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What Does it Mean to Be Joint Heirs with Christ?

Joint Heirs with Christ
In Romans 8:17 Paul says:

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”

Romans 8:16-17 (NIV)

These are very powerful words, and words that aren’t to be taken lightly.

Understanding who you are in Christ is absolutely mind-blowing, and one of the most jaw-dropping revelations is understand that we are joint heirs with Christ.

However, what exactly does that mean? What does it mean to be joint heirs with Christ?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this post. Let’s go!

Romans 8:17 Meaning 

We are joint heirs with Christ

To really understand what it means to be joint heirs with Christ, let’s take a deeper look at Romans 8:17.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”

Romans 8:16-17 (NIV)

So, let’s dissect this a little bit. See how the passage flows?

    1. If we are God’s children, then we are also God’s heirs
    2. If we are God’s heirs, then we are also joint heirs with Christ

So, let’s take a second and talk about bullet point number 1: “if we are God’s children, then we are also God’s heirs”.

Through our faith in Jesus, we have been made children of God, and since we are God’s children, we are now also His heirs.

So, what does it mean to be an heir to the throne of God?

An “heir” is a person who inherits, or has a right of inheritance, to the property of another person following their death.

Children are typically always heirs to their parents. As your parent’s child, you are trusted with the ownership of what belongs to your parents, even while they are still alive.

You are given the right to live in their house, eat their food, drive their car, even to spend their money. This is your right as their child.

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But eventually when your parents pass, and as their heir, it is your right to inherit whatever belongings to them. And that can be a little or a lot depending on who your parents are and what your parents own.

In the same way, one of the rights we are given as heirs to God’s throne is an inheritance, over everything that belongs to God.

So, what belongs to God? Simply put, everything.

Everything in the entire universe belongs to God. But wait, why stop there? Everything in the seen world that we live in and in the Kingdom of God that we cannot see belongs to God.

It’s all God’s property. All of it.

Even the things that we “think” belong to us like our house, our car, our money, (you name it) it’s not really ours at all.  We are merely stewards of these possessions.

The reason for this is because when we die, we don’t get to keep any of it because at the end of the day, it was never really ours, it always belonged to God.

We are Joint Heirs with Christ

Joint Heirs with Christ

So now, let’s look at the bullet point number 2: If we are God’s heirs, then we are also joint heirs with Christ.

    1. If we are God’s children, then we are also God’s heirs
    2. If we are God’s heirs, then we are also joint heirs with Christ

Now, it’s crazy enough to think of yourself as an heir to God’s throne, but what’s even crazier is to think of who you are heirs with!

You are joint heirs with Christ Jesus, God’s only begotten Son.

John 3:16 says:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 (NASB)

Real quick let’s look at what “begotten” means. Begotten is an archaic term referring to when a child is the only offspring of his or her father.

This means Jesus is the only offspring to God the Father, thus Jesus as the only natural “heir” to God’s throne.

We are not God’s original children, nor the original heirs to God’s throne. The first-born son and true heir to God’s throne is Jesus.

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So, as God’s only begotten son, Jesus is God’s only true “heir” and Jesus’ inheritance is everything that is God’s, which is everything that is in existence.

But wait, this verse says we are also God’s heirs, and joint heirs with Christ.

So what Paul is trying to get us to understand in Romans 8:17 is, just as Jesus is the heir to God’s throne, we are also heirs to God’s throne.

And just as Jesus’ inheritance is everything that is God’s, our inheritance is also everything that is God’s.

Now, if you know your Bible super well, you might be familiar with passages that say believers are the adopted children of God.

“God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.”

Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”

Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)

So, if you think being a joint heir with Christ through adoption somehow disqualifies you from being an heir to the throne of God and the inheritance of God, think again.

Even though we have been adopted in God’s Family, our status as joint heirs with Christ means we will still share in the throne of God and the inheritance of Christ.

Read More: What Does it Mean to Be God’s Children?

Furthermore, even in Jewish culture the rights of an adopted child was considered by law the same as the rights of a biological child. This means that if you were adopted in Jewish culture, you had as much right to your parent’s inheritance as a natural born heir.

So, as unfathomable as it may seem, when it comes to our inheritance as the children of God, everything that belongs to Jesus also belongs to us because we are joint heirs with Christ!

Heirs to the Throne Meaning

Heirs to the throne meaning

You probably have a million questions about what it means to be an heir to the throne of God, or what our inheritance will actually look like. And the truth is, so do I.

But the thing is, the Bible doesn’t specifically tell us. We only get hints of it speckled throughout the Scriptures.

Here’s a few:

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will”

Ephesians 1:11 (ESV)

“Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance

Hebrews 9:15 (ESV)

Only this last verse gives us a clue as to what our inheritance is:

“According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you

1 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV)

This verse tells us that our inheritance is not an earthly inheritance, but a heavenly one, because it is kept in heaven where it cannot be destroyed or looted.

Thankfully, Matthew 25:34 gives us even more insight:

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Matthew 25:34 (ESV)

This verse tells us that our inheritance is not something that is just kept in heaven, but we are to inherit the entire Kingdom of God.

This kinda makes sense because if the entire Kingdom of God is God’s property, then as God’s children and thus His heirs, it would make sense that we would also be heirs to the throne of God and thus inherit the Kingdom of God.

It’s hard to imagine though, isn’t it? But that is what the Scriptures say.

Because you have been spiritually reborn into the Kingdom of God, you are now God’s children, thus His heirs, thus joint heirs with Christ.

Let’s recap what it means to be joint heirs with Christ!

    • Because we are God’s children, we are also God’s heirs, thus joint heirs with Christ.
    • One of the rights we are given as heirs to God’s throne is an inheritance over everything that belongs to God.
    • Our inheritance is not an earthly inheritance, but a heavenly one, and it is kept in heaven where it cannot be destroyed or looted.
    • As heirs to God’s throne, our inheritance is the Kingdom of God. 

Did this post help you understand what it means to be joint heirs with Christ? Let me know in the comments below!

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Read More

What Does it Means to Be God’s Children?

What Does it Mean to Be a New Creation in Christ?

How Do I Know God Loves Me Personally?

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Joint Heirs with Christ

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I’m Tiffany, a travel lover, small business owner, and expert-level cat cuddler. Sharing the love of Jesus is one of my favorite things ever, hence why I started this blog! You’re gonna find loads of goodies on this site, but one of my fav’s is my brand spankin’ new free ebook on your identity in Christ. Cut to the chase – Jesus thinks you’re pretty cool – but my ebook explains just how cool you really are. It’s kinda amazing.

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