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Romans 8:9-17

“‘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 - 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

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).

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

II Chronicles 8:11-10:19
When you come to the land the Lord your God is giving you and take it over and live in it and then say, "I will select a king like all the nations surrounding me," you must without fail select a king whom the Lord your God chooses. From among your fellow citizens you must appoint a king — you may not designate a foreigner who is not one of your fellow Israelites. Moreover, he must not accumulate horses for himself or allow the people to return to Egypt to do so, for the Lord has said you must never again return that way. Furthermore, he must not marry many wives lest his affections turn aside, and he must not accumulate much silver and gold. When he sits on his royal throne he must make a copy of this law on a scroll given to him by the Levitical priests. It must be with him constantly and he must read it as long as he lives, so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and observe all the words of this law and these statutes and carry them out. Then he will not exalt himself above his fellow citizens or turn from the commandments to the right or left, and he and his descendants will enjoy many years ruling over his kingdom in Israel.
(Deu 17:14-20 NET.)

I know that I’ve posted the above passage before, pertaining to Solomon’s father David, but it bares repeating. This warning is not just for Israel, but also for believers today. It is when we have read the Word of God, one time or heard it read and then proclaim, “I’ve read that already I already know it,” that causes us to commit the sin of presumption; but The Word says,

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Rom 10:17 KJV)

Interesting how God is a God of repetition, it does not say faith comes by having heard, but by hearing over and over again. If Solomon had read and listened to the law, the entanglements that caused his downfall and caused him to turn away from God would not have happened. All our choices have consequences for good or for evil, we reap what we sow a law set in place back in the Garden and rehearsed in the ears of Noah. (Gen 8:22)

Romans 8:9-25
I’ve read this before but I’ve never seen this before in this light.

12 So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (NLT)

Paul says we have a choice to whom we will serve, the Holy Spirit or our flesh. For me this removes the tendency to say, “I just couldn’t help myself,” and get away with it. We make a choice to submit either to the Holy Spirit or to our flesh.

Psalm 18:15-36
24 The LORD rewarded me for doing right,
because of the innocence of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.

26 To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.

“The innocence of my hands in his sight,” wow this is powerful. “In his sight…” I may be guilty in other people’s sight but in His sight, I can be seen as innocent and His opinion is the only opinion that matters. No one else has a heaven or hell to put me in; God’s opinion is the one, the only one that really matters.

I might be taking real liberties in verses 24 and 25, but I see another side to those two verses I’ve not seen before. What I think of God, His character His attributes depends on who and what I am. To the faithful …He is faithful; to the pure …He is pure; to the wicked …He is wicked. This answers questions about the way I saw God, He was “dead”, when I was an atheist.
Proverbs 19:26

Umm, Mike I think today’s Proverb goes deeper than just calling your folks up. Ok, ok, I read through the entire book of Proverbs once a month ‘cause I desperately need a whole lot of wisdom. However, in all that reading, today this verse read me. I did some commentary look ups and this verse is talking about a son (in the Hebrew it is the male child, although in today’s day and age it could be girls) who causes his father to waste or use up all of the family resources. The family’s resources are depleted by getting the wayward child out of all the troubles he has gotten into (John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible).

The child’s behavior is so bad that he/she pushes away his/her mother’s affection and love. Gill translates the Hebrew as this,

“"a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach, wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother

This type of behavior is not going to be remedied by a phone call.

Hi, Mike!


They're a good addition! My teenage son walked into the room when I was watching "The Room" and asked, "What's that?" I said, "Sit here and watch it." And he did. And he thought it was cool. He would never sit and read Bible commentary, but he'll watch videos!

It's good that you've got everything from Rembrandt paintings to youtube videos on the blog to appeal to different ages and temperaments. It's also very good that the message is one: God's word, God's word, God's word.

Thanks for this blog.

I love Romans readings! (yes i have romans 3:23 memorized...i memorized it as a child. so much easier wen we are children huh?)
I often turned to verse 18 for comfort: "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." I had a vision once at a church retreat, the spirit was heavy on me!...i was seated at Christ's feet in heaven . It was the most amazing feeling in the world..i cant explain it. I just remember thinking, all the pain i endured in my life, all the awful things i have been through and suffered..it is all worth it! To just sit at His feet, every ounce of pain is worth it because there is no words to describe the peace and joy.

v. 17, wow! "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.."

v. 23 "but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" ...i understand that! Its that deep longing in our soul that just cries out to the Lord, that reveals to us we are not home. Our souls are just longing deeply to be with Christ.

I love this verse in Psalms!! v. 28 " You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light."

Good morning
Your picture today gave me chills allover my body because I felt God id talking to me "Call your mother she worries"
Where did you get this picture from....I haven't called my mother in 2 weeks and she lives faraway and she really worries about me here in the Us....Thank you Mike I will call her now .....Thank you for your blog because even through the pictures God is talking to us.
Take care
Congratulations on your marraige

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