Spirit, Jesus, Father
Lord, my most urgent need today is a refilling of Your Spirit. Fill me afresh for Your glory.
Read Romans 8:9-17
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“When we accept Christ we are saying, ‘God, I want to die to what is wrong in my lifeﾅ. I want to be crucified with Christ; ﾅand I want my life to go his way from today on'” (Leighton Ford).
Paul now starts to unpack the nature of the Spirit-led life. Note that the Spirit is not an optional extra for Christians: being “in the Spirit” so that “the Spirit of God lives in you” effectively defines Christian identity (9). Paul makes a very similar statement in his discussion of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:3. This is because the “Spirit of God” is the “Spirit of Jesus.” This gets very close to later Christian language of God as Trinity, and is perhaps the clearest statement in Paul’s writings. It continues his emphasis on Jesus, not as simply doing something on our behalf towards God to appease him, but also acting as God in human form making real God’s love towards us.
Paul then seems to be drawing on Exodus language again. Just as God’s people were led by his presence in the cloud and fire, so we are led by God’s presence in the form of his indwelling Spirit. Just as they were led from slavery in Egypt, so we are led from the slavery of fear and sin. Just as Israel was God’s firstborn son, so we experience God as Father (compare Gal. 4:5,6). In doing this we echo Jesus’ own distinctive form of address to God (Mark 14:36), one that he taught his followers to use. And just as they had an inheritance in the Promised Land, and even in the nations (Psa. 2:8), we, too, have an inheritance of glory in the age to come.
There is a price for this inheritanceﾗnot to be paid by us for it, but following our acceptance of it. For if we are walking (living our lives) in step with the Spirit, then we are out of step with the world around us, just as Jesus was, and so will suffer in some way just as Jesus did.
Where might walking in step with the Spirit of Jesus Christ cause you to be out of step with those around you?
Loving God, what a privilege to call You Father! In a world of isolation, I am secure in Your fatherly love. I praise You.
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