Lesson 34—Romans 8:14-21

Sonship and Future Glory

We have seen that the sons of God are the heirs of God; we will now look at the entrance of the sons into their inheritance; the glorious climax of God’s dealings with us in grace.

You have seen a sculptor at work with his hammer and chisel. The block before him looks shapeless to us but in the mind of the artist is the finished design, and he is working out in the stone. He may work for years before it is completed. Then comes the day when it is publicly unveiled that all may see it and give honour to the one whose patient skill has brought about such a masterpiece. Thus it will be in regard to the ways of God. For centuries He has been at work in view of a future day of glory. The pattern is His own dear Son. He is going to have many sons like Christ and with Him. The manifestation of the sons of God will be the masterpiece of God’s wisdom and power, and the climax of His ways in grace with us.

Our present study will take us into God’s work-shop where we watch Him at work. Then we will scan the future and see the glory that shall be revealed, when the final results of His work and the full blessing that accompanies it shall be seen. “The present time” (vs. 18) is God’s workshop, and one word sums up His dealings now; that word is

Suffering vs. 17, 18

The suffering is the discipline of sonship.

God is bringing many sons to glory and the way by which He brings them is the avenue of suffering, In view of the glory that shall be revealed the sufferings of “this present time” are not worth mentioning. The sons of God are in training now: “suffering” is God’s school for all who shall be in His house. In this we follow in the steps of His Beloved Son. The prophets, long before, told of the “sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. If we are co-heirs with Christ we inherit both. There can be no glory for us apart from suffering. Let us endure with patience the suffering, for

“A Father’s hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.”

The blows of the sculptor’s hammer would not be welcomed by the granite, but the result justifies all. The day of glory will explain all of God’s dealings with us.

Glory, vs. 17, 18

Coming glory is the reward of sonship. In the very land of Egypt where Joseph suffered as a slave, he received glory. Where he bowed his neck to serve they cried before him “bow the knee.”

Our Lord Jesus will be glorified where He once suffered. His throne will stand where His cross once stood. If we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified together. We share in the suffering and in the joy and dignity of His eternal kingdom for as sons we are His co-heirs.

Manifestation vs. 19.

The unveiling of the sons of God.

At the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ the sons of God will be revealed with Him. Joseph’s exaltation to the throne of Egypt was for the salvation of the world. The coming glory of the sons of God will be for the deliverance of all creation.

At the present time our inheritance is in the thraldom of sin and sorrow. When we take possession of it with Christ, when we, the heirs enter our inheritance, it will be delivered from its bondage and enjoy the “glorious liberty of the sons of God.”

“The whole Creation groans and waits to hear that Voice,
That shall restore her comeliness, and make her wastes rejoice.
Come, Lord, and wipe away the curse, the sin, the stain,
And make this blighted world of ours, Thine own fair world again.”


1. What is God doing at the present time?

2. When will that work be finished?

3. What effect will the manifestation of the children of God have on creation?