Romans 8:14-17 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
In Romans 8:14, the Apostle Paul sets before us the crowning moniker of our sanctified identity in Jesus Christ. As those that have been fully identified with Him in His work of redemption, having received perfect justification unto eternal life and perfect sanctification unto functional life, we are now equipped with all of the spiritual fitness that God requires in order to be initiated into the vocation wherewith we are called. As the capstone truth that brings us to the realization of what our redemption in Him is unto, we are given to understand the Spirit’s leading that characterizes those who have received the adoption of sons.
The character of the Spirit’s leading in the communication of His things is that which accords with the Father’s desire to place sons into His business. It is through the impartation of knowledge and the instruction of wisdom that the Spirit of God intercedes for us that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. As we learn Christ and His things, we have expounded to us His mind, and as we are led into the knowledge of Him, we learn the liberty that comes from the excellence of His charity effectually working in us. It is His fruit! It is His life! And it is the manifestation of Christ in our earthen vessels that redounds to His glory as we shew that the power is of God and not of us.
Now while the supply of the Spirit is power, we learn that His leading therein is very often in the direction of weakness. While the spiritual benefits of the gospel accrue to us as the power of God unto salvation goes to work, we find that indeed we have this treasure in earthen vessels that are corruptible. The light of the glorious gospel resides in the hidden man of the heart, but the vessel containing it must be broken if that light is to be released in all of its glory and radiance. God’s will then is to allow the vessel to be cracked, splintered & chipped away, for it is then that the light inside breaks forth and is given the opportunity to cast off the works of darkness. It is in the suffering of the outward man that perisheth day by day that we are called to suffer with him and patiently endure the trouble, despair, persecution and down casting that assaults us on every side. This we are to do with hope, patience and eventually joy by the knowledge of the glory that it worketh for us. It is in all these things that the Father has designed for us to experience the super abounding power of His grace and thereby become more than conquerors through him that loved us.
It is not a stretch, therefore, to say that we are led by the Spirit of God to suffer. While we certainly are not on a mission to become self-made martyrs for the sake of our own pride, we must understand that all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, and that the sufferings of this present time are inextricably tied into this present evil world. As sons, we should know our Father’s mind in respect to these things as well as have the spiritual equipment in place to know why He allows them to continue and why He is not now removing them from us. It is through the leading of the Spirit into the comprehension of these things that our minds are renewed with respect to them, and our bodies accordingly presented as living sacrifices for His glory as we prove out the will of God. All of this is done from the heart as it resides inside our ever dissolving earthly house of this tabernacle, for it is the inward man that is renewed day by day and sets his eyes upon that which is not temporal, but eternal.
Christ's strength is made perfect in weakness, and while His Spirit's leading is contrary to the flesh, it is nevertheless effectual in showing His power to sustain us. His manifold wisdom and the mystery of godliness is indeed great! His ways are not our ways and are past finding out, nevertheless, in His grace, He has revealed them unto us by His Spirit, and we are called to walk after them in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. This includes suffering, for it has been given to us in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. This we most gladly do that His power may rest upon us.
1 Thess. 3:3-4 – That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
Additional Verses on Sufferings:
Romans 8:17-18 – And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:35-36 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
1Cor. 4:11-13 – Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
1Cor. 6:7 – Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
1Cor. 9:12 – If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
1Cor. 12:26 – And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
2Cor. 1:3-7 – Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
2Cor. 4:5-18 – For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2Cor. 6:4-10 – But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2Cor. 11:24-27 – Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Cor. 12:7-10 – And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Gal. 3:4 – Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Gal. 5:11 – And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
Gal. 6:17 – From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Phl. 1:29 – For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
Phl. 3:8-10 – Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Phl. 4:12 – I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Col. 1:24 – Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
1Thess. 2:1-2 – For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
1Thess. 2:14 – For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
1Thess. 3:1-4 – Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
2Thess. 1:3-12 – We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed ) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Tim. 4:10 – For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
2Tim. 1:8 – Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
2Tim. 1:12 – For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
2Tim. 2:3 – Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Tim. 2:9-10 – Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
2Tim. 2:12 – If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Tim. 3:10-12 – But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Tim. 4:5 – But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.