“…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. (adoption) And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:14-15
Dear Faithful Friends and Fellow Seed Sowers,
I want to pause and give thanks to all who have written, called, emailed and texted concerning my health concerns. I am waiting to see the physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon so that I’m able to get an MRI and more xrays. I want to tell you that with all of your prayers, my pain level has gone down and is so much more tolerable. Thank you!
This week in our Seed of Faith we will look at two verses. This is really part one of two parts on Romans 8:14-17.
We began looking at Romans 8 many weeks ago. We have been walking slowly through these verses trying to dig deep into the meaning and teaching that Paul had given the early church. We have looked at a “Life in Christ” and we spent time on verse one of Romans, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Chapter 8 of Romans is often heralded as one of the greatest chapters in all the Bible. I think it is because Romans begins with NO CONDEMNATION and ends with NO SEPARATION; meaning if you are in JESUS CHRIST—you have nothing to worry about. You are not condemned and there is no way you can be separated from God. I suppose I would agree with the scholars who say it is a pretty great chapter!
Last week we looked at what it means to have a “Life in the Spirit.” Remember the hand and the glove? We are the glove, and the Holy Spirit is the hand. How we need the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, guidance, and power in our lives. There’s a cute cartoon that has two friends talking. One friend says, “Man, I need to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that I can go do great things!” The other friend replies, “I need the Holy Spirit to fill me just to go to Walmart!” If our minds and hearts are controlled by the Spirit of God, we will have life and life abundantly. Our foundational verse for that message was verse eleven, 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 through his Spirit, who lives in you.” Romans 8:11
If we move aside and quit trying to control and manipulate everyone and everything, and if we simply ask the Holy Spirit to empower us—we are going to LIVE and live well—and that’s whether we are just going to Walmart or holding a crusade for Christ.
A good point to ponder is that these words of Paul gave the early church such power and courage to transform their world. When we get down to verse thirty-seven, we will read that Paul called the early church, “more than conquerors through Christ.”
The Spirit leads us into new life — holiness.
“… because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
When we read all of chapter eight in one setting, we can understand that Paul is teaching the early church that we are to be led by the Holy Spirit. When our mind is on the things of the Spirit, we will walk in the light as He is in the light. The Holy Spirit will then guide and teach us all things, giving us heavenly wisdom, knowledge and insight. When Jesus was leaving His disciples the night he was betrayed, he promised those in the upper room the gift and person of the Holy Spirit. Listen to Jesus’ own words, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18)
“SO WHAT?” is this promise? Better yet, who is this promise? When Jesus says that He “will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever. This is the “Spirit of Truth,” what does He mean?
I believe that we need to look at a few of the Greek words that are used in this sentence. The first word that we should see is the word “another” in the Greek, the word is “allos.” “Allos” in the Greek means “another just like the first one.”
Who is the first Advocate? It is Jesus himself. Therefore, the second Advocate is to be just like the first one, Jesus. That is, He is to be a divine being just like Jesus who is now living within each believer. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The Trinity is truly a mystery. When we speak of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, we speak of them as persons.
When John Calvin and other theologians speak of the persons of the Trinity, they mean that in the Trinity we have one essence (being) and three subsistence’s. The three persons of the Godhead subsist in the divine essence (being).
Now that is a lot of deep theological language. When we recognize God alone as our Sovereign creator and believe in Jesus Christ, we open the door for the Holy Spirit to set up residence in our hearts, our homes, and lives. In essence, we are allowing God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — the Trinity— to rule and reign in our lives. I believe that if we talk or think about the Holy Spirit as a mysterious power, we will be continually thinking, “How can I get more of the Holy Spirit?”
On the other hand, if we think of the Holy Spirit as a person, our thoughts will be, “How can the Holy Spirit have more of me?”
That is a great question —how can the Holy Spirit have more of me?
There is a small book called, MY HEART, CHRIST’S HOME by Robert Munger. The premise of the book is that our hearts are likened to a home—the entry, the dining room, kitchen, library, family room, bedroom, bathroom, and even the hallway closet. The Holy Spirit wants entry into every room in our heart—but as always, the Holy Spirit is a gentle person—the spirit waits until we give the green light. “Hey, Jesus or Holy Spirit, do not just stand there in the entry. Take off your coat and come on in! “Mi casa es su casa!” Do not be too surprised if your heart is challenged to change a few things: the way you talk, think, act, and …. what you read, what you watch, what you eat…Okay. I will stop meddling.
When the Holy Spirit has more of us, we are led into a life of living for and with the Lord Jesus.
POINT #1 for today: The Holy Spirit leads me into a new life of holiness.
- The Spirit brings us out of fear into freedom.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, …” (Romans 8:15a)
The other day I was having a conversation with someone who was really struggling with an issue. We talked and prayed together. The verse that God gave me for this person who was struggling deeply with some fears of failure and pains of the past was from John 10:10. I love chapter ten of the Gospel of John. There are two of the great “I Am” statements in John 10.
Jesus says “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”(John 10:9) Another of the great “I Am” statements are, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John10:11) But the verse that is sandwiched in between those two great “I Am” statements of Jesus is John 10:10 — “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
In this world, there is so much bad news each day and so many people are afraid. The truth is that our enemy, the thief, the devil, only comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
I have printed out a few pages of the many passages in Scriptures where we are told not to be afraid. If you would like them, email me and i will send them to you.
What Paul is teaching us is that we have not be given a spirit of fear to be a slave again to fear.
POINT #2: We have not been given a Spirit that makes us a slave to fear…we have been given the identical twin Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ…and we now have a spirit of FREEDOM in Christ. Christ came to give us life to the full. Open that door to your heart and let the Holy Spirit in!
This week, we are reminded to give more and more of our heart and lives over to the rule and reign of Christ. “Less of me. More of Thee.” Remember the question to ask is “How can I give more of my life to Christ and the Holy Spirit?” Even King David asked this of God in Psalm 139:24, “See if there any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Wow. Try that one on for fun!
We are reminded that we have not been given a spirit of fear. Whatever offensive things or ways that we have, the Holy Spirit will gently nudge and lead us to the way everlasting. That should help us to stand and shout. “Hallelujah and Praise the Lord.”
I encourage you to walk in the boldness of your new life in Christ. If you haven’t ever given your heart to Christ—today is the perfect day. It’s simple but it’s not easy:
Dear God: I am a sinner, we both know that. I believe that Jesus Christ is your one and only Son. I believe He died on the cross for my sins. I invite you to come into my heart and live within me as my Lord and Savior. Melt me. Mold me. Fill me. Use me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Jesus stands outside and knocks until you open the door. There’s no door handle on the outside. Best decision I ever made to open the door and invite Christ into my heart, my home, my life, my church, my preaching, my family, my marriage, my work—oh the lists is endless. Let me know if you need any help or encouragement in taking this step or in becoming ALL you are meant to be and do.
God loves you and so do I,