Summary: Three encouraging promises for God’s children from romans 8:12-17
Three Encouraging Promises Rom. 8:12-17
INTRO.: for the past two weeks, we have been meditating on the eighth chapter of Romans with the theme of "Encouragement for the Christian." we found great encouragement in verse 1 - no condemnation in Christ. We looked at the wonderful promise of verse 11 -resurrection by the power of God’s Spirit.
Today, we consider verses 12-17 which relate to our adoption into the family of God. There are three encouraging promises in these verses.
I. Promise 1: "if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,"
A. Our passage begins with another "therefore." We must look for the "wherefore."
1. The previous verses declare us to be dead if we live according to the flesh.
2. Yet, we are alive in the spirit if our lives are controlled by the spirit of God.
3. That same Holy Spirit is the One Who will raise our bodies from the dead.
B. For these reasons, we have no obligation to the flesh to live for it. It has nothing to offer us but death.
1. It will lead us only to death. One who lives for the flesh already has one foot in the grave.
2. There is no promise of resurrection and reunion for those who live for themselves and not for God.
3. As the old song says, "He’s like a northbound train on a southbound track. He looks good going, but he won’t be back."
C. Col. 3:5-9 a more specific list of what we should kill. Maybe the Christians in Colossae weren’t as knowledgeable as those in Rome, so Paul delineates .
1. We have shed these things like a dirty shirt.
2. It’s kill or be killed. These practices will kill us if we don’t kill them.
3. The encouraging word is we can do this "by the Spirit" and God will give us life.
II. Promise 2: those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 14
A. We have been adopted into the family of God. Eph. 1:5
1. When one is adopted, all rights are surrendered by the old family. There is no longer any tie to it. In Texas a new birth certificate is sometimes issued with the new parents names on it.
2. All the old life’s debts and obligations are wiped out. They become the responsibility of the new parents.
3. In Roman times, the change was so absolute, there could be no marriage between adopted brothers and sisters.
4. The adopted person becomes heir of the new parents and joint heir with any other children born to the family.
B. As God’s children, we enjoy an intimate relationship with our Father. We call Him "Abba."
1. "Abba" has no exact translation in English, but is a term of endearment and deep respect like "Daddy."
2. "Abba" is the word Jesus used in Gethsemane when He appealed to the Father for help. Mk. 14:36
3. It is not based on fear, but on love. A word we use because God’s Spirit lives within us. Gal. 4:6, 7
C. There is great encouragement here:
1. God is a loving Father who hears us. What kind of father would ignore a child’s cry of "Daddy?"
2. His Spirit lives within us to testify with our spirit that we are God’s children.
3. Not "to" but "with" our spirit. God’s Spirit will stand beside us in the judgement and testify to our adoption.
4. "Himself" is emphatic. Not just any spirit, but the Spirit itself.
III. Promise 3: "if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ," 17
A. We are heirs of God.
1. Just as an adopted child becomes heir of all his adopted parents’ estate. He is equal heir with all the other children just as we are with Christ.
2. If we share in His suffering. That is, if we accept his suffering as our atonement
3. If we are willing to suffer for Him. In the early Church there were many who did and this is meant to encourage them.
4. This is encouraging because no matter how little we may have in this life, we inherit with Christ, God’s Son.
B. The Holy Spirit "marks" us as His. Like a brand on a cow. Eph. 1:13, 14. When a calf is branded, it marks him as the possession of his owner. It is also a foretaste of what is to become of him. He will be slaughtered. The Holy Spirit marks us as belonging to God and is also a foretaste of what will happen to us.
1. This is how He testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
2. God will know us as His children by His Spirit living in us.