The Book of Romans, Part 18 – Life in the Spirit

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The Book of Romans, Part 18 – Heirs With Christ

[Study Aired November 7, 2023]

Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 8:13 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.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Rom 8:15 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.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

In our last study from Romans 8:1-11, the Apostle Paul conveyed a profound message about the transformative power of faith in Christ. He starts by emphasizing that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and live according to God’s spirit, not the flesh. The spirit of life in Christ Jesus liberates us from the bondage of sin and death, something the law alone couldn’t achieve due to the weakness of the flesh.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Paul explains that God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to condemn sin within the flesh, enabling the righteousness of the law to be fulfilled in those who walk by the spirit. Those who focus on the desires of the flesh are destined for spiritual death, while those who pursue the things of the spirit find life and peace.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

He highlights the inherent enmity between the carnal mind and God, as the carnal mind cannot submit to God’s law of the spirit. Those who remain in the flesh cannot please God. However, Paul reassures us that we are not in the flesh but in the spirit, provided that the spirit of God dwells within us. He stresses that if anyone does not possess the spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Him.

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Furthermore, Paul explains that when Christ dwells in us, our physical body will be subject to sin and death, but the spirit imparts life through righteousness. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies because Christ dwells within us.

Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

In essence, these verses underscore the transformation that occurs when one embraces Christ and lives according to the spirit, leading to freedom from condemnation, a fulfillment of righteousness, and the promise of spiritual life and resurrection.

With our study today, we continue our journey through the teachings of the Apostle Paul, found in the eighth chapter of the Book of Romans. In these verses, Paul presents a compelling message about our identity as believers, the power of the holy spirit, and the transformative impact of our faith in Christ.

As we dive into these verses, let us open our hearts to the riches of God’s Words and the profound spiritual insights they offer. Together, we will explore the implications of our adoption into God’s family, the role of the holy spirit in our lives, and the promise of future glory through shared suffering. May these verses deepen our understanding of our identity as the children of God and inspire us to live lives marked by the spirit, not the flesh.

Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

Romans 8:12 begins by reminding us that as the children of God, we carry a debt, but not one owed to the flesh. Rather, our debt is to the spirit, compelling us to live in accordance with the spirit’s guidance and not yield to the desires of the flesh. This is a major shift in our perspective and approach to life.

Picture this “debt to the flesh” as an inclination to pursue our desires, frequently rooted in materialistic or ego-driven motives. This path leads to turmoil, suffering and a sense of detachment from God. In contrast, the “debt to the spirit” signifies a devotion to a loftier purpose, one that yields the fruits of the spirit. Suffering, in this context, ultimately paves the way for joy, as it contributes to the dismantling of the fleshly desires.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

This verse from Proverbs encourages us to trust in something greater than our own understanding and desires. It resonates with the idea of owing a debt to the spirit’s guidance.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:22-22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

In Galatians, the apostle Paul advises us to walk in the Spirit, which echoes the sentiment of Romans 8:12. By doing so, we can resist the temptations of the flesh and produce the fruit of the spirit.

Colossians 3:1-2 If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

These verses from Colossians remind us to focus on spiritual matters rather than earthly desires, emphasizing the idea of being debtors to the spirit’s calling.

As we examine Romans 8:12, we can approach it as an opportunity for self-awareness and inner transformation. It invites us to reevaluate our priorities, placing our spiritual well-being and connection with Christ and God above the fleeting desires of the flesh. This shift in perspective can bring us closer to a life marked by peace, empathy and compassion for ourselves and others.

Rom 8:13 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.

Verse 13 reinforces this truth with a stark contrast: a life lived in pursuit of the flesh leads to death, while a life directed through the spirit brings forth abundant life. It is a powerful reminder of the life-altering consequences of our “choices” (Rom 8:20-21) and the significance of our relationship with God.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Romans 8:13 invites us to reflect deeply on the “choices” we make in our lives and their profound consequences. The verse offers a stark contrast between two paths: living according to the desires of the flesh and living in alignment with the guidance of the spirit. It’s as if a crossroads presents itself, and we must “choose” our direction. This “choice”, in essence, reflects our values and priorities.

When we choose to live according to the flesh, it’s a choice rooted in immediate gratification, material pursuits and ego-driven desires. This path, as the verse suggests, leads to a form of “death.” Now, it’s essential to understand that this “death” is not necessarily a physical one but rather a spiritual state characterized by disconnection from God.

On the other hand, when we opt for a life guided by the spirit, we open ourselves to a transformational journey. This choice aligns with values such as love, compassion, empathy and a deeper connection with God and others. It leads to an “abundant life” — a life marked by inner peace, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. This is the path where true life flourishes.

Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Romans 8:13 serves as a powerful reminder of the far-reaching impact of our choices. It’s an invitation to reflect on our values and priorities and how they influence our daily decisions. Being guided by the spirit, we foster a closer relationship with God and embrace the transformation and growth of Christ within us.

In our interactions with others, we can also approach this understanding with empathy. When individuals make decisions that align with the flesh, we can recognize that these decisions stem from the spirit not being within them.

In essence, Romans 8:13 calls us to be mindful of our position and to embrace the transformative power of the spirit. It encourages us to approach ourselves and others with empathy, recognizing the underlying needs and motivations that influence our decisions and ultimately lead us toward a life filled with abundance and purpose.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 14:12 reminds us that our decisions, which often cater to the desires of the flesh, may seem right but will lead to undesirable outcomes, aligning with the message of Romans 8:13.

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

These verses from Galatians parallel the message in Romans 8:13, underscoring the consequences of living according to the flesh versus the benefits of sowing to the Spirit. They describe the internal struggle between the desires of the flesh and the Spirit, reinforcing the importance of following the spirit’s guidance as mentioned in Romans 8:13.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

This verse from the Book of James highlights the progression from desires of the flesh to sin and eventual spiritual death, harmonizing with the message of Romans 8:13.

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

1 Peter 2:11 encourages us to abstain from fleshly lusts that will harm the soul, aligning with the idea of mortifying the deeds of the body mentioned in Romans 8:13.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

In verse 14, Paul unveils a beautiful reality. Those who are led by the spirit of God are not mere followers but are recognized as the very sons and daughters of the Almighty. This recognition signifies a divine connection, a testament to our adoption into God’s family. It is an embrace of love, grace, and a sense of belonging, far beyond the notion of mere follower-ship.

This perspective encourages us to reflect on the nature of our relationship with God, and how it can deeply transform our understanding of ourselves and eventually our fellow worldly brethren. It also serves as a reminder that we are part of a larger family bound together by the spirit.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

In the Gospel of John, we are reminded that through our belief in Christ, we are granted the power to become children of God. This complements the idea of being recognized as God’s sons and daughters as mentioned in Romans 8:14.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not.

This verse from the First Epistle of John underscores the depth of love that our Heavenly Father has placed upon us by calling us His sons and daughters.

The above verses emphasize the power of recognizing ourselves as children of God. This realization encourages us to embrace the qualities of love, understanding, and acceptance in our interactions with one another.

Rom 8:15 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.

Romans 8:15 is a heartwarming reminder of the profound impact of our connection with Christ and his Father and the freedom it brings. This verse tells us that we have not received a spirit that instills fear and bondage, as the law was meant to do in the past. Instead, we have been blessed with the spirit of adoption, which allows us to call out, “Abba, Father.” This intimate cry reveals the depth of closeness and assurance we enjoy in our relationship with God. It’s an offer to embrace a feeling of security, confidence, and affection that frees us from fear and limitation.

Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

This verse from Galatians echoes the message of Romans 8:15 by emphasizing the privilege of addressing God as “Abba, Father” due to our status as His sons and daughters. It further accentuates the intimate nature of our relationship with God.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

This verse reinforces the concept that the spirit given to us by God is not one of fear but of love, power, and soundness of mind. It aligns with the message in Romans 8:15, emphasizing our spiritual connection.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

First John highlights the power of love in eliminating fear. It resonates with the idea that the spirit of adoption frees us from fear and allows us to experience the perfect love of God.

These verses collectively emphasize the substantive nature of our relationship with God, which liberates us from fear and instills love, trust, and assurance.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Finally, in verses 16 and 17, Paul reveals the glorious inheritance that awaits us as children of God. We are not only heirs of God but also joint heirs with Christ. However, this inheritance comes with a condition – to be willing to share in Christ’s sufferings. Through our shared suffering, we are promised a shared glory, a truth that speaks to the depths of our spiritual journey.

It is the spirit of the Father sent through Christ that is transforming us from the first Adam to the last Adam. Christ being the first and the last leads as our example to fulfill the desires of our Father now that we are recognized as his children.

Col 1:9-29 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

In Romans 8:12-17 the Apostle Paul conveys a powerful message about the power of faith in Christ and our identity as children of God. He emphasizes that we are no longer indebted to live according to the desires of the flesh but are called to walk in the spirit. By embracing the spirit’s guidance, we break free from the bondage of sin and death and fulfill the righteousness of God’s law. Paul highlights the inherent conflict between the carnal mind and God’s law of the spirit, urging us to prioritize the things of the spirit over the flesh. We are reminded that our identity as God’s children is characterized by a close relationship that releases us from fear and captivity. The spirit of adoption allows us to cry out to God as “Abba, Father,” fostering a profound sense of trust and love.

Furthermore, as children of God, we inherit a promise of shared glory with Christ, if we are willing to share in His sufferings. This inheritance reveals the journey of embracing Christ and living in accordance with the spirit, leading to freedom from condemnation, a fulfillment of righteousness, and the hope of shared glory. These verses underscore the central role of Christ in our spiritual journey. It’s a call to live life marked by the spirit rather than the flesh, cherishing our identity as children of God.

2Co 3:17-18 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

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