Monday, August 14, 2023

2023.08.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 8:14–15

Read Romans 8:14–15

Questions from the Scripture text: What quantities are equal (Romans 8:14)? By Whom are these people led? Whose Spirit is He? Whose sons are they? What spirit did believers not receive (Romans 8:15)? To what was this bondage? But what Spirit did we receive? To Whom (implied) is this adoption? What does the Spirit make us do? To Whom do we cry out? What do we call Him? 

How can we be sure that our putting to death the deeds of the body will be successful? Romans 8:14–15 looks forward to the midweek sermon. In these two verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the sons of God have no reason to fear, either in battle against sin, or before the face of God. 

One of the things that we saw in Romans 8:13 was this amazing promise that since believers are putting to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit, they can be sure that they will live. They will be more and more alive unto God for righteousness in this life. And they will live forever and ever rather than suffering the second death. But many believers, when we think about our sin-killing, we make the mistake of seeing the smallness of that sin-killing (which rightly grieves us) but missing the greatness of Him by Whom we kill it. So the apostle immediately gives us four things to note:

What “by the Spirit” meansRomans 8:14a. Believers are in the Spirit; they are those who have the Spirit of God, Who is the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9). But believers are also led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14a). This is not the every-once-in-a-while nebulous guidance that some mean when they use that phrase. It is a sure, constant, effectual bringing or carrying. Believers will get there, because the Spirit is taking them there! O, let us not resist or quench or grieve Him Who is getting us there!

Who believers areRomans 8:14b. And believers are sons of God. Not only are they sustained by great power (verse 14a), but they are heirs to great power. There is a mathematical identity here. All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. And all who are sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. This is part and parcel of what it means to be a Christian. 

What believers aren’t inRomans 8:15a. Believers aren’t in bondage. Certainly, as they are killing sin, they are not slaves to that sin. With the Holy Spirit working on their spirits, believers mustn’t be afraid that they will return to bondage, but rather assured that they will move forward to victory. And their slavery to God is not a frightful bondage but a committed sonship. The Spirit is for them a Spirit of adoption.

What believers doRomans 8:15b. So, as the Spirit brings believers along, what is one great thing that He causes them to do? He causes them to cry out! Knowing God as Father, calling God “Father” from the heart, and crying out to Him are all things that the Spirit works in every Christian. The Spirit gives us not servile terror but a free affection that is wondrously joined to our holy reverence. The logic here is that since we do this, we can be sure that the same Spirit Who has made us to do this will surely bring us all the way home to everlasting life.

How do you relate the Holy Spirit? What does your relationship with Him assure you of your relationship to God? How does your heart know to address God? What does this tell you about the likelihood of eternal life?

Sample prayer:  Our Father in heaven, how we thank You that Your own Spirit has made us to rejoice that we are Your children, and to be confident that we will be victors over sin and come into our full inheritance. Grant unto us to live in this confidence, as we also pray in this confidence, through Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP131 “My Heart Is Not Exalted, LORD” or TPH400 “Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me”

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