Romans 8:14-18 (NIV) For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
This passage gives the reader an ear full of truth that is full of promise. In this blog post I want to unpack it in it’s simplest form. Every great passage has to have an application today, so let’s take a look at how this passage applies to you and I!
First, the Apostle Paul tells us that if you are led by the Spirit of God then you are children of God. This is an important statement because there is always the opportunity to be led by the flesh, circumstances, others, etc… But the children are led by the Spirit in other words the children make decisions and take action depending on what the Spirit leads them to do.
Second, the Spirit doesn’t make us slaves or allow us to live in fear. The Spirit liberates the believer from fear and no longer is there bondage to the things of this world. The Spirit we received brought about our adoption to sonship and because of the Spirit we are able to cry out “Abba, Father.” When we are led by the Spirit we are aware that we are sons and daughters and able to call on the Father through worship and prayer.
It gets even better because if we are God’s children then we are heirs and co-heirs with Christ! Now the passage goes on and says we, “share in his suffering in order that we may also share in his glory.” In America we have no theology of suffering we are told that we are over comers and victorious but no mention of suffering in the American church.
Paul was sharing that he had suffered in his sharing of the gospel (look at Corinthians for a list of Paul’s troubles) but even in suffering it did not compare to the glory that would be revealed in us. Life has many challenges in our current age there are some who have suffered for the gospel but in America we have enjoyed a freedom like no other country concerning the gospel.
I think the important thing to focus on in this passage is Paul says, “I consider that our present suffering are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” If you have troubles or are indeed suffering today focus on the glory that is to be shared with us as co-heirs with Christ. Allow the Spirit to lead you and enjoy the freedom God has given us not giving into any type of fear but looking to the promised glory!