Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 8:14-17
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 8:14
v14: When describing people who are controlled by sin or the flesh Paul employs the language of slavery. He says they are “sold into bondage” (Ro 7:14), they become “prisoners” (Ro 7:23) and “slaves” (Ro 6:17; 8:15), but when he describes those who are joined to Jesus Christ by faith he employs the language of family. They are “adopted” (Ro 8:15), they are “sons” (Ro 8:14, 15, 19), they are “children of God” (Ro 8:16). It’s true he wants believers to become “slaves of righteousness” (Ro 6:18), and even identifies himself as a “slave of Christ Jesus” (Ro 1:1) but clearly in Paul’s thinking such “slavery” is freely chosen. It is the worshipful surrender of one’s life. It’s very important to recognize that Paul calls himself Christ’s slave, but God calls him a “son.”

Monday: Romans 8:14
v14 (continued): Notice the choice of words in this verse. God doesn’t drive His people, He leads them. Those who become “sons”—a term which includes both men and women as well as Jew and Greek, slave and free (Gal 4:26-28)—can be recognized by the fact that the course of their lives has been radically changed by the unseen influence of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:8). He leads them and they willingly follow. Until a person has been “set free from the law of sin and death” (Ro 8:2) this is impossible because they are held in bondage by Adam’s spirit and their flesh. Both are hostile to God (Ro 7:8; 8:7, 8). Being willing and able to follow the Spirit’s leading proves that the new birth has taken place (1Jn 2:3-6; 3:4-10; 5:2-5, 18).

Tuesday: Romans 8:15
v15: Paul says, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again.” When we’re born-again Jesus does not merely set us free from one form of slavery (to sin) only to impose upon us another form of slavery (to God). He restores the original freedom the human spirit had before Adam sinned, and then calls me to follow Him as my Lord. The new birth makes it possible for my spirit to rule over my body and mind—to exercise the authority I was intended to have (Ps 8:1-9; Jn 15:14; Ro 8:14-16). He puts me back in charge of me. But if I’m truly free, then I’m also free to disobey. I can say “no” or “yes” to sin. I can return to being dominated by my flesh (Ro 6:15, 16) or draw on the guidance and power of the Spirit to become more and more like Jesus.

Wednesday: Romans 8:15, 16
vs15, 16: When we’re born-again our relationship with God undergoes a profound change. We no longer relate to Him like a slave with a tyrannical master, fearfully trying to avoid punishment. Instead we intuitively sense that He has adopted us and placed us in His family. Our heart recognizes that having been joined to His Son we too have become His children and that His love for us is deep and unwavering, even when we are weak and sinful. Like children running into the arms of a beloved parent we boldly come to Him in prayer and worship addressing Him in the same intimate way as Jesus Himself, “Abba!, Father!” (Mk 14:36; Ro 8:26).

Thursday: Romans 8:15, 16
vs15, 16 (continued): Paul reveals a remarkable truth in these verses. He says a born-again person will know when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in them because He will testify to their spirit that they have been adopted by God as His child. In other words, there is a voice inside that constantly speaks. And this voice doesn’t begin in the theological reasonings of the mind. Learning and believing biblical truth is the foundation of our faith and certainly the major way the Holy Spirit speaks to us. But at this point Paul is talking about an intuitive assurance that comes directly to our heart from the Spirit Himself (Jn 7:38, 39; 14:17, 20, 26; 15:26, 27; Ac 5:32; 1Jn 2:27; 5:10, 32). This means I’m not left standing alone in my claim to be born-again. The Spirit within joins me in this claim and assures me that I’m God’s child.

Friday: Romans 8:17
v17: By using the word “adopted” (vs 15, 23) Paul wants us to see the depth of God’s commitment to us. The relationship is based on a formal covenant (Lk 22:20; Heb 8:8-12). Lasting promises have been made to us and we possess legal rights. And one of the rights which normally comes with adoption is inheritance (Roman law, not Jewish law). When done properly the child is fully accepted and given the same privileges as though he or she were a naturally-born child. In this case, since God has only one begotten child, we adopted children inherit along with Him. In particular, the inheritance Paul is thinking of here is the resurrection and the glories of the age to come. By adding “heirs together with Christ” Paul lets us glimpse the amazing privilege that will be given to us because we have followed Christ. Not only will we be resurrected and allowed to enjoy the blessings of God’s eternal kingdom, but in some wonderful way we will be deputized and govern with Christ during the Messianic Age (Mt 19:28; 2Ti 2:12; Rev 3:21; 5:10; 20:4, 6; 22:5). We will share in the authority God has given Him as a reward for His selfless sacrifice (Ps 110:1; Php 2:8-11; Heb 1:13).

Saturday: Romans 8:17
v17 (continued): There is one pre-condition to all of this which we should not overlook. Paul adds “if we really suffer together with Him so that we may also be glorified together with Him” (literal). He is certainly not implying that we must earn these glories by suffering. But he’s warning us that before we actually enter into the glories of the age to come we must first pass though sorrow and persecution of this present age. Jesus Himself walked this path of suffering and even in the face of the most brutal persecution refused to escape it by denying God. And He warned us that we must follow His example. We must not allow the hardships of being His disciple to cause us to deny Him. Our faith and witness must “endure to the end” (Mt 10:22, 28-39; 13:20, 21; 24:13; Lk 9:22-26; 2Ti 2:11, 12; Rev 12:11). To forsake Him is to allow our inheritance to be taken from us.

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