so feel free to go check it out!
This week's email newsletter was so good, I really wanted to share the majority of it here. It's so wonderful to know we are in intimate, forever union with the One Who is truly ALL we need!
Gregg talks in the newsletter about this verse and what it means:
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, heirs also, heirs of God
and fellow heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him
so that we may also be glorified with Him
Here are Gregg's thoughts:
TESTIFIERS WITH THE SPIRIT
Romans 8:16 says that the Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit, not to our spirit, that we are children of God. The preposition to implies a separation, while the preposition with implies a union.
There are two Greek words that are interpreted as our English word with in the original New Testament manuscripts. The Greek word meta means to be with something or someone in the sense of being alongside. The Greek word sun means to be with something or someone in the sense of being united as a mixture.
Wayne Barber has a good analogy to help us reflect on our being united with Christ so intimately. Flour being alongside shortening on a table is an example of the Greek word meta. However, after these two ingredients are mixed and molded together and then baked, they become one biscuit, never to be separated again. This is an example of the Greek word sun.
The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit through the Greek word sun! The Holy Spirit is united with each of our spirits, never to be separated again! So, as the Spirit testifies with each of our spirits, "You are God's child," each of us can joyfully and confidently testify in unison with the Spirit, "I am God's child!"
This is a miraculous testimony to proclaim by faith especially during difficult times when you might not feel like God's child.
HEIRS WITH CHRIST
The word children in Romans 8:16 is the Greek word teknon and means to bear the nature of another. This means that each of us bear the nature of Christ.
So, we are not just children of God based on being adopted from a separate family. We have been re-born into God's family united with Christ. Consequently, we bear His nature and we have all of His rights!
In union with Him, we have inherited all that Christ has and all that Christ is! His hope, His righteousness, His life, His joy, His provisions, His prayers, His wisdom, His past, His future, His peace, His passion, His compassion, His love, etc!
Cherish your being one with Christ. It is the one thing that you can count on and the one thing that will last forever!