“¹²So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. ¹³For 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. ¹⁴For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. ¹⁵For 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!” ¹⁶The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, ¹⁷and 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.” – Romans 8:12-17
For these past couple of days, I have been drawn to Romans 8. I love reading about the blessed assurance I now have through faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I wanted to take this time to sort of break down this set of Scripture in order to obtain a better understanding of it. I do this prayerfully and by the grace of God.
Looking at verse 12, I am assured of the truth that I am no longer a slave to sin nor am I captive to the flesh. Because of the radical transformation Jesus Christ began in me, I am free to joyfully obey and praise him. According to verse 13, all who live according to the flesh will die. You may say, “Wait a minute, Christians die too!” but this is speaking of an eternal death. A person who lives in sin (according to the flesh) will die in an eternal way. They will spend eternity apart from God in hell. The wonderful news in this verse is that if we live by the Spirit and through him, put the deeds of the body to death, we will live! I know looking back on my life before I was a follower of Christ and through truth in Scripture, I was fully unable to live a life pleasing to God; I was unable to see God as my ultimate Treasure. Now that God has revealed himself to me and my faith and trust has been and continues to be placed in Christ Jesus, I am able to put to death the deeds of the body consciously through the Spirit. I am now free and enabled to battle sin in my life! Another place in Scripture that this truth is revealed is in 1 Corinthians 10:13. It reads “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” There will be temptations within our Christian walk but what wonderful news it is that we are able to battle sin through the work of the Spirit in our lives! Praise be to God who enables us to love him, rejoice in him, praise him, come to him for all satisfaction, and obey him! Verse fourteen of Romans 8 reassures me that all who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. Wow! Sons of God! What an unmerited privilege given to us through and by the grace of God! Verse fifteen cries out the truth that the Spirit who lives within us as Christians enables us to cry out to God in reverence and love. As Christians, we have not been given a spirit of fear as to lead us to fall back into fear but instead we have received the Holy Spirit; we have received God himself! Verse sixteen lets us know that we can rest assured of our salvation through the Spirit who bears witness within us that we are children of God. Finally, verse seventeen is just as astounding as the previous verses. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, tells us in this verse that since we are children, we are heirs! We as Christians are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” We are heirs in that we are heirs of that promises of God. Go look in the Living Word of God which is the Bible, Christian, and see for yourself all of these unmerited, wonderful, set-in-stone promises! Paul also includes in this verse “provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” As followers of Christ, we can rest assured that we will be glorified in his presence because he promises this. We as Christians must be willing to suffer with our Lord and Savior. This may seem scary but reflect on the following verses, Christian:
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” – Romans 8:18
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” – Matthew 28:18, 20
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
By His grace.