Summary: As the adopted children of God we have all the rights and privileges as Jesus!
You’ve Been Adopted
Text: Romans 8:12-17
1. Illustration: This is my niece Beth, her husband Seth, and their adopted son Charlie. Isn’t he cute? Beth and Seth were unable to have a child of their own and so they decided to adopt. They went through several attempts to adopt and they all fell through at the last moment. Then they had the opportunity to fly to California to meet Charlie and decided to adopt his as their son. You may or may not be able to tell from his picture, but Charlie has down syndrome, along with other physical challenges. But to Beth and Seth he couldn’t be anymore perfect because he is their son!
2. Isn’t this the story of our salvation? We are all imperfect and sinful people. We chose to turn our backs on God and live a life of sin. But God, because he is so rich in mercy and loved us so much, chose to adopt us as his children by sending Jesus to die for us.
3. As a result, we have become not only the adopted children of God, but also joint heirs with Christ!
4. In our text today, Paul tells us three benefits of being adopted by God.
a. Power Over Sin
b. Children of God
c. Heirs of God
5. Let’s stand together as we read Rom. 8:12-17
Proposition: As the adopted children of God we have all the rights and privileges as Jesus!
Transition: First, Paul says as God’s adopted children we have the…
I. Power Over Sin (12-13).
A. No Obligation
1. Paul begins this section with a statement that ought to make all of us shout hallelujah!
2. After his discussion in the last chapter about doing what he didn’t want to do and being a wretched man, Paul says, “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.”
a. Life in the Spirit brings us into a new family relationship with God.
b. As believers we have been adopted as God's children and so we can cry out to their new Father and know that they are joint heirs with Christ.
c. Since we are in the Spirit, we have a new obligation, and that obligation is not to the sinful nature.
d. The word obligation denotes a “debtor,” someone who owes a debt. It also is used for “one who is under (any kind of) obligation.” Included in this is the idea of a moral binding to live in a particular manner.
(Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “3645. ?fe???t??,” in Lambda-Omicron, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), Under: "3645).
e. We have no have no debt or duty to the sinful nature. While we live lives in the flesh and are subject to worldly temptations, we owe nothing to our sinful nature, and we don't have to do what it tells us.
f. In other words, when temptation comes knocking at our door, we have no obligation to answer it, and every right to say, “No! Go away!”
3. This is a good thing, because in v. 13 Paul says, “For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.”
a. Paul doesn't finish his thought in verse 12, but instead digresses to give a warning concerning the sinful nature, because of the seriousness of the problem of fleshly temptation.
b. He makes his warning more direct by changing the pronoun (in the Greek) from "we" to "you."
c. He says, "For if you live by its dictates, you will die," and the structure of the Greek indicates the certainty of death.
d. The death here is not physical death but the more important spiritual and eternal death that is the reward of those who reject God and Christ.
e. Galatians 6:8 (NLT2)
8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
f. Paul wants his readers to understand the seriousness of giving into the sinful nature. It is absolutely critical to refuse to surrender to the flesh; our eternal destiny is at stake.
g. Keep in mind that Paul is talking to Christians, people who have accepted Christ in their hearts. Now, our Calvinist friends believe that once you're saved you can't lose your salvation, no matter what you do.
h. In a sense so do we, but, unlike our Calvinist friends, we believe that we can give our salvation back and turn away from God.
i. One Calvinist scholar actually has a point when he says, "Paul insists that what God has done for us in Christ is the sole and final grounds for our eternal life at the same time as he insists on the indispensability of holy living as the precondition for attaining that life (Moo 1996: 494-495).