Summary: Living in the world and the role of the Holy Spirit (part 3)


“On Your Mark. Get Set. Go! Into the World.

Romans 8:12-25

If ever there was a person who understood how difficult life could be it was the Apostle Paul. Listen to his testimony recorded in 2 Corinthians 11 from the Message.

I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. 24I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, 25beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. 26In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. 27I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.

28And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches.

32Remember the time I was in Damascus and the governor of [the] King {Aretas} posted guards at the city gates to arrest me? 33I crawled through a window in the wall, was let down in a basket, and had to run for my life.

Truly Paul was a man who lived his life on the run. Life was difficult for Paul but life is hard for some of us right now. Perhaps we have not been in prison or beaten within a inch of our life but we are familiar with the cruelties of life. We know sickness. We know what it means to see our body or the body of a loved one lose its vitality.

Some of us understand what it is like to work long hours and yet the paycheck and bills do not seem to meet. We have watched our children or others dear to us make wrong choices and have felt their pain. Some of us have lost loved ones and still find ourselves reaching out to them in the still of the night.

Words not stones wound us. Depression, not a soldiers whip becomes the scourge across our back. Conflict, loneliness, cruelty, prejudice: all these try to shipwreck our spirits.

Life is hard. Perhaps we have asked the age old question, "If life is a bowl full of cherries why do I feel like the pits?" How do we keep going?

How did Paul overcome the injustices of life and keep his faith? The answer? He sought to live each day in the Spirit." In the 8th chapter of Romans Paul reminds us of what the Holy Spirit can do in us if we seek to live life in the spirit.

I. (V. 12-17) Living in the Spirit builds a relationship between us an God.

When we accept Jesus into our life the relationship we have with God changes.

--No longer are we simply a part of God’s creation; along with trees, birds, etc

--We are not just “saved" from our sin

--we are now the children of God

I have a friend who shared something with me that has really spoken to me. I have his permission to use it.

My friend has a copy of a photograph that was taken when he was just a little boy maybe 5 or 6 years old. In the photo are all his aunts and uncles and there were a bunch of them. All the cousins were crowded in close for the picture. An there in the front row where his grandmother and grandfather. An sort of standing up in his grandfathers lap was my friend. It is a special family keepsake. But there is more to the story.

My friend was adopted and the things that occurred prior to the photograph being taken sort of went over his head at the time. Now keep in mind this occurred 60 or more years ago. All of the grandchildren were crowding in to get into the picture, trying to find the right place when a couple of the aunts sent my friend away. He was not to be included, “after all he was adopted.”

As the picture was about to be taken grandma elbowed grandfather and indicated my friend. Grandpa instantly stopped everything, got up from his seat and went and picked up “his grandson,” and the photograph was taken. Grandpa had spoken, “This is my grandson and that was that.”

When we accept Christ, God says, “This is my child and that is that.”

--Look at verses 15b-17

--Abba Father

--v.17 Paul says we are heirs of God and Joint heirs with Jesus

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