Romansby David Cook
We come to an especially majestic section of the letter. In it, Paul shows us two things.
First, we are delivered from the just condemnation of the law. The law could not justify us because we could not keep it (v. 3), so God provided His Son who perfectly met the requirements of the law (v. 4) and then took our place as the perfect offering for sin (v. 3).
Second, while the sinful nature of the ″old man″ remains a powerful force within the believer, God has given the believer a powerful gift-the indwelling Spirit who enables us to do God's will. (There are more references to the Spirit in Chapter 8 than in all the other chapters of the letter.)
In verses 5 to 8, Paul contrasts life in the Spirit with life in the flesh.
Being children of God means that we have the Holy Spirit (v. 9). (See Acts 2:38 for the great blessings of the new covenant.)
The Spirit revitalises our ageing, dying bodies (vv. 10-11).
The Spirit leads us to put to death the misdeeds of the body (vv. 14-15). He empowers us for godly living.
The Spirit gives us deep assurance that we are God's children (vv. 15-16).
We can relate to God on the most intimate basis and call Him ″Abba Father″ (v. 15).
The very essence of being a child is that we have a parent. Since we have a parent, we are heirs and we have an inheritance (v. 17). Here, we are reminded that we are heirs of God our Father and we will share the inheritance with God the Son, our elder brother (v. 29b). However, this inheritance will not be split 50-50. Being a ″co-heir″ means that everything that is Christ's is ours, so it is 100-100. Our entry to our inheritance is like His. For Him, the inheritance was the crown via the cross; for us, it will be glory via present suffering (v. 17).
Here, Paul answers two questions: Am I condemned by my past life? Does God leave me without resources in the battle with the flesh? The answer to both questions is ″No″. Because of what Jesus has done, we are not condemned. And because God has given us His Holy Spirit, we are not without resources.
Knowing that we are co-heirs with Christ and thus possess the hope of inheritance, how can you encourage this hope to be more dominant in your thinking?
The Puritans thought about heaven on a daily basis. Why? (See 1 Thessalonians 1:3.) Do you?