“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13) For if ye live after the flesh – ye shall die; but, if ye – through the Spirit – do mortify the deeds of the body – ye shall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God – they are the sons of God. (15) 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. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit – that we are the children of God…” [Ro.8:12-16]
We noted last month the two contrasting realities that in one way or the other describes each one of us – in that all people — are either “being led away with the error of the Wicked” [2Pe.3;17] or, they are among the “as many as are led by the Spirit of God” [Ro.8:14]. This gives us the “big picture”! And, I think we all know in which group we want to be found. Therefore, let’s concentrate on the Ro.8:12-16 portion of scripture which describes in more detail all of us who – by God’s sovereign grace – are being led by the Holy Spirit of God through the darkness of this law-cursed and fallen world — directly into an holy and heavenly eternity.
Vs.13 draws a conclusion from what has been presented from Ro.8:1-12. It says: “we are debtors”. But, to whom exactly are we indebted? And, more importantly, do we even possess the capability to remit ourselves from the debt that we owe? Well, as far as the first question is concerned, the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul identifies who it is that we are indebted to in two ways. First, by how he addresses us. He calls us, “brethren” – or, in other words, we are his fellow family members in Christ. And second, the Spirit through Paul dogmatically eliminates our being indebted to ourselves – or, to our own fallen fleshly nature of thinking and living! This is explicitly described in vs.5-11. We are not debtors to think and walk according to our fallen-in-sin flesh. For if we think and walk in accordance to the flesh – it is certain we shall die! [see vs.6] But – all praise and glory to God – if we, through thinking and walking in accordance to the influence and power of the Holy Spirit – and, by Him, do mortify [or, put to death] the sinful deeds of the body of our flesh – then we shall live! [see vs.6] This is precisely in conjunction with our being led through this passing-away-world by the Holy Spirit. It is thinking and living by the leading of the Spirit of God – that identifies us as truly being the children of God! This is exactly the message that’s declared from vs.14. And, this gives a dogmatic “No” answer to the second question above in regards to whether or not we even possess the capability – from ourselves and for ourselves – to remit ourselves from the debt that we owe. Beloved – therefore — behold the manifestation of whom it is that we are obviously forever indebted to – that One to whom we owe the eternal salvation of our very souls! We are forever indebted to the Spirit of Christ, our God!
Vs.15 descriptively declares that we have not received – from our loving and gracious Savior/God “the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption – whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”! This is a particularly significant blessing that signifies that one has been eternally and assuredly included in the eternally accomplished atonement. The atonement that has been perfectly performed by the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ! That which is presented here in Ro.8 up to this verse — and on through vs.16 – is the same theme as presented to us from Gal.4:4-7 (check it out).
How is it, then, that we come to know that we are among all those whom Christ has eternally redeemed? “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit – that we are the children of God…” The “Spirit of Adoption” tells us so! Praise His wonderful Name! Thank you, Lord! Amen.
For Christ’s Glory Only!