The Spirit of Sonship
Heavenly Father, I thank You today that You are my Father, and such a kind, generous and loving one, too.
Read Romans 8:1-17
 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  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.  But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.  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 his Spirit who lives in you.  Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation-but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.  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.  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  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. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are the two "natures" and "minds" Paul contrasts here?
In first-century Rome an affluent adult would often adopt a young boy, often a slave (girls were adopted in rare situations), to become their son. Adoption was a public act before witnesses, acknowledging the end of an old life and the beginning of a new one. This new son’s life was forever changed. He received a new status, a new security, new responsibilities and duties, a new family, and an inheritance. Unlike a biological son, the adopted child could never be disowned; he had permanent access to the father. Paul articulates his message to the Roman believers using this image of adoption. It’s an illustration that can inform our lives, too. Our heavenly Father has taken the initiative to adopt us into his family (14,15), and has set us free from the fear that enslaves us (15). Our old lives are over; we have a new beginning. We can never be forgotten, discarded or rejected, because we have been adopted. We have a new security; we have a new family in our community of believers. We have new responsibilities as the Father commissions us onward; and we have an inheritance (17; cf. 1 Pet. 1:4).
What does it mean to you and your daily life to know that you’ve been adopted by your Heavenly Father?
Heavenly Father, show me what it means to be Your beloved child, adopted into Your eternal family.
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