The Air That We Breathe
Lord, thank You for purifying the spiritual air that I now breathe with the fragrance of Your Spirit.
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 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 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. And by him we cry, “Abba, 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.
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.
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16,17).
The triune God has acted to restore fallen humanity. God’s Son died for us. Raised from the dead, he now lives in us by his Spirit. Our primary occupant, whatever our daily circumstances, is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Jesus is akin to the air we breathe. Through him we are empowered for the daily struggle to do what is right and just. The presence of the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that, at the climax of history, our bodies will be redeemed (11).
At the heart of this is a new relationship with God. We become his sons and daughters. The Spirit has put “Abba,” the incarnate Son’s name for the Father, on our lips. By the Spirit we share the Son’s relationship with the Father. We are children of God, adopted into God’s family. The word translated “sonship” (15) means adoption. In a western context we mainly think of the adoption of infants, but in Roman culture adults were normally adopted. For example, a former slave, now a freedman, might be adopted. The purpose of adoption usually centered around the inheritance of the household business. So it is in Christ. The Holy Spirit offers adoption instead of slavery (15) in order that we might become fellow heirs with Christ.
Salvation grants us a degree of undeserved dignity. We become privileged participants in God’s plan of redemption. We are entrusted with responsibility as part of the privilege of being a child of God. Paul will go on to explain the nature and the cost of this privilege, but for the moment we should reflect on the extraordinary fact that our new location is as fellow heirs with Christ in the household of God as members of his family.
Under Roman law, adopted children had equal rights with natural children. Be amazed: as fellow heirs we share Christ’s access to the Father (Rom. 5:2). What does this mean to you?
Father in Heaven, I am so grateful to You for accepting me into Your family. As Your child now, I will approach You not as an outsider but as a family member.