Summary: Children of God, worship, relationship

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Romans 8: 12-17 (p800) February 3, 2013


Have any of you here this morning had to appear as a witness in a court case? I have, and I’ve also been with several of you who have had to be witnesses in difficult situations.

When I was 26 years old I had to testify that one of the young men who was being put into a drug rehabilitation center was extremely violent and had to be held down to keep him from hurting himself, and from hurting us…I was a witness for the defense…and I really tried to “tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me God.”

I’m not sure how effective and powerful my testimony was…but the defendant was found, “not guilty”…It might have been that three or four of us on the staff testified to the same truth, and although the testimony came from four different people and different perspectives, it matched…it was not only true for each of us…but it rang true to the jurors.

Or let me ask you one more question…an easier one…Has anyone asked you if they could use you as a reference on a job application or a school admission form…”Yes” me too, lots of them…by the way, if I don’t know you or your family well I’ll tell you “No” or I’ll put that truth down on the form.

But sometimes, for you and I the request is easy…we recommend this person or family wholeheartedly…they’re not perfect! No one is, but I’ve witnessed their character and integrity and I have no hesitation about putting my name on the dotted line as a witness…

I believe the theme of our text today…and maybe the verses that hold all of Romans chapter 8 together are found in verses 4-16…

“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” literally, “Spirit of Adoption”) and by Him we say “Abba” father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Why is this essential? Why does the Apostle Paul place such great emphasis on this truth?


Slavery was the horrible and sinful stain of our nation…its ugliness resided in our country through the 1960’s and even finds some gloomy bigotited pockets today…Those of us who have never been judged by the color of our skin will never understand its pain…or its ridicule…slavery existed in Rome as Paul wrote this amazing chapter…slaves were property…they had no rights…their owner would dictate what kind of existence it would be…in fact Paul would right one of his letters to a slave named Philemon…slavery was very real.

“Paul says when you were “adopted into God’s family in Christ you did not receive a spirit that made you a slave Again…SLAVE AGAIN to fear.

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