Friday, June 1, 2007

Bits & Pieces: Biblical Saints called Sons of God

"So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh --- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!' " (Romans 8:12--15).

* In this passage Paul speaks of our responsibilities and privileges as sons of God. Our responsibility is to continually put to death the sins of our former life, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our privileges are that we can be led by the Spirit of God, and that we have intimate access to the Father as His sons and daughters.

* In the believer's relationship to the Holy Spirit, Paul touches on three characteristics of sonship: (1) someone who has been born again puts to death the sins of his old life by the Holy Spirit's power; (b) the child of God is led by the Spirit of God; and (c) the saved individual continually makes his needs known to the Father, praying by direction of the Holy Spirit.

* Amid the positive characteristics of sonship, Paul notes two negative descriptions-- (a) we as believers are not under obligation to the flesh: we don't have to obey our sinful impulses. (b) we are not to be enslaved by a spirit of fear: as sons, we are to cry out to our heavenly Father.

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