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Romans 8:9-17

[Bears reposting because this is important thought]

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

"God’s work is never accomplished by human effort but only by divine enablement. It has always been this way." - Bob Deffingbaugh
The Power of the Holy Spirit (cont)

"9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." NIV

Spirit=Spirit of God=Spirit of Christ
To me just another example of the Trinity. Three in one.

If the Spirit does not live in you - you do not belong to Christ. Jesus does not know you. You are not saved.

Earlier this year, I got some emails when I said I was "indwelt of the Holy Spirit". I was not making myself out to be better than others, or singularly special. All "Believers" IN Christ are indwelt of the Holy Spirit.

Are you? That is not a question for Mike, me nor anyone else to answer. It takes honest introspection on your part.

"11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." NIV

If the Holy Spirit lives in you - you are promised that: Just like Christ was raised from the dead - you too will be raised and have eternal life. If the Spirit had power to do one, certainly he has the power to do it to you.
"Therefroe we have an obligation..."

KJV uses "we are debtors" - it seems the idea is we owe God something for what he has done for us.

Our obligation is not to sinful nature - what has it ever done for us but bring "death". But by the Spirit - and you have to be saved to have the Spirit - sin in the body is defeated. Not all at once, but the process is started. The fact that you sin less and less (as the spiritual war is waged) is evidence of the Spirit and therefore of salvation - "eternal life". Because we on our own are incapable of defeating the "old nature".

It is comforting to know that the Spirit wages this war. This is God's War. If you look ahead to Ephesians 6 regarding putting on the armor. Our command is to "stand firm". Stay focused on God. Stay in the Word (sword). And pray. That is it - The Holy Spirit will do the rest.
"14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." NIV

I am reminded that the shepherd "leads" his flock - the sheep follow because they know his voice, they know him, and they know they are supposed to follow the shepherd.

Oppose this to sin. Sin "drives people". If one succombs to a favorite sin, the itch is not satisfied with one sin, it leads to another and another....think of a philanderer - one conquest is not enough - he needs another - more and different and another...

Focus on God - turn your hearts and minds to God - be led by the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit does not return you to bondage of fear (fear of sin, fear of the unknown, fear of God) but affirms your sonship (adoption). The Spirit testifies to it.

"In Roman society, an adoption had to be confirmed. According to Roman law, there had to be seven witnesses to an adoption (William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1957], p. 111). That's how important adoption was. The reason for so many witnesses was to prevent the natural children in a family from denying the adopted child a share of the inheritance when the father died."

We are sons, God is "Abba, Father", we are God's children, we are heirs - but not just heirs but co-heirs with Christ.

"Being a child of God also means having an inheritance. In Luke 18:18 the rich young ruler asked Jesus, what must I do to inherit? But the rich young ruler missed the point because inheritance is not a matter of doing it is a matter of being - of being in the right family." - David Guzik

"On the death of a citizen, all his descendants, unless they were already freed from his paternal power, were called to the inheritance of his possessions. The insolent prerogative of primogeniture was unknown; the two sexes were placed on a just level; all the sons and daughters were entitled to an equal portion of the patrimonial estate;.."

i. “In the Roman world of the first century ad 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.” (Bruce)

ii. Under Roman adoption, the life and standing of the adopted child changed completely. The adopted son lost all rights in his old family and gained all new rights in his new family; the old life of the adopted son was completely wiped out, with all debts being canceled, with nothing from his past counting against him any more." - David Guzik
Wait a minute - in the "decline and fall of Roman empire" link - it says "unless they were already freed from his paternal power". Can't we lose this inheritance (salvation)?

I don't believe so and neither does Paul or Peter. We will get to ohter verses later in readings, but for now:

Romans 8:30
"And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

Just focus on the last part for now - if you are justified (rigtheous through faith in Christ), he also glorified. That is heaven my friends.

More explicit
"..and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." NIV

Shielded or Kept by God's power - not that is comforting.


Shielded or Kept by God's power - now that is comforting.

Romans 8:18-25

Future Glory

"18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

Struggles with sin, any sufferings - no big deal when compared with the glory revealed to us in Heaven.

The glory is so magnificent - glorified bodies, heaven, angels, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, etc will all be there - that:

Vs 19-22
Creation, creatures, or all the Gentile world waits in eager expectation...

Take your pick. People disagree about whom Paul is referring to here. I guess the main point is that some entity is excited and eagerly awaiting revelation, liberation, and being brought into glorious freedom.

I have a hard time thinking creatures or Gentiles, because I do not see people of sinful nature anticipating any such thing.

Creation is left, but it is inanimate. Perhaps Paul is writing anthropomorphically ??? But in my understanding, in the end - old creation is destroyed and new Creation established. It is not brought into anything...

So, I'll leave it up to you the reader - and ask God when I see him.
Vs 23-25
Regardless we who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, that is the beginning of the harvest (Jewish tradition), the beginnings of sanctification through Spirit on earth - cannot wait until the full harvest - redemption and glorification in Heaven.

"24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

As Vance said - Greek definition of "Hope" is "certain belief that is trusted in" or "confident expectation".

We were saved by our hope - confident expectation of Righteousness through faith - and saved is aorist passive - "completed action at some time done to us."

So we are no longer hoping for salvation - we have that - we are confidently expecting the "redemption of our body. We may "groan inwardly" - so eager it hurts - but we wait patiently.

Phil 1:6
"6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - NIV

Ramona, John,

Thanks for your comments of encouragement on my weblog yesterday. I do not really believe it is too late, but I feel old and tired, nevertheless. ;-)

What are your thoughts on my answers to John's questions about reasons for 'spiritual dryness' in the church and remedies?


Re Mike's question on Romans 8:12-13 - it is clear we have a choice:
- to live by the sinful nature, or
- to live by the Spirit

I guess that is a choice we re-make from moment to moment.

I thought that Bob Deffingbaugh's article today is a great read...very affirming paticularly on his thoughts regarding condemnation, walk in the Spirit, sonship . However, I don't agree with his seemingly negative comment on trying to integrate psychology and theology. I would rather integrate and unite than separate and compartmentalize. There is more to psychology than just the external observable behavior (Skinnerian perspective).


Yes, indeed! A life in the Spirit is ageless, boundless...I've always liked your genuine thought provoking questions and comments.

2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19

Observations made on today’s Old Testament reading.

Solomon, Solomon, Solomon how quickly we forget. When Solomon was dedicating the Temple he prayed and petitioned to God in the previous chapters of II Chronicles, yet in today’s reading the order of worship is attributed to his father David. Don’t know if this is the writers literary style but this to me totally overlooks the command of God and places the creation of the plans for the Temple and the order and participants of worship in to the hands of man. Is this showing Solomon moving from a focus on God to a focus on man, and specifically himself and his wisdom, a wisdom not of his own doing but a wisdom from God?

Take heed now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong and do it! Then David gave Solomon his son the plan of the vestibule of the temple, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner rooms, and of the place for the [ark and its] mercy seat; And the plan of all that he had in mind [by the Spirit] for the courts of the house of the Lord, all the surrounding chambers, the treasuries of the house of God, and the treasuries for the dedicated gifts; The plan for the divisions of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service in the house of the Lord; for all the vessels for service in the house of the Lord: The weight of gold and silver for all the gold and silver articles of every kind of service-- The weight of the golden lampstands and their lamps, the weight of gold or silver for each lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand; The gold by weight for each table of showbread, and the silver for the tables of silver; Also pure gold for the forks, basins, and cups; for the golden bowls by weight of each; for the silver bowls by weight of each; For the incense altar refined gold by weight, and gold for the plan of the chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the Lord's covenant. All this the Lord made me understand by the writing by His hand upon me, all the work to be done according to the plan.
(1 Chronicles 28:10-19 AMP)

The last sentence states that the plans were given to David, as well as the understanding of using the plans, by the writing of His (God’s) hand upon David. This did not come from David’s on mind. Yet in verses 14 and 15 of chapter eight, three times it is mentioned that Solomon followed or did not deviate from the commands of his father, David.

Do we get ourselves in trouble when we switch from thus saith the Lord, to thus saith the rules and regulations of the preacher, teacher, pastor, denomination not recognizing that the Word that really counts is, “Thus says the Lord?” If we think that our beliefs are only our church’s, pastors, denomination’s then we will also think, “Get with the times, we don’t do that/ believe that anymore,” then we will be quick to compromise.

Just a thought,

What does life in the "Spirit" mean to people? Sometimes we bandy around words, Christian speak, and either everyone's meaning or understanding is different or because it is something we feel we are supposed to say, we really don't know what it is. We just have conversations about a concept or Christian speak--but what does it mean? (Note: I'm not asking for a meaning, I just want to know if folks are on the same page)

Are we talking about a personal experience or something we read about it a book, someone else’s’ experience that is not our own.


Good question. Are we on the same page as Paul?

What do you think Paul means in Romans 8:9-17?

He refers to the 'Spirit of God' or the 'Spirit of Christ' who dwells in us. If He is not in us then we do not belong to Him. We must choose to live either by the Spirit or by the sinful nature. The latter is death. It is the same Spirit as raised Jesus from the dead who lives in us. Those led by the Spirit of God are the Sons of God, co-heirs with Christ.

This is (or should be) the normal Christian life. Life in the Spirit of God is the only way, according to this passage. And it sounds like an amazing way of life. To be led by the Spirit of God who is living in us. The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. Doing the things God would have done. Living as God would have us live.

To me, that is what this whole book (the Bible) is about - Life in the Spirit of God - absolutely glorious! Yippee! I am free to live by the Spirit, doing all the amazing things He does!

But, I come back to my question, repeated in several ways now. Why is actual experience of 'church' and 'Christian life' rather duller and less glorious than what Paul describes here. Maybe it's because we are not all on the same page - at least, not on the same page as Paul.

... interested to hear your thoughts on this,



"Maybe it's because we are not all on the same page - at least, not on the same page as Paul."

I think that is a good start.

The interesting part of your question is - you are sensitive to "something missing".

Why do you think that is?

If you are asking about a specific church, specific Christian life, or yourself - and you are questioning why they are less than glorious as per Paul's description, then I can only think of two answers - as per the teachings we have gone over recently in Romans.

What would Paul say?

If you are referring to general population of Christians or the "church body" being duller and less than glorious as per Pauls's description, then I would ask that you reflect on that.

Is it really true, or does the question need to be refined?

hey just read some of this blog and signed up... wanted to say, thanks for making the bible come alive in a blog.. and thanks for making it feel accessable and as though im not the only one doing this!!!! peace! Cheryl

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