Last Sunday's Bible Study: Romans 8:15-19

Last Sunday was 4th of July weekend, so there was an unusual number of people at my Bible study due to a cookout. Well, I'm glad they got to enjoy eating together, and what a blessing it was for me to teach from this passage on being adopted by the Father with the Holy Spirit, and of suffering and glory with Christ. [Note: I retaught on these verses again, as you can see if you scroll down to the previous posts.]

Romans 8:15-19

Verse 15. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Paul says that believers have received Him as the Spirit of adoption. The reason there cannot be any condemnation for a true Christian, is because Christians have received the very Spirit of the Son of God. He is not a spirit of fear that brings us under slavery, but of adoption as the very children of God the Father. Christians do not need to fear judgment, since God has not only taken away their judgment through Jesus Christ, but has by His Spirit sealed us as His very own children, for whom He has provided an eternal inheritance. It is by His Spirit that we cry like little children, calling Him "Abba", "Father!" God is the Father of those who are saved, and therefore He will never abandon any of His children to condemnation. He loves Christians as His own.

[Lit. No therefore received spirit slavery again to fear, rather received spirit adoption by whom cry Abba the Father.]

Verse 16. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

1. What does the Spirit do if we are God's children?

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit by guiding how we think and live (v.5), and also by leading us to put to death the sins of our flesh, and by moving us to pray to God, calling Him "Abba! Father!" That is, my Father, the One who has made me His own by giving me new life by His Spirit and by the resurrection of His Son, and by the Word preached. (Eph. 1:3-5; Titus 3:5-6; 1 Peter 1:3).

Verse 17. and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

1. What are children of God?
2. What is an heir?
3. What is also necessary for this to be proven true, or for us to be glorified with Christ?

Children of God are heirs. An heir is somone (usually a child) who inherits or is entitled to inherit property, one who inherits or is entitled to succedd to a hereditary rank, title, or office , one who receives or is entitiled to receive some endowment or quality from a parent or predecessor" (Mirriam-Webster online dictionary).

This is true of us, the text says, provided we suffer with Christ so that we may also be glorified together with him. Jesus said that if the world hated him, it will hate us also. All the apostles took what Jesus taught seriously and taught carefully how Christians ought to suffer in the name of Jesus. All of 1 Peter is written to help suffering Christians. Romans chapter 8 is also an encouragment for Christians when they suffer.

Suffering is like the guarantee that proves us to be heirs with Christ, when we suffer together with Him, not apart from Him. We join Him in His sufferings. As Hebrews 12:3-5 says, we suffer with Him in our struggle against sin and are disciplined by our Heavenly Father. In Hebrews 13:3, we suffer with believers who are mistreated (like those in prison for their faith) by remembering their needs. But Hebrews 13:12-13 really explains well how Christians suffer with Jesus. "So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured." (Hebrews 13:12-13).

Verse 18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

1. What do we learn about suffering in this verse?
2. What do we learn about glory?

Paul reasons here, that you cannot even compare the present sufferings that Christians experience in this life with the glory that is to be revealed to us, or in us.

Remember that in verse 17, he just said that we are truly fellow heirs with Christ, as long as we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

So our suffering with Christ, you could say, guarantees that we will be glorified with him. This is why, though it is hard, Christians prize their sufferings, because we know that "this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Cor. 4:17).

Verse 19. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

Q: What is it that this verse says is waiting? How is it waiting? What is it waiting for?

This verse begins with the word "For" which leads us to consider what was stated just before verse 19. In verse 18, Paul says that he doesn't consider the sufferings of this present life worthy to be compared with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. With that said, he now states that the creation waits with eager longing for the sons of God to be revealed.

To understand this, we can look at some other passages that will help us.
1. Psalm 132:11-12
2. Isaiah 43:6-7
3. 1 John 3:1-2
4. Revelation 19:6-8
5. Revelation 21:7

We learn from these passages, that the sons and daughters of God are those who have a covenant (an agreement) with God. This is that if they keep the requirements of God's covenant with them and the testimonies that God would teach them, then they would sit forever on the throne with Christ. This means they will reign in the kingdom of God as God's sons and as co-rulers of the creation of God with Christ.
We also see that those whom God has chosen by grace to be His very own sons are called from all over the earth to be made for the glory of God.
We see that they are not known by the world, but are going to appear in the very same image of Christ when He appears.
We see glimpses of this being fulfilled in Revelation 19, and Rev. 21:7 gives this very promise of being God's son to all who conquer (who overcome the world and its evil by faith in Christ).

So Paul says in Romans 8:19 that the creation itself is waiting eargly and longing for the day when this will happen. In the verses that follow, Paul will explain how this is being worked out.

For now, consider some things:
1. What does it mean to be a son of God?
2. How is it important to me to know whether I am truly a son of God?
3. How can I become a son of God?
4. What hope do they have who are the sons of God, and what hope do they have who are not His children?
5. The only begotten Son of God came into the world to redeem God's chosen children, is this what I base my life on? Do I seek to know God's only begotten Son and to serve Him in humble fear and worship all the days of my life? Do I love Him so that I can say that my life belongs totally to Him and His service?

Remember who it was that God sent to die. Who it was who rose to conquer death and sin and hell.. and who it is who is coming again to bring God's children home.
See 1 Thessalonians 1:10


Present yourselves to God

While I am battling a hard issue and struggling, I need to remember that there is one thing needed, that I present myself to God as one raised from death to life, and my members to Him as instruments for righteousness.


Because I'm free from the burden of the law and am now under grace. Oh thanks be to God through His precious Son and my Lord Jesus! Please help me Lord!

"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:12-14 ESV).