Your Life Now has a New Spirit and as an Adopted Child of God You Share an Inheritance with Christ Jesus
Paul concludes his answer to that second question (in Part 3) with a final effect of the Spirit indwelling a believer. The third way in which the spirit is in us is testifying against concerns we didn’t actually believe or didn’t actually get saved.
Romans 8:15-17 (NKJV)
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Paul says here is your third way in which having the spirit testify to you, he says the presence of the Spirit living in you
eliminates natural fear of death. The spirit you received from Adam was the spirit of slavery, Paul says. Here is what he means, the spirit you were born with was enslaved to a fear of death and that was created because you knew instinctively that you had jeopardy before God, Just as Adam and woman did in the Garden after they sinned. Like a poor student who stands in fear of the day they receive their report card. That fear burdens you all the more as that day grows closer, and in that sense, they are enslaved by that fear. But when you received a new spirit in Christ, that old spirit and its fear of death went away.
Now you have a reborn spirit, one that is descended from Christ, a fellow heir, a fellow child of God. And as a fellow child of God, you no longer fear Him, you no longer have reason to worry about the moment you see Him face to face. Any more than a child waiting to see their father come home would be fearful of that moment just naturally so. No, they should be enjoying looking forward to that moment because they have a relationship that makes that possible. That new spirit, Paul says, led us to cry out to God, the Father, as a young child would cry out to daddy (he uses the Greek and Aramaic for daddy there, Abba).
The Spirit’s arrival gave this effect of adopting you, Paul says. While you were naturally born in the image of Adam, now you’ve been adopted into the family of Christ. As an adopted child, you have all the same privileges and rights of a natural-born child. You have no reason to fear God on the day you see Him. And he says you will be an heir with Christ. The Bible says that Christ as the Son of God received an inheritance on the occasion of His own death. Think about it in very literal terms. It is something a person receives on the occasion of a death. They are an heir. A person’s wealth is transferred to someone else at the moment they die. When your rich uncle dies, he leaves his what he has to his heirs. That transfer of wealth couldn’t happen until he died. Normally when a person dies, his Last Will and Testament dictates that his wealth is transferred to a living relative, obviously. But in Christ’s case, His death was followed by Him living again, immediately within 3 days. At His resurrection, He receives back His own inheritance. It would be like your rich uncle dies and you are an heir and 3 days later your rich uncle is alive again. Would you be happy or sad? For some, it might be close. Not really sure.😊 new spirit
That’s what the Bible means when it talks about death and inheritance and Christ. It’s saying Christ did all that was required to win the Earth back from the enemy. Then He died for our sake and in the death, it freed up what He received to be inherited by all those who are heirs of Christ. Then He received it back for Himself when He was brought back to life. And so now, He, being a Child of God, the Son of God, is an heir of all things. He shares His inheritance with all fellow heirs. All the sons and daughters of God with Him. That’s how we receive a portion of the kingdom upon our entry into it because we are receiving a portion of our inheritance and because He is sharing it with all who are His. Paul says that is what is waiting for you as well. So Christ’s inheritance will be shared because we are children of God. Because we are all children of God by faith, then we are also heirs. As Paul says in Galatians:
Galatians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Now that’s why he is also saying you also have no reason to doubt your salvation because you have no fear of death anymore. You should ask yourself, where did that come from? How can someone who is still in jeopardy before God have no fear at that moment? It’s proof now you are no longer under condemnation. Now let’s be clear on something else here. Take note Paul did not say you have no reason to fear anything or that you are never going to have reason to be fearful. That’s how it is interpreted here sometimes. That is, they think Christians shouldn’t have any fear whatsoever anymore or if there is any fear whatsoever in their life it is somehow evidence they are in sin. Paul here is speaking specifically about fearing death and judgment. That’s the context of this. And in many times, we know we are going to have fear and in some cases, it is because we are letting our flesh rule us momentarily. But there are other times it is an entirely natural response to something very scary in our environment. The difference though is in our spirit we never have fear of death. And therefore most of the things in life that do scare us that much are irrelevant. Like you could be scared, for example, that something is going to go wrong at work and it is going to require a lot of extra time to fix and you are going to be bogged down and you don’t want that inconvenience. That’s a minor form of fear and that’s not necessarily something we are talking about. But any kind of fear that is existential is barred in the spirit now because we don’t have any concern about what follows. In fact, any kind of early death is just a hastening of glory… who could fear that?
So if you suffer in struggles against sin or because of other people’s sin against you, Paul says you are just sharing in the life Christ knew Himself. He suffered and He was glorified. You are suffering, you will be glorified. You know you will have the same things He has because you are a fellow heir, another child of God. These are things to confirm that you have salvation and these things you look forward to now in eternal terms, where before you never had concern for. Those are the things that help show you, that the spirit in you, can testify to the future that you have in Christ. These realities are no reason to doubt your salvation. If anything they confirm you are different in Christ.
Next time we address Paul’s third question, that is what do trials and tribulations in this life say about our relationship with God? Or as some people might say, why do bad things happen to good people?
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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