English Standard Version (ESV)
10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
12So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
My Dad died over 22 years ago, but I still love to hear someone say, “You remind me of your father.” My Dad was a really good man, so it’s an honor to be told that I reflect him in some way.
When we give our lives to Jesus Christ we are given the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)—the Spirit of our heavenly Father. This matters. At least it should.
Because we have the Spirit of God in our lives we should be like God. Not God, but like Him.
The fact of God’s fatherhood should be reflected in several key ways.
It should be reflected…
1) In Following.
Paul writes “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Who or what is leading you? Whoever or whatever is leading you identifies who or what you are serving. Are you led by the spirit of materialism or by the Spirit of God? Are you led by the spirit of addiction or by the Spirit of God? Are you lead by the spirit of bitterness or by the Spirit of God? Are you led by the spirit of sin or by the Spirit of God? Really the question is: Who’s your Daddy?!? Because your “Daddy” is whoever or whatever is leading you each day.
2) In Freedom
Paul continues, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery.” We are enslaved by our addictions. Too many of us are addicted to everything but God. I’m addicted to endorphins (working out), adrenaline (stressing out), and Facebook (checking out). These addictions can be enslaving.
Some of you may be enslaved to other addictions. Alcohol. Tobacco. Meth. Pornography.
All unholy addictions to anything but the things of God are meant to snare us, imprison us, and convince us that there is no hope—the bars are our destiny—and freedom is an illusion.
Like the Israelites who were longing for Egyptian shackles while tasting the first moments of freedom, some of us have been convinced that we were destined for less than this and that freedom is an illusion.
The spirit of slavery draws us back into the shackles, back into the cell, and back to Egypt, but the Spirit of God beckons us to break out of the shackles, leave the cell, and realize the Egypt is but an earlier hell.
Not today! Today, we all need to remember that we have not received the spirit of slavery from our Father. He’s better than that.
3) In Faith
Paul wraps up this section of Scripture by reminding us, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” Every moment of every day we must choose faith not fear. Fear is the fruit of the faithless. Fear is the spawn of Satan. In Christ we are sons of God—Almighty God—so we don’t shrink back; we move forward. We don’t cower; we stand up. We don’t scream like second grade school girls in the face of our enemy; we cry out in victory “Abba! Father!–assured that our enemy has already lost!
So, my encouragement today is to live these verses out and maybe today someone will say, “You remind me of your Father.”