Today’s Reading: Jer 33:1–34:22, Rom 8:1–17, Prov 22:1–16
Today’s Theme: God’s Adopted Sons
Today we read about the unimaginable grace of God given to us in the gospel of God, where God gives us His own Holy Spirit and adopts us as His own sons, even giving us an inheritance with Christ.
God has made us His children and has set us free from sin, death and the dictates of the flesh, so that we can live in the Spirit. The obedience of Christ has been accepted on our behalf, fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law.
These truths should fill us with assurance, hope, joy and praise today, as God’s adopted children!
God will heal His people
Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.(Jeremiah 33:6, ESV)
Israel are God’s people so they are not cast off forever, but instead have undergone discipline. God desires to heal and restore His people.
Jerusalem will dwell securely
In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’(Jeremiah 33:16, ESV)
Jesus will accomplish this at the second coming, until then there will be unrest and trouble in and around Jerusalem, as there has always been for thousands of years.
The multiplied offspring
As the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant, and the Levitical priests who minister to me.”(Jeremiah 33:22, ESV)
This points to not only the physical Jews but the one new man, the church who have become priest to God through David’s greatest son, Jesus Christ.
God’s firm covenant
Thus says the Lord: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth, then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.”(Jeremiah 33:25–26, ESV)
God takes His covenant as serious as the natural order He has established. He has said that He will restore the fortunes of Judah and we pray that this will come to pass, that they recognise Jesus as the promised Messiah this passage speaks about.
God desires a just society
But afterward they turned around and took back the male and female slaves they had set free, and brought them into subjection as slaves.(Jeremiah 34:11, ESV)
This was not obedience from the heart. The decree from the king was right, God wanted a just society but this ideal had been abandoned. social justice is important to the Lord.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.(Romans 8:2, ESV)
Those of us in Christ can no longer be condemned because we have been set free by God’s Spirit, from the tyrany of slavery and bondage to sin.
The law of the Spirit of life is directly opposed to the law of sin and death, they are not however on equal footings, for life swallows up death.
The reign of death brought about by the decay of sin is over for us, and the decree of death for sin has been met in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, so in every way we are free to live in the Spirit before God, as His adopted sons (the term ‘sons’ is not gender based, the bible means God’s children but the term ‘son’ does carry special significance in regards to inheritance, as we will see later).
Shout praise to God today, for you ARE free!
in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.(Romans 8:4, ESV)
Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law in His perfect life. There is a great interchange when we put our faith in Christ, where His life is exchanged for ours and ours for His. This is why He suffered for our sins on the cross, while His righteous life is imputed to us.
So it is as if we have lived the perfect life of Christ, thus fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law. We can no longer be condemned because Jesus was condemned in our place and His obedience has been accepted for us.
The term ‘walk’ is used to remind us that in line with this great interchange, we have been empowered by God’s Spirit and grace, to walk in renewed obedience to God’s commands and ways.
The mind, set by our lives
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.(Romans 8:5, ESV)
Despite the way we tend to think of the flesh as a spiritual inner person given to sin, it is in fact much more than this. When Paul talks about the flesh, he means more than just the body or its passions.
The flesh is very much connected to the ways of the world in its stance of rebellion against God and its domination by the power of sin.
So to walk in the flesh is to live life according to the dictates of this world, while being driven and determined by the power and desire of sin. Walking according to the world’s dictates will naturally draw the mind to dwell on those same things.
We are called to live according to an entirely new order set out, empowered and directed by God, through His Holy Spirit. We are called to constantly live in the Spirit.
A good test for ourselves is to ask what is our mind set on? Is it set on the things of the new life in the Spirit? If not, we must allow the power of God to have its full effect in us, by continually living according to the Spirit so our minds, desires and lives will be transformed.
The hostile mind
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.(Romans 8:7, ESV)
Those governed by the flesh are hostile enemies of God because the flesh as a system and mind set, is in constant rebellion against God, so bent by the power of sin that it cannot submit to God and is utterly lost.
This is why we need God to miraculously make us alive and actually save us, because left in the grip of the flesh we could never be saved.
We see the hostility of men’s minds against God in many forms all around us today, through the blasphemy in the sciences, media and arts, not to mention the personal rebellion of every man’s mind in the flesh.
We belong to God
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.(Romans 8:9, ESV)
All believers have the Holy Spirit, we do not belong to God without it. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our ultimate salvation, He is the seal of the full promise and the Spirit which regenerates, adopts and transforms us.
The freedom from sin and the flesh is only possible through the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit.
Rejoice that you have assurance through the indwelling Holy Spirit, that you belong to God today!
Life for the body
If 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.(Romans 8:11, ESV)
Notice Paul now talks about the mortal body as opposed to the wider context of the “flesh”.
God makes our bodies alive with energy to live above sin and to walk in health and strength, to serve Him.
We can stand on this truth when we feel fatigued, tired or ill, the same God who raised Jesus from the dead will take the same power and quicken or make alive our physical bodies… Hallelujah!
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.(Romans 8:14, ESV)
A sign of true conversion is that we are led by God’s Holy Spirit and not driven by the flesh. Our change in direction and desire is evidence that something has really happened.
Adopted by The Father
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!”(Romans 8:15, ESV)
God has adopted us and made us sons in His own house, we are not in the fearful slavery that sin once had us in.
We are free children in God’s house as part of God’s family. This is the great call of the gospel of God, that He seeks to adopt the filthy, poor, orphan children we are in sin, and make us royalty in His own house alongside His own son Jesus.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,(Romans 8:16, ESV)
The wonderful inner witness of the Holy Spirit gives us assurance in our salvation and adoption as God’s own children.
Heirs with Christ
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.(Romans 8:17, ESV)
This is an unimaginable truth, God has not just fostered us, He has gone through full adoption, making us His own children and so we get to share in the inheritance which rightly only belongs to Christ.
This is the richness of God’s grace, this is why the gospel of God is such amazing news.
With all this amazing grace, riches, acceptance, adoption, love and inheritance, Paul brings balance to help us stay grounded in reality, reminding us that this is all ours but we must be ready to suffer for Christ’s sake.
Rewards for humility
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honour and life.(Proverbs 22:4, ESV)
This is wonderful, for walking in humility and fearing God, we are rewarded.
Train and guide
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.(Proverbs 22:6, ESV)
Children need training and guidance.
The King’s friend
He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.(Proverbs 22:11, ESV)
Thank you Lord that you are the King, help us to walk in such a way that we have You as our friend.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.(Proverbs 22:15, ESV)
The rod is literal here but there is also a figurative meaning which points towards the earlier point of training a child up.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on Romans 8