Romans: The gospels give us the account of the cross; Romans gives us the implications of the cross.
Theme: We are debtors to the Spirit (no one else); He has made us children of God (radically so).
We Are Debtors. (8:12-14)
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Paul uses two Greek “terms of conclusion,” meaning it could be translated “wherefore therefore.” This is strong way of saying he’s got a compelling conclusion to what we learned last night.
Last night — Freedom by law of Holy Spirit working in us — Romans 8:11 (ESV) — 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
We are debtors: We have a debt to pay. We owe someone. There is an obligation that is ours as God’s children, but before Paul tells us who we are debtors to, Paul will tell us who we are not debtors to.
Not to the flesh, to live according to:
1 — We are debtors: Not to the flesh.
The law of the Spirit kills our obligation to the flesh.
Flesh: that ugly complex of human sinful desires that includes the ungodly motives, affections, principles, purposes, words, and actions that sin generates through our mortal bodies.
We owe the flesh nothing. But there is a battle: The mere presence of these statements help us see that we will battle flesh vs. Spirit.
Unsaved man — no battle / Christian man — conflict.
Cross: IT IS FINISHED! I don’t owe the flesh at all!
2 — We are debtors: With a no-brainer choice.
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
We now operate with a decision; flesh or Spirit, death or life.
Put to death: Kill sin or it will kill you!
1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV)—27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Starve it by eating otherwise. Replace it with different habits (praxis). Refill your mind with God’s word. Speak instead in prayer.
By the Spirit: The Spirit will help you! He is interested in this.
3 — We are debtors: To the Spirit.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Led by the Spirit / sons of God: Now Paul tells us who we are indebted to; we owe the Spirit because He made us into sons of God.
He convicted us. He showed us our need for Jesus. He implanted the new nature within us. He daily serves us. We owe Him!
Christ loved us so much, He died for us. The Spirit loves us so much, He lives in us.
This is not guidance during moments, but a continuous submission to the Holy Spirit’s direction.
Because We Are Children. (8:15-17)
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
For: We are indebted to the Spirit because we are sons of God! What is that?
1 — Adoption, not slavery.
Adoption in Roman culture: More than become his technical child, but gaining a position of sonship, taking a minor and making him or her the rightful heir.
- Old family rights were lost. The adopted legally received a new father. (Father’s name)
- They became an heir of their new father’s estate. (Heaven)
- The old debts and life were completely wiped out, he was a new person. (Sins gone)
- The law considered him the son of his new father. (Satan has no claim)
2 — Affection, not fear.
Cry / Abba: intensity.
This is not doctrinal affirmation, but an irrepressible cry from us to God.
So the Spirit does not produce a slavish fear, but a childish longing.
Intimacy / Trust / Leadership / Definition / Protection / Peace
3 — Double assurance.
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit: His Spirit, along with our spirit…
He comforts us. He stirs us to pray. He convicts us. He calls us out of our comfortable places. He urges us to share Christ’s love.
4 — With Christ’s radical position.
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Heirs / Heirs of God / Fellow heirs with Christ:
Incredible. I wouldn’t say this if it weren’t written in the text! A sinner like me becomes a joint-heir with Christ. A co-heir. Equal! Incredible.
2 Corinthians 1:5 (ESV)—5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.