31
Aug
2016

ROMANS 8:15-16 THE SPIRIT HIMSELF BEARS WITNESS WITH OUR SPIRIT THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD

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Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."  16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

In the Roman adoption system, four things were consequential to adoption.

First thing that happened was the adopted person lost all relationship to his old family. Everything was gone and he gained all rights to the new family.

Second thing, it followed that he became heir to all the new father's estate.

The third thing that happened, according to Roman law, was that the former life of the adopted person was completely wiped out. All his legal debts were cancelled. They were wiped out as if he had never existed. And the adopted person was given a new name and it was as if he had just been born. Sound familiar? When you came to Jesus Christ and were adopted into the family of God, all your past debts were what? Cancelled, and you became a co-heir of all that the born son, the Lord Jesus Christ, possesses.

               The fourth thing was in the eyes of the law the adopted person was literally and absolutely the son of his new father. And so, when we were adopted, all these things, no doubt, are in the mind of the apostle and the Spirit, and we know they took place in our adoption. We have cut the cord with the past. We have become co-heirs to God's kingdom. All the old debts are wiped out and we are absolutely and legally and forever the son of God.

           Adoption gives us the name of sons. Adoption gives us the title to the inheritance. Regeneration gives us the nature of sons and gives us the fitness for that inheritance. Both are important.

"testifies with our spirits that we are children of God" As noted in Rom. 8:13, one aspect of faith assurance is the believers' changed and changing lives (cf. the NT books of James and 1 John). Another aspect of assurance is that the indwelling Spirit has replaced the fear of God with family love (cf. 1 John 4:17-18). "when we cry, Abba! Father! It is the Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirits that we are children of God" (cf. Gal. 4:6). This implies that the assurance comes when believers can call God, Father, by the Spirit.

               So he says you didn't become Christians to be put again in a spirit of bondage to fear. You're in a no-condemnation status and the Spirit of God doesn't want to bring you back under some bondage of fear. That's an unhealthy kind of fear, not a reverence for God, but the fear of punishment, the fear of ultimate damnation, the fear of losing salvation, the fear of having to pay for your sin. He didn’t come into your life to bring you under that.

               Cry is krazō, a loud cry signifying deep emotion. And "Abba" is the Aramaic word for "papa, daddy." You reserve that name daddy for just one person. That's very intimate. And that's what Abba means. In Jewish Families They call their dad "abba." "Hey, Abba!" Who goes into the presence of holy God and says, "Papa," "Daddy?" That is really shocking news to the average Jew.

The internal witness of the Spirit is not audible, but practical. It causes

1. guilt over sin

2. desire to be like Christ

3. desire to be with the family of God

4. hunger for God's word 

5. a sense a need to do evangelism

6. a sense a need for Christian sacrificial giving

These are the kinds of internal desires that provide a faith evidence of conversion.

Ro 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Assurance of salvation has been turned into a denominational issue.

1. Roman Catholic theology denies the possibility of assurance in this life but bases confidence in one being a member of the "true" church

2. John Calvin (Reform tradition) based assurance on election (predestination), but one could not know for sure until after this life on Judgment Day

3. John Wesley (Methodist tradition) based assurance on a perfect love (living above known sin)

4. Most Baptists have tended to base assurance on the biblical promises of free grace (but ignoring all the warnings and admonitions).

There are two dangers related to the NT paradoxical presentation of Christian assurance.

1. The overemphasis on "once saved, always saved"

2. The overemphasis on human performance in retaining salvation.

Hebrews 6 clearly teaches "once out, always out." Human effort (good works) does not keep believers saved (cf. Gal. 3:1-14). But good works are the goal of the Christian life (cf. Eph. 2:10). They are the natural result of meeting God and having the indwelling Spirit. They are evidence of one's true conversion.

Assurance is not meant to soften the Bible's call to holiness! Theologically speaking, assurance is based on the character and actions of the Triune God.

1. The Father's love and mercy

2. The Son's finished substitutionary sacrificial work

3. The Spirit's wooing to Christ and then forming Christ in the repentant believer

               The evidence of this salvation is a changed worldview, a changed heart, a changed lifestyle and a changed hope! It cannot be based on a past emotional decision that has no lifestyle evidence (i.e., fruit, cf. Matt. 7:15-23; 13:20-22; John 15). Assurance, like salvation, like the Christian life starts with a response to God's mercy and continues that response throughout life. It is a changed and changing life of faith!

               In that Roman adoption system, do you know what you had to have to get the adoption final? Seven witnesses. That's right. According to a study of the Roman law, it says there had to be seven witnesses. So that's how important adoption was. You get the picture? What happens if you get adopted in a family and say, "Hey, I'm adopted into this family, I'm the rightful heir." And they say, "Hey, the father's dead, friend, the father is dead now, it's coming to us." Right? You'd have a fight on your hands, wouldn't you? With all the kids who were born into the family naturally? So you had to have seven witnesses. I mean, it would be tough to kill off seven witnesses, wouldn't it? And so as soon as the father died, all these witnesses would surface. "Oh yeah, we were all there." Seven witnesses.

When Satan, who is the great accuser, wants to come in and accuse us and say, "You don't belong to God, who do you think you are? You with all the sin in your life? You who fall short? You don't belong to God." Something in our heart says, "Yes I do." And the Spirit comes along side and says, "Yes you do." And He, by the way, is called by Isaiah "the seven-fold Spirit." Interesting coincidence?

               2Pe 1:3

               You see the point of the passage? Assurance of salvation comes by the fruit produced in your life through the walk in the Spirit.          So, assurance in our salvation is the ministry of the Spirit.

               1 John 3:18-24. "

               As you walk in obedience, as you keep His commandments, your heart doesn't condemn you. You say, "I'm not condemned

               Think about what the Spirit is doing for us, all the things He does for us, freeing us from the law of sin and death, equipping us to kill sin, confirming to us that we are the children of God. How glorious.

               Ro 8:17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

"if" There is a series conditional sentences in Rom. 8:9,10,11,13 (twice), and 17 (twice). These are all first class conditional sentences which are assumed true from the author's perspective or for his literary purposes. Paul assumed his readers in the Roman church were Christian.

1. Believers share heirship with Christ

2. Believers share sufferings with Christ

3. Believers will share glory with Christ

BELIEVERS' INHERITANCE (from 1 Peter 1)

In the OT every tribe except Levi received a land inheritance (cf. Joshua 14-22). The Levites, as the tribe of priests, temple servants, and local teachers, were seen as having YHWH Himself as their inheritance (cf. Ps. 16:5; 73:23-26; 119:57; 142:5; Lam. 3:24). NT writers often took the rights and privileges of the Levites and applied them to all believers. This was their way of asserting that the followers of Jesus were the true people of God and that now all believers were called to serve as priests to God (cf. 1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6), as the OT asserts of all Israel (cf. Exod. 19:4-6). The NT emphasis is not on the individual as a priest with certain privileges, but on the truth that all believers are priests, which demands a corporate servant attitude (cf. 1 Cor. 12:7). The NT people of God have been given the OT task of world evangelization (cf. Gen. 12:3; Exod. 19:5b; Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8; see

The Scriptures talk about believers inheriting (cf. Acts 20:32; 26:18; Eph. 1:4; Col. 1:12; 3:24) many things because of their family relationship with Jesus who is heir of all things (cf. Heb. 1:2). Therefore, they are coheirs (cf. Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:7) of

1. the kingdom (cf. Matt. 25:34, 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 15:50; Eph. 5:5)

2. eternal life (cf. Matt. 19:29; Heb. 9:15)

3. God’s promises (cf. Heb. 6:12)

4. God’s protection of His promises (cf. 1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Suffering is the norm for believers in a fallen world (cf. Matt. 5:10-12; John 15:18-21; 16:1-2; 17:14; Acts 14:22; Rom.5:3-4; 8:17; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; Phil. 1:29; 1 Thess. 3:3; 2 Tim. 3:12; James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 4:12-19). Jesus set the pattern (cf. Heb. 5:8). The rest of this chapter develops this theme.

·        "glorified with Him" In John's writings whenever Jesus talked of His death, He called it "being glorified." Jesus was glorified by His suffering. Believers, positionally and often experientially, share Jesus' life events (cf. Romans 6).

1. Father adopts us

2. Spirit indwells us

3. Son crowns us

Lessons

1.     If you are adopted, you should honor the one who adopted you – are you promoting the Kingdom

2.     If you are adopted, you should love the other family members

3.     If you are adopted, you should be a responsible family member – don’t sit and soak

17
Aug
2016

ROMANS 8:14-15 AS MANY AS ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THESE ARE SONS OF GOD

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There are two ways the Spirit leads. The Holy Spirit gave us the Bible and the first way is the Holy Spirit illuminates to our minds that Scripture.

The second way is sanctification. Here is the idea that once He has shown us what it means, He then assists us in applying that in the progress of spiritual growth. The Holy Spirit not only illumines the mind, but He stirs the heart and the will.

I believe the Spirit of God leads us by prompting the heart.

               In Psalm 119:35, the psalmist says: "Make me to go in the path.” God, don't just show me the path, make me to go in it, shove me. And in Psalm 119:133 it says: "Order my steps in Thy word and let not any one iniquity have dominion over me." And so, the cry is not just, may I understand you with my mind? But may I act in response to my understanding with my will. So, the Spirit of God is illuminating the mind and activating the will. The second is sanctification, the process of spiritual response of separation unto God in acts of obedience.

               It's a present tense, verse 14, as many as are being continually led by the Spirit of God through the illumination of the Word of God and the sanctification of obedience to it, prompted by the Spirit of God, they have the confidence in their hearts that they indeed are the children of God. when you have those times in your life that you're not in the Word and you're not walking in obedience, you will not have that confirmation. You will not have that affirmation. And that's why Christians will fall into times of doubt because they are not under that direct leading ministry of the Spirit of God. And that's why, you see, the New Testament is filled with exhortations. If we were always led by the Spirit of God all the time, we were always responding to illumination and sanctification, we wouldn't need any exhortations, would we? So, we say this. It is true that all Christians are led by the Spirit, but it's also true that we're not as good at following as we ought to be, right? If we're truly saved, we will follow, but we could follow better.

It's a way of life. It's the constant thing.

Ro 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

V15 but you received the Spirit of adoption

Paul continued his discussion of the privileges that believers receive as full heirs of Abraham through faith in Christ. Paul used the family metaphor "adoption" of our salvation while John and Peter used the family metaphor "born again." The adoption metaphor was used primarily in two contexts in Roman culture. In Roman law, adoption was very difficult. A long, involved and expensive legal procedure, once enacted adoption afforded several special rights and privileges.

1. All debts were cancelled

2. All criminal charges were dropped

3. They could not be legally put to death by their new father

4. They could not be disinherited by their new father

In legal terms, they were a completely new person. Paul was alluding to the believers' security in Christ by using this Roman legal procedure (cf. Rom. 8:15, 23). When a father publicly adopted a son, he officially and permanently became his heir. Also, the metaphor was used in the official ceremony of a boy becoming a man, held on the 17th of March each year.

               One of the most tender & loveliest adoption story of all of Scripture is found in 2 Samuel 9.

               Here is an adoption, an adoption of grace, an adoption of mercy, an adoption of love. And as you read it through, we are struck at how similar it is to our adoption into the family of God.

               David took the initiative. In adopting Mephibosheth. And the Lord takes the initiative in adopting us.

1.     David showed mercy to one who was unworthy, one who had descended from an evil enemy. So does the Lord seek among the children of the devil His sons to adopt.

2.     David was motivated by love for Jonathan. And in our case, God was motivated by love for Christ and He redeemed us for Christ's sake, it says.

3.      David desired to show kindness, and so Ephesians 2:6 says that we've been saved in order that God might show us eternal kindness.

4.     David chose one who was outside the standard of perfection. And so God has chosen those who are outside the standard of perfection. By the way, Mephibosheth means "a shameful thing." And he lived in Lo-debar, which means "the barren land," or literally a place of no pasture. He was a nobody from nowhere. And those are just the kind of people God takes as His sons.

5.     And then the climax, David brought him to his own table to feed him as one of his own. And so does the Lord bring us to His table. And then David gave him an inheritance. And so does the Lord promise to us. And the analogy goes on and on. It is a beautiful picture of spiritual adoption where God takes men and by His own initiative and based on His own love and not anything to do with their worthiness and for the sake of Christ whom He loves, takes as sons those who formerly were enemies.

10
Aug
2016

ROMANS 8:11-13 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST GIVES US POWER TO LIVE THE LIFE OF HOLINESS

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Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

             Again, it could be translated since. “Since the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you (that's the Spirit of God) He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you."

             We've already had a spiritual resurrection.  We've already died and risen in Christ.  We have a new nature.  We've already been born again.  We've already had one death, and now we have new life in Christ.  We already are the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.  We have the life of God in our souls.  That's already happened. You don't need to fear the physical death.  Because when that happens, the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, who dwells in you, is going to give life to a new mortal body through the Spirit who indwells you.  You're going to have another resurrection.  It's not going to be a spiritual resurrection.  Next time, it's going to be a physical resurrection.  And you're going to get a glorified body.

             To understand this is to understand the nature of the Christian.  The spirit dwells in you, and He is the Spirit that raised up Jesus.  A number of times in the New Testament, it talks about the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead by the Spirit.  The Spirit gave Christ life through death.  He raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him physical resurrection life.  And He that raised up Christ from the dead, and will also give life to our mortal bodies.  We're going to get new bodies.

             1 Corinthians 15:35-45.  "What's that new body going to be like?"  Well, the best illustration, it's going to be Christ's resurrection body.  Verse 35, the Corinthians had asked the same question.  "How are the dead raised and what kind of body are they going to have?

So Paul's answer is, "I don't know, but it's not going to be like what we've got. He will raise us and give us spiritual bodies. 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 “When this earthly tent,” which is our house, is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands."  That's how he describes our new body.  And in this house, we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from Heaven.  Why?  Because we'd like to get rid of this debilitating flesh and the sin and this body of death that is attached to us.  And we will.  And the Holy Spirit has done all of this.  It was the Holy Spirit who freed us from sin and death by applying the merits of Christ's sacrifice for sin to us.  It was the Holy Spirit who enabled us to fulfill the law of God by applying Christ's righteousness to us.  It is the Holy Spirit who changes our nature and moves us out of living in the flesh, according to the flesh, with the things of the flesh, minding the flesh, which is death, both in time and eternity, to being in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, minding the things of the Spirit, and pleasing God, because we're alive to God.

             Christ provided a no condemnation status and now he tells us that the Holy Spirit secures that status. Chapter 8 really has a lot to do with our security. And that's why the end of it says, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, and we know that nothing shall separate us. Christ provided it, the Holy Spirit secures it.

 And how does He secure it? By these means, seven ways the Spirit secures our no-condemnation status. Number one: Verses 2 and 3, He frees us from sin and death. Number two: He enables us to fulfill the law, verse 4. Number three: He changes our nature, verses 5 - 11. Then He empowers us for victory, verses 12 - 13. He guarantees our glory, verses 17 - 25. He intercedes for us, verses 26 - 27.

8:12 "So then" Paul continues to draw out the implications of his presentation of Rom. 8:1-11.

Ro 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

▣ "we are under obligation" This is the other side of Christian freedom (cf. Rom. 14:1-15:13). This is the conclusion drawn from the discussion of sanctification in Rom. 8:1-11, which is both positional and progressive. It also clearly shows that believers still must struggle with the old fallen nature (i.e., 6:12,19; 7:7-24; 1 Cor. 6:18-19; Eph. 6:10-19). There is a choice to be made (initial faith) and continuing choices to be made (lifestyle faith)!

So we say I’ll just relax and let Him do His work.”  That’s the old – let go and let God.  Verse 12, with all the work the Holy Spirit is doing with us, we’re under obligation.  You have an obligation.  That’s the word for debt.  What’s your debt?  Certainly not to live according to the flesh, right?  You don’t owe the flesh anything.  What did the flesh ever do for you? You don’t have any obligation to your flesh.  What that means is there are no excuses now because the power of the flesh has been broken.  It is not a dominating force.  There are no excuses. 

3
Aug
2016

ROMANS 8:7-11 NOW IF ANYONE DOES NOT HAVE THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NOT HIS

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Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The fleshly mind is hostile.  It is at enmity against God.  It is in opposition to God.  That's how it is with unsaved people.  They are in opposition to God.  They walk according to the flesh.  They think according to the flesh.  They do according to the flesh.  And they are hostile toward God, and they will not submit to His law.  And they can't.  They don't have the ability to do that. They're dead.

             This is the doctrine of depravity.  It's more than just being disobedient.  It's deep seated.  It's in the nature.  It's in the fabric of their disposition.  It's who they are.  Sin is not just an act of rebellion; it is rebellion itself.

              8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

He sums it up really in verse 8, "And those who are in the flesh cannot please God."  Now, therein lies the biblical definition of total depravity.  We hear that doctrine of total depravity a lot, and I want you to understand what it means.  When it says total depravity, the word total depravity means to be in a sinful condition.  To be totally depraved, some people might assume means that you're totally wicked.  In other words, to be totally depraved means that you're as wicked as you could possibly be.

                          When you talk about the depravity of man, you're talking about an utter inability of the unredeemed to do anything that pleases God. Theologian John Gerstner used to kind of divide it up when he would say... He would be asked, "Well, can't people do good things like help the poor and the sick and the lame and do good deeds and show love to their children and their partners in life and their friends and family. But he would say, "The unregenerate can only do bad good.  They can only do bad good.  Or they can do bad bad.  But they can't do good good."  Good good is that which is not only good on a human level, but that which pleases God.  And I think that's right.

                               2. To those who have the indwelling Holy Spirit (9-11)

             From verses 9 to 11, we look at the spiritually-minded, those who know life and peace.  In the earlier portion of this text of verses 4b through 8, the focus was on the fleshly, particularly in verses 7 and 8.  Now we come to verses 9 to 11, and we get a look at the spiritually minded people.

             But you,” he says in verse 9, “are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit."  That signifies a state of grace, a state of salvation, and a new creation.  You are now in the Spirit.  You literally live and move in Him.  His life is your life.

             "That is true,” he says, “if, indeed, the Spirit of God dwells in you."  That could be translated “since,” so it would read like this:  "You're not in the flesh, but in the Spirit since, indeed, the Spirit of God dwells in you."  What happens when you become a believer?  At the time of your salvation, the Holy Spirit immediately takes up residence in you.  And therein lies the dramatic change.  He's not talking about some profession.  You're in the Spirit because you said you were, or you're in the Spirit because you wanted to be.  You're in the Spirit because the Spirit's in you.

             in verse 9, "The Spirit of God dwells in you," is the word “to live in as a home,” that is to say, a permanent residence.  The Holy Spirit's home is in the believer.  He takes up residence in the believer.  Some, through the years, had the idea that you got saved, and then you got the Holy Spirit later.  Not so. If you didn't have the Holy Spirit, you didn't have the transformation that His coming brought, and so you weren't converted at all.  You weren't regenerated.

             And he reverses his statement in the middle of verse 9 and says the same thing, but in a reverse way, "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he doesn't belong to Him."

                          Literally, God Himself dwells in you.

The Holy Spirit is called in the New Testament the Spirit of Christ.  In fact, He is called the Spirit of Christ right here in this passage.  Back to Romans 8, he is the Spirit of Christ who dwells in you.  He is also the Spirit of God who dwells in you, in the same verse, and He is also the Spirit.  Verse 9: "The Spirit,” “the Spirit of God,” “the Spirit of Christ," all in the same verse.

             And what it shows is the marvelous reality of the Trinity and how the Holy Spirit sustains the same relationship to the second person of the Trinity that He does to the first person of the Trinity.  So every believer is the possessor of the Holy Spirit. 

              10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

             This, again, could be translated “since.” "Since Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin."  What does he mean by that?  Well, though your human body still bears the death of its sinfulness.

             11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

             Again, it could be translated since. “Since the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you (that's the Spirit of God) He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you."

                          To understand this is to understand the nature of the Christian.  The spirit dwells in you, and He is the Spirit that raised up Jesus.  In the New Testament, it talks about the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead by the Spirit.  The Spirit gave Christ life through death.  He raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him physical resurrection life.  And He that raised up Christ from the dead, who is God the Father through the Spirit, will also give life to our mortal bodies.  We're going to get new bodies.