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Romans 8:14-17

THE DELIGHTS OF THE SPIRIT LIFE

Intro: Imagine being born into a family that was poverty stricken. A family that was dysfunctional and doomed. A family with no hope or prospects for the future. A family that was dying and that didn't even care for you at all. Now imagine that along comes a kind, gentle, and wealthy man. This man tells you that he loves you and offers to take you in as his own child. This man offers you everything your natural family could never give you and he offers it to you free of charge. All you have to do is come with him and consent to be his child. Sounds far-fetched, doesn't it? However, that is exactly what happens to every person who places their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

As Paul moves deeper in this eighth chapter of Romans, he is continuing to illustrate the superiority of the Spirit life. He has already spoken of the deliverance of the Spirit life and the differences of the Spirit life. Now, in these verses, he speaks of The Delights Of The Spirit Life.

He tells us that every saved person has been brought into the family of God and enjoys all the rights and privileges of natural born children. Let's look at these verses tonight and talk for a few minutes about The Delights Of The Spirit Life.

I. V. 14-15 THE DELIGHT OF OUR ADOPTION

A. V. 14 We Have A New Family - According to Paul, when we believed, we became the "sons of God." That is, we were removed from the family of Adam and were transplanted into the family of God. We are literally His children, 1 John 3:1-3. John's verses tell us that we are His children now, and that one day, we will be just like our new Father.

(Ill. Notice what the first part of verse 14 says. It says that "As man as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." What this means is that those who are in the family begin to act like the family. For instance, there are certain people in this church who sound and act like their parents. Sometimes, on the phone I cannot tell you apart. You phrase things like your parents and even sound like your parents. We all develop traits that are similar to the family to which we belong.

The same hold true in the life of the believer. If A person is saved, they will develop traits that are like the Father's family. The primary trait being that they will be led by the Spirit of God! You see, every child of God has the Holy Spirit living within him, Rom. 8:9. And, if the Spirit is in residence, He will make His presence known! He will change the life He inhabits.)

(Ill. By the way, this is a tremendous means of gaining assurance of salvation. You see, God's children are "led by the Spirit". Does the Spirit of God ever lead you to do anything? If not, you should check up!)

B. V. 15 We Have A New Father - Verse 15 tells us that we have been delivered from the bondage of fear and that we have been adopted into the family of God. In our society, adopted children often feel, and are perceived to be, second class members of the family. That is sad, but true for many. They are forever reminded of the fact that they were not born in to the adoptive family.

However, in ancient Rome, things were vastly different. To be adopted was considered a great privilege.

(Ill. Adoption - The word "adoption" (huiothesia) means to place as a son. The picture of adoption is a beautiful picture of what God does for the Christian. In the ancient world the family was based on a Roman law called "patria potestas," the father's power. The law gave the father absolute authority over his children so long as the father lived. He could work, enslave, sell, and if he wished, he could pronounce the death penalty. Regardless of the child's adult age, the father held all power over personal and property rights.

Therefore, adoption was a serious matter. Yet, it was a common practice to ensure that a family would not become extinct by having no male children. And when a child was adopted, three legal steps were taken.

1. The adopted son was adopted permanently. He could not be adopted today and disinherited tomorrow. He became a son of the father--forever. He was eternally secure as a son.

2. The adopted son immediately had all the rights of a legitimate son in the new family.

3. The adopted son completely lost all rights in his old family. The adopted son was looked upon as a new person -- so new that old debts and obligations connected with his former family were cancelled out and abolished as if they never existed.)

(Ill. When we came to Jesus, we were taken out of Adam and adopted into Jesus. We have a new Father!)

C. 14-15 We Have A New Freedom - These verses tell us that as children of God, we have been delivered from the power and influence of the flesh. We are no longer led about by Satan and the whims of the flesh. Now, we are led by the Spirit of God. Not only have we been delivered from our old leadership, we have been delivered from the life of fear that we used to live while we were in our old family. Now, in Jesus, we are bought into a close relationship with our new Heavenly Father. A relationship so close that we are permitted to address Him as "Abba" or "Daddy."

(Ill. The idea is that we are brought into such an intimate relationship with God that we assume the place of small children who lift their voices to God as a hurting, helpless child would who cries out to its father. There is the idea of intimacy and dependence, but of a complete lack of fear. Of course, there is respect and reverence, but there is the sense that our Father will not harm us, but that if He loved us enough to die for us, He will certainly care for us as we walk with Him.)

I. The Delight Of Our Adoption

II. V. 16 THE DELIGHT OF OUR ASSURANCE

(Ill. Not only have we been adopted into the family of God, but we are given priceless assurance of that fact in our hearts day by day.

A. Our Communion With The Spirit - The child of God has a blessed communion with the Holy Spirit of God. It was this relationship that was predicted by the Lord Jesus Himself, John 14:16-18; John 16:7-15. The Spirit of God spends time with the redeemed and this is a truth that the saint of God must not take for granted. He leads us and teaches us all we need to know about how to live for the glory of God in this world.

B. Our Confidence In The Spirit - The Spirit of God has fellowship with those who are saved by grace and that is one of the surest ways to know that you have been born again! If you are genuinely saved, you will know it because the Spirit of God will hold communion with you.

He will speak to your heart. He will tell you things. He will guide you. He will warn you. He will lead you. He will feed you. He will comfort you. He will teach you the truth. If the Spirit of God never speaks to your heart, then you need to examine yourself. It may be that you have never really been saved!

Like a mother who wraps her arms around that insecure child everyday and expresses her undying love, the Spirit of God does the same things for the redeemed child of the Lord. He is the Divine lover of our soul!

I. The Delight Of Our Adoption

II. The Delight Of Our Assurance

III. V. 17 THE DELIGHT OF OUR AFFLUENCE

(Not only are we adopted into the family and assured of that fact everyday of our lives, we are also wealthy beyond measure. Notice what this verse teaches us about our new standing.)

A. Our Privilege - This verse teaches us that we are the heirs of God. May I remind you that our Heavenly Father is wealthy beyond measure? The Bible teaches this truth, Psa. 50:10-12. We have the privilege of sharing in the vast wealth of our heavenly Father. That is why Phil. 4:19 means so much to us. He is able to meet our needs no matter how great they may appear. What He has belongs to us right now, Luke 12:32!

(Ill. The hymn - A Child Of The King - Majesty book Page 645.)

B. Our Portion - Not only are we the heirs of God, but we have been made joint-heirs with Jesus. Literally, we are given an equal share in the wealth of our Father. Under Jewish Law, the eldest son would be given a double portion of the father's wealth. However, under Roman Law, all sons were treated equally.

(Ill. When I think about this, it isn't the idea of getting things that amazes me. I am amazed when I come to understand that I have been placed o nthe same footing with Jesus. Please do not misunderstand me, but you and I that are saved have been declared to be the sons of God and we are given the same standing before God as is His Son Jesus Christ! We will never be Him, but we have been made like Him in the Father's eyes! Hallelujah!)

C. Our Promise - As we pass through this life, we will go through difficult times and we will face many trials. There will be many times when we will feel like God has forsaken us and is not meeting our needs like we think He should. However, we need to remember that we are "pilgrims and strangers" in this present world. The fulness of our inheritance will not be realized until we arrive at home in our Father's House. When we get to Heaven, then we will see just how rich we are and were. One look around will tell the tale forever, Rev. 21:1-22:5.

Conc: There is no comparison between what we have now in the Spirit and what we endured in the flesh. God has encouraged me afresh as His child through this passage.

There may be those here tonight who are struggling with this matter of assurance. If so, the Holy Spirit can help you get your sonship settled. Others may be dealing with a need in their lives. Why not bring that need to the One Who owns it all and let Him meet it for you? Some may just want to come before the Lord and thank Him for adopting you into His family. We are a blessed people and we need to be grateful. Whatever the need of your heart may be this evening, there is help in the presence of God.




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