and I will be his God and he shall be My son


Book of ROMANS
A Study of Chapter 8

Part 8

Romans 8:14-17


“ For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. 17 And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.”
– Rom 8:14-17 AMP

Freedom from slavery to sin and fear… walking with God’s Spirit… adoption to sonship… the promise of inheritance… all these can only be received and entered into by faith. We must believe these things are True, lay aside our carnal way of thinking and acting, and grasp hold of something we cannot see, but hope in.

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
– Gal 3:26-29 NIV

Those who have been baptized into Christ and are living by faith in Him are Abraham’s seed. Abraham’s natural descendants, the Israelites, were first called to be God’s children and declare His glory to the nations, but rather they became stiff-necked, self-willed, stubborn and disobedient. So, God turned from them as they forsook Him (Deut 32:15).

In Deut 32 God speaks of the “provocation of His sons and His daughters.”
20 He said: ‘I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end will be,
(I will see what will become of them)
For they are a perverse generation,
Children in whom is no faith.”

- Deut 32:19b-20 NKJV (HCSB)

Verse 19 above says that these were His sons and daughters, His children, yet they forfeited their position in God’s family by continual unbelief. They refused to believe their Father would judge them for their behavior. They were Abraham’s descendants. They said to one another - “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.” (Jer 5:12 NIV). These had no faith in His goodness or in His demand for righteousness.
Although they knew about Him, they didn’t really believe Him. That is our challenge today as well. Many claim to know Him as Savior, but do we truly know Him, His goodness, and His demand for righteousness and holiness?

“For My people are fools; they do not know Me.
They are foolish children, without understanding.
They are skilled in doing what is evil,
but they do not know how to do what is good.”

- Jer 4:22 HCSB

We cannot claim to have received Jesus without receiving what He said. How can we know Him, if we don’t believe His words? Jesus Himself rebuked even some who were following Him -
“why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 NKJV)

And again He says - “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” – Matt 7:21 NKJV

Yet even in this, God’s desire is always to bless His people. He wants all to be children who love Him. You can hear His heart in Jesus words, and sense His deep desire to have all become part of His family.

“How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” – Matt 23:37 NKJV

(We can fall into this in modern Christendom, as we search the Bible for verses we like that give us an easy salvation and seem to assure us of eternal security, and we gloss over verses that make demands upon us or make us uncomfortable. Yet ALL these passages speak of Christ, and in communing with Him He will bring understanding and clarity to even the difficult verses. As Jesus told the religious leaders - “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have Life.”  (John 5:39-40 NAS)

Why do we so often think we know better than God what is best for us? And sometimes He will give us just enough of what we want as He patiently waits for us to realize we’re heading down the wrong path, like the prodigal son. And He waits for us to “come to our senses.”

And oh, how He is patient and good.
“As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” – Eze 33:11 NKJV (see also Eze 18:23,32)

Yes, God is for us. He will judge sin and remove all iniquity & evildoers from His Kingdom in that Day, but in His love He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2Pet 3:9). He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1Tim 2:4). So through the prophets He told Israel back then -

“Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers forever and ever. Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’ Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.” – Jer 25:5-7 NJKV

That Kingdom Truth is still true today. They didn’t listen. At times, we don’t listen. They went after other gods such as Dagon, Gad, Meni, Moloch & Chemosh and provoked the Lord. Truthfully, we serve these same gods today; they just go by other names, and when we do we arouse God’s anger.

“For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols (elihim, other gods)? For we are the temple of the living God, as God said:
‘I will dwell and walk among them,
and I will be their God, and they will be My people.
17 Therefore, come out from among them
and be separate, says the Lord;
do not touch any unclean thing,
and I will welcome you.
18 And I will be a Father to you,
and you will be sons and daughters to Me,
says the Lord Almighty.’”

- 2Cor 6:14-18 CSB (OJB)

For those who will heed this Word, and actually “come out from among” those who submit to foreign gods, and have nothing to do with deeds of darkness, He will receive. These He will welcome as His children. Church membership does not make us a son or daughter of God. But “allowing ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God”; “throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us, and running with endurance the race set before us, fixing our attention on Jesus…”; this is what makes us a son or daughter of God.

To those who “walk in the Light”, who “keep His commandments” and “know the Truth”, the Apostle John writes -

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
– 1John 3:1-3 NKJV

Sadly, many of God’s chosen people in the Scripture stubbornly chose not to “purify” themselves, and so be called “children of God.” Rather than cry out “Abba, Father” and listen to the leading of His Spirit, they refused. May we not refuse.

Like Abraham and Phinehas, may God count us righteous because we believe and obey His Word; our faith proven by our action. To both these men it was declared their actions by faith “were accounted to him for righteousness” (Gen 15:6, Psalm 106:30-31, Rom 4:20-22, James 2:20-23). And the rewards to both were incredible: to Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Gen 22:18 NAS). To Phinehas, “unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood” (Num 25:13)

To these men whose faith was proven by their righteousness, came great blessings. Their relationship to God is shown by the inheritance they received.

“In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”
– 1John 3:10 NKJV

Faith and righteousness go hand in hand. The “breastplate of righteousness”, and the “shield of faith” are both essential components of the armor of God that we are to put on daily. (Eph 6:10-17). And in 1Thess Paul also calls that breastplate the “breastplate of faith and love” (1Thess 5:8).

The breastplate was a central part of the Roman soldier's armor—it provided protection for the torso, which contains vital organs like the heart, lungs and so on. Without a breastplate, a soldier would be asking for death, as any attack could instantly become fatal. With a sturdy breastplate, the very same attacks become ineffective and useless, as blows glance off the armor.

Our faith in God and our righteous behavior done in obedience to Christ renders the enemy of our souls ineffective in his attacks. The Scripture tells us that “righteousness delivers from death” (Prov 11:14), and oft-quoted verse from Habakkuk, “the righteous shall live by his faith” (Hab 2:4b)

So we need faith to believe in Christ and His power to save, heal and deliver. We need faith to walk righteously before God. We need even that mustard seed of faith with which Jesus said we could move mountains.

Let us look at this promise in context -

“When they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before Him, 15 and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. 16 I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

After Jesus returned from the mountain with Peter, James & John where He revealed to them His glory, He finds a father with a son who is possessed, and His disciples unable to deliver him.

Jesus repeats the words of God to the Israelites that we read earlier in Deut 32:20

“Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. 19 Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting”
– Matt 17:17-21 NABRE

But unlike the Israelites (as a whole), who “heeded not” God’s admonishment to them for being a perverse generation and faithless children, the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5) and asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1). Even the father of the healed boy cried out “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). There were those who truly wanted to believe, and made the choice to receive Jesus as Lord.

Again, the promise – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name.” (John 1:12)

“ For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
- Rom 8:14 NRSV

The Apostle John is very direct in his words to the Church. The proof that we are children of God is in our behavior. I believe He has predestined many to sonship, but this great calling must be entered into. We must “walk worthy of it.”

“Those who are children of God do not continue to sin, for God's very nature is in them; and because God is their Father, they cannot continue to sin. 10 Here is the clear difference between God's children and the devil's children: those who do not do what is right or do not love others are not God's children.” – 1John 3:9-10 GNT

Oh, friends, let us grab hold of the Truth & promise of Scripture. If what we’ve been studying here stirs your heart, do not set God’s calling on a shelf. Lay hold of it now. Spend time with Jesus and allow Him to lead you in the Way you should go. Let no man rob you of your crown of sonship. Our Lord & Savior Jesus came and died not only for the nation of Israel, “but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” (John 11:52). Do we feel that calling? May we not forfeit our destined birthright and future inheritance for lesser things.

God’s wisdom and understanding to us all,


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