Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

Romans 8 - Part 3


ROMANS 8:15-18




Romans 8:15 "For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father"


"Spirit of bondage"- the Holy Spirit didn't bring a message that simply swapped one form of fear-bringing slavery for another. This is something to seriously consider for those that are always worrying about their salvation. Being led by the Spirit shouldn't produce in the child of God an attitude or disposition of slavish fear. Instead, being a child of God should have led us into an attitude of confidence to approach God and call Him our Father. "We cry"-of a loud cry; expressing deep emotion (Vincent p. 91). "Abba"-is the Aramaic word for father. We can approach the Father with the same confidence that Jesus did (Mark 14:36). "Abba" is the familiar term by which Hebrew children addressed their fathers." "The term adoption may smack somewhat of artificiality in our ears; but in the first century A.D., an adopted son was a son deliberately chosen by his adoptive father to perpetuate his name and inherit his estate; he was no whit inferior in status to a son born in the ordinary course of nature." The above verse reminds us that Christians, sons of God, are to serve their Father from a heart which includes more than 'fear' (Matthew 22:37). Rom 8:10-16


Praying is here called crying, which is not only an earnest, but also a natural expression of desire; children that cannot speak vent their desires by crying. Now, the Spirit teaches us (in the New Testament) in prayer to come to God as a Father, with a holy humble confidence, emboldening the soul in that duty. Abba, Father. Abba is a Syriac word signifying father or my father; pater, a Greek word. Why both Abba and Father? Because Christ said so in prayer (Mark 14:36), Abba, Father: and we have received the Spirit of the Son. It denotes an affectionate endearing importunity, and a believing stress laid upon the relation. Little children, begging of their parents, can say little but Father, Father, and that is rhetoric enough. It also denotes that the adoption is common both to Jews and Gentiles: the Jews call Him Abba in their language; the Greeks may call him pater in their language, for in Christ Jesus there is neither Greek nor Jew (Matthew Henry). The word "Abba" was an everyday word, a home and family word, it denotes intimacy. We tend to forget that Jesus offers more to mankind than simply being on good terms with God; rather, He offers us an intimate, warm Father-child relationship with God. The word "Abba" doesn’t mean that we can treat God with disrespect or approach Him in a flippant manner. In fact, tremendous respect and intimacy go together in any healthy relationship.


Point to Note:


The spirit of slavery is clearly seen in Romans 7:6-25. The Jews had been bound to a Law that demanded flawless obedience or it issued condemnation (Galatians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 3:6 "for the letter kills"). The Gentiles were also under a spirit of slavery in that they were enslaved to all sorts of superstitions, fears, and lusts (Ephesians 2:3). How many people today are enslaved to all sorts of worries, anxieties, fears, and sinful habits? We live in a time unparalleled in prosperity, and yet more and more people seem to be enslaved to worry and anxiety (Matthew 6:31-32). Jesus offers anyone the fear from anxiety, worry, distracting cares, fears, guilt, and the freedom from every sinful habit, "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).


Christianity is so liberating: 1. You can forget the past (Philippians 3:13). 2. Instead of being worried about what everyone thinks, simply concentrate on pleasing God and you will please honest people and offend evil people. 3. You don’t have to fear dying and death, because death is simply the door to paradise. 4. You don’t have to fear aging, because God is going to transform your body at the last day. 5. You don’t have to strive and struggle as if taking care of yourself rested entirely upon your shoulders, remember, put first the kingdom and God will take care of you (Matthew 6:33). 6. You don’t have to fret over money and material possessions, for in the end, you can’t take anything with you anyway. 7. You don’t have to replay mistakes over and over in your mind, because you can be forgiven.



Romans 8:16 "The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God"


"And how does the Spirit witness with our spirit? The word of the Spirit is what gives us our assurance that we are God's children. I know in my soul in the light of what the Spirit has written and had preached that I have submitted to the Christ ON HIS TERMS(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). In addition, right now my life is manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). "I hear an endless stream of testimony on the matter of experiences which prove this or that or the other thing. There are many who plainly set aside the word of the Spirit (which we know is the product of the Spirit) to base assurance on some experience or other (which we don't know is of the Spirit). There is far too much talk about personal experiences...and not enough talk about the personal experience of our Lord Jesus Christ...IF WE BELIEVED THE SPIRIT DID ALL THAT WE ARE TOLD HE DID; AND IF WE BELIEVE ALL THE MESSAGES THE SPIRIT IS SAID TO HAVE GIVEN WE'D LIVE IN UTTER CONFUSION...The Spirit has borne testimony in the Bible, let's major in that. Let's interpret our experiences by the Bible, and not the Bible by our experiences".


Romans 8:17 "and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with {Him}, that we may be also glorified with {Him}"


"If children"-and being a child, demands that we pattern ourselves after the Father (Matthew 5:48) "If indeed we are of God's family, what sort of conduct, then, is becoming to us?" (1 Timothy 3:15). "Then heirs"-"Heirs earn nothing! The question of merit or earning is out of the question. Heirs are given things". This is simply the universal rule of mankind, if you’re a child, then you’re an heir. "Roman law made all children, including adopted ones, equal heritors" (Vincent p. 92). "Joint-heirs with Christ"-Christ considers us as brothers(Hebrews 2:11 ". He is not ashamed to call them brethren"). "If so be"-salvation is conditional, and our inheritance can be forfeited (2 Timothy 2:11-13). "That we suffer with Him"-Suffering for what is right is simply the natural outcome of such identification with Christ (2 Timothy 3:12). Being a part of God's family, means STANDING FOR WHAT THE FAMILY, THE OLDER BROTHER AND THE FATHER STAND FOR! (1 Peter 2:21; 4:12ff; 5:8ff). Do we have the attitude that we are willing to so identify with God and Jesus and whatever ridicule the world throws against God’s existence or the truths in the Bible that we will to subject ourselves to the same ridicule? When someone ridicules something that the Bible teaches, do we remain silent and hide, or do we say, "Well, then you better ridicule me too, for I believe that with all my heart"? Notice the attitude of the early Christians: "So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name" (Acts 5:41; Philippians 1:29; Colossians 1:24 "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body"). "Glorified with Him"-at the last day (Revelation 3:21; Philippians 3:21).


Romans 8:18 "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward"


"I reckon"-"I consider"(RSV); "It implies reasoning, I judge after calculation made" (Vincent p. 92). I am convinced. "Denotes no doubt, but confident assurance" (Erdman p. 99).


Here is where many fail. It's not because their own sufferings are worse or more difficult than others (1 Corinthians 10:23), but it is because they are NOT convinced that heaven is far more than worth the suffering of the present time. They don't need an easier life rather they need greater faith. They don’t need less passion for this world, rather, they need a greater passion for God. Paul reminds all Christians that there are two basic worlds. The present world includes suffering; the next world is contains indescribable glory. The mistake too many Christians make is that they demand the glory now! Too many are expecting too much of this life. They want the perfect job, the perfect mate, and the perfect children. Even in the 21st century, this life for the Christian will still involve hardship and trials. The demand, "I want to be happy all the time", is unrealistic in this life. Don’t make the mistake of panicking, and sacrificing eternal blessings for some moment of temporary second-rate happiness. The sinful pleasures of this life are nothing more than "cheap" imitations of the real thing.


"Sufferings of this present time"-in the context the suffering that comes upon one because of his loyalty to Christ (Acts 14:22). "Not worthy to be compared"-Paul dismisses the suffering of the present time because he has his eye on incomparable glory. He isn't saying that suffering isn't real (The Christian Science view that suffering is illusory, is just plain ungodly, for that means that Jesus' suffering on the cross was only an illusion.) Neither is he saying that suffering is no big deal. "With the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward"-such future glory is certain for the faithful (Matthew 5:12 ". For your reward in heaven is great"; 1 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:17 "glory far beyond all comparison").


Point to Note:


Someone needs to shake us now and then. Christians can completely forget that the God who created the Universe wants to give them eternal bliss! When Jesus comes again, it is a day when everything that we believed will be validated and praised. We will be glorified with Him. We will be exposed to all who ever lived, as the faithful, as those with good and honest hearts, as the selfless, the wise, the smart, the good and the noble. You will shine for eternity as those that the world didn’t deserve to have in its midst.


Mark Dunagan/Beaverton Church of Christ/503-644-9017