For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.
Romans 8:12 -17
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
“…but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. …” The response could easily be; sounds good but how to do this? Sometimes all it takes is a simple prayer asking for guidance, strength to say no, and sometimes reading and meditating on scripture will do. For each of us we seek His face and search His word then listen to hear what the Spirit will say. We do this in faith believing the word given here; believing that it is God’s Word and that it is for us today.
“…all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. …” Again, through faith, believing God, can we take hold of this statement and apply it to ourselves? How strong is our faith? How far will we allow ourselves to go in belief? We are the children of God according to this. Are we acting like it?
“…you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear…” A slave to sin understanding the penalty of death for that sin can rightly fear; but those who have the Spirit have no cause to fear for they are covered by the blood of Jesus and washed clean they can stand before God as one of His adopted children. This should be cause for joy for the believer! This is the joy that keeps in the valley of the shadow of death; this is the joy that keeps in the prison cell while tortured for believing; this is the joy for those who lose everything in fire, tornado, earthquake or hurricane. This is the joy that allows us to love the life he gives no matter what it brings.
“…the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, …” How do we know? It is a spiritual knowledge that those who do not believe and have not received cannot understand. It is a spiritual connection made between the believer and God. We do not fall back on logical explanations; we do not fall back on reason, humanity’s reason; we know because we believe and our faith brings us to the connection with His Spirit that we are His children.
“…we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. …” We suffer? That too is a statement given and we can believe that…oppression and spiritual warfare are sure to come. Glorified with him? When we suffer and we have a totally different response to that suffering than the rest of humanity might, be sure we will be glorified…others will be told of the difference and will know we are different. All of this brings honor and glory to the Lord. Something so opposite to the ‘norm’ cannot be told without also telling of Him and what He has done for mankind.
Let us therefore be that kind of light and salt. Let our actions, words and responses to adversity give testimony to the work of God in the willing believer.
“…heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,…” Think of what we know about God and what we know about Jesus. Think of where they are and who they are; what they do. We are heirs of that…! Now there’s something to chew on! Reflect and meditate on the word. Let the Spirit bring to us the knowledge of who we are in Christ. Blessed be the name of the Lord.