The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. Romans 8:15
Liz cried for joy when she and her husband received the birth certificate and passport for their child, making the adoption legally binding. Now Milena would always be their daughter, forever part of their family. As Liz pondered the legal process, she also thought of the “true exchange” that happens when we become part of Jesus’ family: “No longer are we held down by our birthright of sin and brokenness.” Rather, she continued, we enter into the fullness of God’s kingdom legally when we’re adopted as His children.
In the apostle Paul’s day, if a Roman family adopted a son, his legal status would change completely. Any debts from his old life would be canceled and he would gain all of the rights and privileges of his new family. Paul wanted the Roman believers in Jesus to understand that this new status applied to them too. No longer were they bound to sin and condemnation but now they lived “according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). And those the Spirit leads are adopted as God’s children (vv. 14–15). Their legal status changed when they became citizens of heaven.
If we have received the gift of salvation, we too are God’s children, heirs of His kingdom and united with Christ. Our debts have been canceled by the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice. We no longer need to live in fear or condemnation.
How does your status as a child of God affect how you live? What could you do to embrace this central part of your identity?
Father God, You created me in my mother’s womb, and You know and love me. May I never doubt how much You care for me.
Some scholars believe Romans 8 provides the most concentrated teaching on the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit found in the Bible. We often focus on these key verses: verse 1, where we’re reminded that we’re no longer under condemnation; verse 28, which reminds us of God’s good purposes; and verses 31–39, which teach of God’s love and care for us. But woven throughout the chapter is the ministry of the Spirit (vv. 4–6, 9–11, 12–16, 23, 26–27). In fact, it could be argued that the blessings of verses 1, 28, and 31–39 are available to us by and through the ministry of the Spirit.