King Jesus, this day is Yours and I am Yours. I praise You for Your gifts, commands, and grace.
Read Romans 8:9–17
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[b] his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[c] And by him we cry, “Abba,[d] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
- Romans 8:10 Or you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive
- Romans 8:11 Some manuscripts bodies through
- Romans 8:15 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture; also in verse 23.
- Romans 8:15 Aramaic for father
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectOur experiences (bad or good) of being ‘fathered’ – by family, friends, mentors, etc. – affect how we respond to God as Father. Spend some time reflecting on your experience, noticing how you feel.
As in yesterday’s reading, words like ‘controlled by’ or ‘realm’ (v 9) are added by translators. Paul actually uses the word ‘in’: ‘you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit’. To understand this, we need to read verse 15.
Notice how Paul says we ‘receive’ our adoption (as ‘sons’ – that is, we have the same status as God’s Son). This is not something we discover within, nor something we earn. Instead of belonging to sin, now we belong to God’s family. And God gives all his children the Spirit, to enable us to live the family life – however imperfectly – in two ways.
First, ‘mortification’ (v 13) – or ‘putting to death’: we are already set free from condemnation and the penalty of sin, but our ongoing struggle with it shows we are not yet free of sin’s power. Yet God enables his children to resist it: ‘By the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body’.
Second, ‘dedication’ (v 14): God’s children are those who are ‘led by the Spirit’. God’s Spirit is at work within us, enabling the (imperfect) obedience we need to follow and live God’s way.
Christians should not be passive recipients of a gift – God gives his Spirit to enable us to live as his children. How actively do you live by the Spirit in the two ways we have identified today?
Lord, I pray for insight and sustenance, courage and strength to persist in growing towards Christ. I want to live with integrity and the sacrificial spirit that honors You.
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